Supervisors OK amendment, new agricultural districts

Published 3:09 pm Saturday, December 8, 2018


During its recent meeting, the Southampton County Board of Supervisors approved several matters that came up for public hearing. Perhaps foremost was the zoning map amendment that will enable Belmont Peanuts to proceed with its expansion of its gourmet peanut-producing company. The plan to do so was announced earlier this fall at the headquarters in Capron.

The approval enables the area to go from A-1, Agricultural, to CB-3, Conditional Highway Commercial Industrial on 5.3 acres on a tax parcel measuring a total of 190.77 acres.

There were actually no speakers against the request; Planning Commission secretary Beth Lewis confirmed there also had been no opposition during that group’s meeting.

Supervisors Barry Porter said approval is “the right thing to do,” and Vice Chairman Ronnie West commended the Marks family for having done their homework.

Robert Marks, vice president, said, “We believe in this product. Our family would greatly appreciate your favorable vote.”

The decision to approve was unanimous.

Likewise, the supervisors was very supportive of all eight requests for inclusion in the Voluntary Ag and Forestal Districts within the county. Several individuals and families had made applications to protect parcels of their land from potential development.

Supervisor Bruce Phillips mentioned that in the county there are 93 Century Farms — those which have been around for at least 100 years — and that Southampton leads Virginia in the numbers. He urged applicants to register their farms if they quality for this status.

Related to agriculture, the board was also supportive of the proposed performance agreement with Severn Peanut Co., which does business as Hampton Farms.

Amanda Jarratt, president and CEO of the Franklin-Southampton Economic Development Inc., said, “I can’t stress enough about their purchase of Virginia peanuts.”

West said this agreement is “Fantastic,” noting that it will mean new jobs and a great corporate customer. Phillips also praised company, and also noted the purchase $6M worth of Virginia peanuts.