IW approves hospital plan for access to Benn’s Church Boulevard

Published 2:00 pm Thursday, June 22, 2023

Isle of Wight County supervisors on June 15 unanimously approved Riverside Smithfield Hospital’s request to change a condition of its zoning.

When the supervisors rezoned the 29.5-acre agricultural site in 2008 for commercial uses, they had required Riverside Health Systems to construct a north access road leading to Benn’s Church Boulevard, also known as Route 10.

A revised proffer statement states Riverside will, instead of building its own road, use Benn’s Grant Boulevard to access Route 10, but will grant the county right-of-way access 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 acres road at a later date.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Benns Grant Boulevard serves the adjacent 776-home Benn’s Grant residential development. The 50-bed hospital is scheduled to break ground July 26.

Prior to the unanimous vote of approval, the supervisors voted to waive holding a public hearing on Riverside’s request. State law allows local governments to dispense with a public hearing when a requested change in proffers does not affect “use or density.”

The supervisors previously voted in April to allow the hospital 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 Benn’s Church Boulevard.  

As of May, Riverside anticipated completing construction by December 2025 and opening by early 2026.