Time for citizens to be heard

Published 5:13 pm Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Last Saturday, at the Smithfield Farmers Market, a group of neighbors, under the motto “No Rezoning Conserve Mallory Farm,” presented a popular initiative against the proposed mega-development at Mallory Scott Farm.

They informed concerned citizens about the project and the impacts to our community. They collected hundreds of signatures to the ongoing petition (which already has more than 1,400) and delivered yard signs to the neighbors who wanted them.

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These citizens informed the public that the developer wants to build more than 800 homes (more than Wellington Estates and Gatling Pointe combined) and that there would be noticeable impact on Smithfield’s infrastructure and surrounding communities such as Battery Park, Rescue and Carrollton. Old and narrow roads, old bridges, increasing traffic, overcrowded schools, insufficient police and EMS are the common points now. Unfortunately, all of these infrastructures and services only would be helped with our taxes, which would be increased.

Additionally, the environmental impact (loss of green and wooded areas, pressure to the marshes and creeks, and threat to fauna such as bald eagles’ nests) would be the most evident impacts. This is considerable given that the town and county are one of the last rural and natural areas in all Hampton Roads.

Developers’ pressure over our county is growing more evident each day (there are more than 15 projects and more than 5,000 homes proposed). Multiple projects are under construction (Route 17 and Brewer’s Neck), some are under review and others, even though were proposed a long time ago, look that they want to wake up. Altogether these developments could threaten and irreversibly shape our community.

Therefore, I would call to all the neighbors who love this town and county to attend the upcoming Smithfield Planning Commission meeting (May 11, 6:30 p.m.) at the Smithfield Center and express their opinion and have their voices heard. The time is now or never!


Toni Viudez