Mallory Scott decision July 6?

Published 6:40 pm Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Smithfield’s Town Council members aren’t saying ahead of time if or how they plan to vote on the proposed 812-home Mallory Scott development come July 6.

“I’m undecided right now,” said Vice Mayor Michael Smith.

Mayor Carter Williams and Councilwomen Renee Rountree and Valerie Butler all declined to comment on the matter, and Councilman Wayne Hall said he’s not leaning one way or the other at the moment.

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“I’m still gaining information and reviewing pros and cons to both sides,” Hall said.

Councilwoman Beth Haywood and Councilman Randy Pack did not respond to requests for comment by press time, though Pack previously voted in his capacity as the Town Council’s liaison to the Planning Commission to recommend approval of the project when it went before the advisory body June 8.

The commissioners voted 6-1 that evening in favor of granting the eight approvals Virginia Beach-based developer Napolitano Homes requested. These include a rezoning request, amendments to the town’s comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance, three special use permits and two waivers from provisions of the zoning ordinance.

But the Town Council has the final say.

Napolitano Homes had previously requested to build 1,106 homes on the 500-plus acre site along Battery Park and Nike Park roads, but scaled the proposal down to 812 homes following a public hearing last October when opponents of the project argued the development’s large size would negatively impact Smithfield’s small-town character and burden Isle of Wight County’s roads and schools. A May 11 public hearing on the scaled-down proposal drew more than 20 speakers, all in opposition — many of whom reiterated the same concerns.

A third and final public hearing will be held at the Town Council level at 6:30 p.m. in The Smithfield Center’s Town Council chamber. Speakers will be limited to five minutes per person, and there will be two separate signup sheets: one for regular citizens’ time and the other for the public hearing. According to Town Manager Michael Stallings, whether a vote is taken after the public hearing or the matter gets tabled to a future meeting will be at the discretion of the Town Council.