Letter – Growth is necessary

Published 5:27 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Editor, The Smithfield Times: 

This county has long prided itself on being the friendly, welcoming county full of smiling faces.  

Various local Facebook groups are full of some of the most intolerant, hateful comments from residents.  They love the tourists to come spend money, but God forbid if they suddenly decide to make the same decision you made years ago: to live here.

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The friendly faces become twisted vipers of hate, hissing angrily at any new neighbors.

It reminds me of other Hampton Roads cities, when residents even sat at the city line with weapons, determined to keep “outsiders” out. 

Regardless of opinions, growth is necessary to our future. Plenty of other small towns out there have ceased to exist, led to death by a level of apathy and despair that drove once-popular spots to be full of ruins, dilapidated buildings full of roaches, no longer found on roadmaps.  

People choose to live in Isle of Wight because they love it just as much as you do — and made the exact same decision that this be their home just like you did years ago. These new neighbors share the same desires, love the county just as you do and despite this, you greet them with anger and disgust, however surreptitiously. 

Isle of Wight is 314 square miles of beauty, a bit smaller than Chesapeake and Suffolk yet geographically larger than Virginia Beach. We’re a county with so much unused land — more than enough for everyone to enjoy. Certainly we can all enjoy our slice of quiet country living relatively crime-free and be able to get along.  

If you’ve moved here in recent years, you knew development was already in progress; Eagle Harbor was approved in 1974. If all you complain about is the congestion, it’s a small inconvenience of 30 minutes to have the house in a quiet neighborhood that 85% of Hampton Roads will never be able to enjoy like you do.  

But if it’s really that big of a deal, then go be happy in a place that will make you happy.  Of course, I’m hoping you choose to stay with us who aren’t angry that you moved here years ago.  We welcomed you then, and think you should welcome your new neighbors likewise.  

It’s through friendship that we keep a strong community, but it’s by animosity that we start on a destructive path with no end.


David R. Lyons


Carrollton business owner