New Market approves chicken plant rezoning; $2.7 million expansion could create 40 jobs

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

NEW MARKET — Town Council voted unanimously on Jan. 17 to approve the rezoning of three-quarters of an acre of a local poultry plant in advance of a proposed expansion.

The half-acre strip of land near the back of New Market Poultry’s 3.2-acre property at 145 E. Old Cross Road will be rezoned from general business to limited industrial.

General Manager Jack Wigley asked the planning commission to recommend the rezoning on Jan. 3 to bring the strip in line with the rest of the processing plant.

The land is part of the plant’s parking lot. Its mismatched zoning is the result of a planning oversight, according to Wigley.

Plant leadership plans to add a 5,400-square-foot building to the property, which would increase the plant’s daily processing capacity from 50,000 birds in 10 hours to 60,000 in eight hours, Wigley said.

The proposed expansion, which would face John Sevier Road, is estimated to cost $2.7 million and create up to 40 new jobs. The plant hires 179 people.

Chad Neese, New Market’s planner and zoning administrator, said plant managers will have to undergo a “full site plan process” before the town approves any expansion.

“They’ll have to bring a site plan before the planning commission,” Neese said, adding that no timetable has been set for when such a plan could be presented.

New Market Poultry is a subsidiary of Tip Top Poultry, which is based in Marietta, Ga.

Council members Peggy Harkness, Scott Wymer, Tim Palmer, Peter Hughes, John Blosser and Gary Comer voted to approve the rezoning.

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