IW supervisors delay vote on The Crossings expansion

Published 5:03 pm Friday, May 20, 2022

Isle of Wight County supervisors have postponed voting on a proposed expansion of The Crossings development.

Construction of a residential phase, which will include up to 240 condominium units, broke ground last year at Carrollton and Brewer’s Neck boulevards, and an adjacent commercial phase has already been approved.

The developers now propose to expand the project behind the two approved phases into a 12.24-acre parcel, where they plan to build 52 single-family detached houses.

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According to the submitted plans, the expansion would still utilize a condominium ownership structure, and would include a dog park, playground and sidewalks that would connect to the proposed trail system in the two approved phases. The expansion would include access roads off Channell Way and a new road serving the approved phases, which will be named Spadea Way. It would also eventually connect to a future phase of the South Harbor age-restricted community being built behind the 7-Eleven convenience store on Carrollton Boulevard.

The 52 homes are projected to generate an additional 491 average daily vehicle trips, according to a traffic impact analysis. According to Joshua Bateman, principal planner for the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning, the expansion would have a “minimal” impact on Carrollton Boulevard’s existing congestion, which he acknowledged has been worsening.

“I understand that we’re dealing with the volume issue down the road, but from a pure safety standpoint, getting more folks to a signalized intersection … is clearly the safer option,” said Whitt Harper, the developers’ attorney, noting the expansion would connect several roadways, facilitating traffic flow to the signalized Spadea Way-Carrollton Boulevard intersection.

The supervisors held a May 19 public hearing on the proposed expansion that drew four speakers.

Wendy Thompson asked the supervisors to look into the expansion’s potential impact on crime rates, which she contends have been increasing in the Carrollton area.

“Squeezing 52 units on a measly 12 acres is absurd,” added Sharon Hart.

Hart asked that the county pass along more of the infrastructure costs associated with the expansion to the developer, contending that is allowable under state law for counties reporting population growth of 5% or more between censuses. Isle of Wight grew roughly 9.5% between 2010 and 2020, according to 2020 Census data.

Thomas Finderson and Richard Castle raised safety concerns regarding the design’s ability to allow children to safely cross the road, and facilitate school bus traffic.

“It’s a quality-of-life and a safety issue,” Finderson said.

According to County Attorney Bobby Jones, state law does indeed allow Isle of Wight to require proffers, but improvements to county roads, schools and public safety must be “need-based” for Isle of Wight to pass those costs onto the developer.

The development is projected to add roughly 20 school-age children to the county. According to a community impact statement by Virginia beach-based engineering firm MSA P.C., Carrollton Elementary School, Smithfield Middle School and Smithfield High School “have the capacity to accommodate this increase.”

“In this particular case, based on the studies that were done, the developer has addressed the impacts that we can apply proffers to,” Jones said.

The supervisors voted to table voting on the matter after several asked for more information. Supervisor Joel Acree, in particular, asked Harper to return with details on the width of the expansion’s roads and whether they would be wide enough to accommodate a ladder truck should a fire break out in one of the 52 units.