The Villages location provides services that are beneficial to taxpayers

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2008

To the Editor:

I respect the gentlemen who wrote the letter to the editor (June 18, “Now is not the time for supervisors to do nothing” about planning concerning the Comprehensive Plan in Southampton County.

They were part of a team that worked to control excessive development in rural areas of Southampton County.

I agree with them that residential development should not be encouraged in rural areas where services are not provided.

However, if you look closer at the Comprehensive Plan, it does encourage development adjacent to towns and the City of Franklin where services are available.

The proposed Hampton Roads Development is served by four-lane divided U.S. 58 Business and located immediately adjacent to the city of Franklin. The proposed development meets the goals of the Comprehensive Plan.

The proposed development is within one mile of the Hunterdale Fire Station, a few hundred feet of city water, two miles of the YMCA, within two miles of

the major commercial corridor of the region, one mile of the district state police headquarters and a new elementary school with recreation facilities will be open this fall within walking distance of the entire subdivision.

The proposed subdivision meets most every recommended aspect of the Comprehensive Plan. The only change will be to the future land use element of the Comprehensive Plan, which addresses densities.

It would be more desirable to have higher density development congregated around Franklin and the county towns where the services are located rather than have to use taxpayer dollars to pay for buses, fire service, sheriff assistance and road improvements to spotty development adjacent to rural narrow roads located many miles from such services.

Again, the citizens of Southampton County should applaud the efforts of those who are trying to control growth in our rural areas.

We don’t want to become a sprawling megaplex.

But we should understand it is also essential to provide housing variety, retail growth and job opportunities in areas that can provide services so that our children will be encouraged to return to the county and an additional tax base will be established to address the growing demands that the state and federal governments are passing on to county governments.

Jim Bradshaw

Editor’s note: The writer is a former economic development director for Franklin and Southampton County. He currently is economic development director for Brunswick County, N.C.