Don’t ‘butcher beautiful town’

Published 4:48 pm Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

This letter is in reference to the proposed development of Mallory Scott Farms.

Isle of Wight and Smithfield tout the rural, small-town environment. This is a cornerstone to the tourism campaigns. However, the development of Mallory Scott Farms, and other planned large developments, are counter to the rural, small-town atmosphere.

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The residents of Smithfield demand we protect our small town. This atmosphere brings in the tourist dollars that keep our downtown alive. If you develop, that small-town charm disappears and we become another soulless part of South Hampton Roads.

Additionally, the claim from the local government that the development will increase tax revenue is a shortsighted money grab. Anyone with basic government and/or budget experience will understand tax revenue is multiple years/decades out and infrastructure needs to be in place to support these developments — infrastructure that Isle of Wight does not have! It is foolish to plan on a hope that taxes from the development will fund the infrastructure.

Instead of ruining our town with another cookie-cutter development, think outside the box and challenge yourselves with ways to improve funding without butchering our beautiful town. It is time for our local government to actually listen to the collective voice of its constituency.

For citizens who care about our small town, attend the Planning Commission meeting on June 8 at 6:30 p.m. at the Smithfield Center and let your voices be heard!

Corey Berrien