Letter -Growth is out of control

Published 7:56 pm Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

I just read about the newly proposed development behind Tractor Supply, and I said to myself, “Enough!” As a result, I started doing some down-and-dirty calculations. Here goes:

Based upon an average household size of 2.57 people in Virginia (https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/VA/INC110221), this new development — when combined with the other pending developments in Smithfield — will equate to about 3,900 new residents (assuming 1,500 new housing units in the approved and pending developments) within the next few years. 

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In 2021, the population of Smithfield was 8,693 (https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/popest/tables/). If we end up adding 3,900 new people to that figure, we will see Smithfield’s population swell to about 12,600 residents. That’s an increase of approximately 40% in less than a decade. 

Assuming the above, we will need 40% more police officers, firefighters, town employees, classroom space, infrastructure (i.e. sewer, water, etc.) and other related private and public services to address this explosive growth. And don’t even get me started on road capacity or lack thereof!

Having spent my professional career as a planner, I can tell you that this is all too much, too soon. Unfortunately, I don’t see any movement within the town government to mitigate or seriously address the issues related to this massive growth. I guess their solution will be to just tell us to get ready to open our wallets, and enjoy the new “Taxfield”!


Mark S. Calhoon