Acree, Rosie favoring hearing

Published 6:56 pm Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Their constituents close to proposed center

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

Windsor and Carrsville district Supervisors Joel Acree and Don Rosie think a public hearing is the right thing to do for the proposed youth correctional center currently slated for phase III of Isle of Wight County’s intermodal park. 

Acree strongly recommends holding public hearings because the county will receive input it may otherwise not have considered.  

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Rosie echoes those thoughts. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

 The proposed correctional center would likely be located in or near Acree’s and Rosie’s districts. Funding for locating the facility in Isle of Wight County has been approved in the state budget. 

When the plans were initially made public, county officials stated that a public hearing was not required, but said they did plan to host informational sessions.

A public hearing is not necessary because the land being offered is owned by the Isle of Wight Economic Development Authority and state facilities on publicly owned land are exempt from local zoning ordinance requirements based on state law, according to Isle of Wight County Planning and Zoning Director Amy Ring. 

That does not mean the Board of Supervisors cannot hold a public hearing if it wants to. 

Board Chairman Rudolph Jefferson said he favors informational sessions because they allow for one-on-one interaction, plus the county saves on the cost of advertising for a public hearing. 

The one-on-one setting will allow for conflicts to be resolved that have arisen due to miscommunication, said Jefferson.

Projects initiated by the private sector typically undergo a series of public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors as they makes its way through the process. 

In the past, a good deal of public opposition has appeared to generate negative decisions by the Board of Supervisors, while the opposite reaction is often achieved when there is a lack of public input on a project. 

However, the state is required to notify the locality prior to construction to make sure it is compatible with local zoning ordinances on projects costing more than $500,000, said Ring. 

The proposed 60-bed youth correctional center is considered a new model in Virginia, according to state officials. Being located in Isle of Wight County would allow for easier family access to the youth housed there, and the facility will offer educational and vocational opportunities, as well as provide medical and therapeutic treatment.   {/mprestriction}