Lights dimmed at Rockfish Valley ammo warehouse

Zenith Quest has reduced the wattage at its ammunition warehouse after residents complained it was too bright a spot in the Rockfish Valley at night. Photo by Anna Kariel/SkycladAP Zenith Quest has reduced the wattage at its ammunition warehouse after residents complained it was too bright a spot in the Rockfish Valley at night. Photo by Anna Kariel/SkycladAP

When the nearly complete Zenith Quest plant in Nelson County turned on the lights in September, Afton resident Dave Connolly said it looked like a “landing strip” from his home 800′ above. He attended a Nelson supervisors meeting October 11 and says within 24 hours, the lights had been turned down.

“It’s like night and day—literally,” he says.

After the supes’ meeting, Connolly said Nelson’s director of planning, Tim Padalino, came to his house to check out the nightscape, and went to the new scenic overlook on U.S. 250, where the lights were also visible, according to Connolly.

Padalino says Zenith Quest voluntarily rewired some of the lights for more flexibility in turning them on and off, and replaced some exterior lights with those designed to eliminate glare on existing properties and rights of way.

“I was totally amazed by how quickly they responded,” says Connolly.“ [Supervisor] Tommy Harvey was very supportive. He said more people had called about the lights than about the pipeline.”

“They were a problem,” says Harvey. “[Zenith Quest] is willing to do what needs to be done.”

Zenith Quest project manager Ray Miles told C-VILLE in September the lighting was approved by the county—and there was more to come.

Since the wattage has been lowered, says Miles, “I really don’t have any comments.”

Now the parking lot lights around the massive 84,000-square-foot facility are “just a soft glow, compared to the loading dock lights shining up at eye level in every window in our house,” says Connolly. “It’s a huge difference.”

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