Riverside seeks zoning amendment ahead of hospital’s July 26 groundbreaking

Published 12:44 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Riverside Smithfield Hospital has applied to change a condition of its zoning ahead of a scheduled July 26 groundbreaking.

Isle of Wight County supervisors, who rezoned the 29.5-acre agricultural site in 2008 for commercial uses, had required Riverside Health Systems to construct a north access road leading to Benns Church Boulevard, also known as Route 10.

A revised proffer statement states Riverside will, instead of building its own road, use Benns Grant Boulevard to access Route 10, but will grant the county right-of-way along the northern property line to allow Isle of Wight, the Virginia Department of Transportation or a third party to construct the originally proffered north access road at a later date.

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Benns Grant Boulevard currently serves the adjacent 776-home Benns Grant residential development.

The requested proffer change is scheduled to go to the supervisors for a decision on June 15.

In May, Riverside submitted an initial building plan to the county showing the interior layout of the proposed three-story, 50-bed hospital. County supervisors had previously voted in April to approve Riverside’s request to exceed Isle of Wight’s maximum 50-foot height restriction for commercial buildings, and build a larger-than-allowed roadside sign.

The hospital is proposed to be 67 feet tall with a roadside sign just under 11 feet tall to allow for greater visibility from the four-lane Benns Church Boulevard.

According to a May 17 Riverside news release, construction of the hospital should be complete by December 2025. Riverside will begin recruiting employees for the new facility in 2024 and is eyeing an opening date in early 2026.