Smithfield is at crossroads

Published 5:14 pm Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

“Savor Our Small Town Southern Charm” is Smithfield’s official tourism slogan. Tourists will feel grossly misled when they arrive to see the newly approved development behind Royal Farms, the proposed development of Mallory Scott Farms, and whatever the current owner decides to build on the former Pierceville and Little properties.

Some people may reply, “These developments are not in the historic district of the town.” But the traffic congestion created by these developments will deter visitors from choosing Smithfield as a destination or leave a bad impression on those who do come.

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The Mallory Scott development, as currently planned, would increase the population of Smithfield by at least 25% no matter how slowly it is constructed. Overcrowded roads and schools, overwhelmed emergency services and increased crime will eliminate charm from the town and the surrounding county.

The Mallory Scott developer seems unaware that the Virginia Department of Transportation is tasked with building and expanding roads to alleviate existing congestion and is forbidden to accommodate development proactively. This means traffic congestion will not be relieved until after construction is completed. He also seems unaware that the necessary connections and upgrades to existing sewer and water systems will cost the town more than $10 million, to be paid by your taxes.

We are at a crossroads. The people must choose now to preserve the character and historical significance of the town and county or lose it forever. There can be no going back.

More than 400 people currently follow a Facebook page, Conserve Mallory Farm. Check it out before it’s too late. And join us for the public hearing during the Smithfield Planning Commission meeting to be held at the Smithfield Center at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 11. Speak your mind and show your support.


Richard Gillerlain