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Prison site rezoned for industrial use / November 01, 2017

Land that once housed the Mecklenburg Correctional Center at 386 Prison Road in Boydton was rezoned from agriculture to M-1 by the county planning commission on Thursday night.

The action was taken in anticipation of the State of Virginia deeding approximately 172-1/2 acres of the nearly 220-acre site back to the county.

County Administrator Wayne Cater said he expects to close on the property in November and that the state would retain rights to just over 45 acres, part of which serves as a shooting range used by members of law enforcement.

In 2011 when then Gov. Bob McDonnell announced plans to shut down the former medium security prison, Carter said the county told the state it wanted the land returned to them, once the site was cleaned.

The prison was closed in 2012, and the state spent the next five years demolishing buildings and removing waste and debris from the property. The Department of Environmental Quality recently deemed the site free of hazardous substances or waste, thereby clearing the way for the county to regain ownership.

Zoning Administrator Robert Hendrick said an M-1 designation means the property would be used for an industry such as a data center, call center, or manufacturing facility, but not a school. Hendrick’s statement put an end to speculation that Mecklenburg County’s new consolidated school facility would be built on the former prison site.

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