Letter – Don’t let  growth ruin IW

Published 5:02 pm Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

When you think of what is special about our county, what is on your list?

I love the open spaces, the safety, the livability and the relaxed pace of life. I can walk safely at night, I do not fear my car being stolen, our kids are educated in fine schools and I can see a bald eagle fly past my window.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

In the not too distant past our local government agreed. A comprehensive plan was enacted with preservation of our space as a priority: “The County of Isle of Wight, Virginia, finds that the conservation and protection of its agricultural and forestal lands … vital to the public interest …” (Isle of Wight zoning code Sec D-1)

In fact, the zoning ordinances are filled with similar language: preservation, quality of life, maintaining property values, avoiding density. And yet, recently, I have been reading about several large housing developments being considered in our county. These are hundreds and hundreds of new residents, their cars, their trash, their emergencies and their needs for support.

If we allow this huge population surge, we will have increased crime, increased traffic, overextended public services and an overall reduction in our quality of life. 

Our open spaces are being sold to the likes of Ryan Homes. Isle of Wight is surrounded by communities that have allowed density to creep in and as a result they have a far lesser quality of life. I moved here because I did not want the life that Newport News or Portsmouth offers.

If you want to preserve what is special about Isle of Wight County, I urge you to reach out to our supervisors, many of whom will be up for reelection next month. Let them hear from you. Please tell them: “Our quality of life is not for sale. We are counting on them to please protect us all from the blight that too much growth will bring.”

Their votes on this issue are our only hope of preserving what we all value.

To help you reach your supervisors, here are the addresses: William McCarty  wmccarty@isleofwightus.net, Joel Acree jacree@isleofwithus.net, Rudolph Jefferson rudolph.jefferson@isleofwightus.net, Dick Grice rgrice@isleofwightus.net, Don Rosie drosie@isleofwightus.net.


Sarah Robinson