Chance to do right thing

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Southampton County Planning Commission’s primary piece of business for its 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, meeting will be to hear a rezoning and conditional-use permit request for 20 acres west of Ivor.

Virginia-based AMAC is interested in buying the property for an asphalt plant and distribution facility for construction aggregates.

The property is bound on the north by Route 460 and on the south by the Norfolk Southern rail line. On either end is farmland. There are no homes within a reasonable distance, the nearest one being across the highway.

The property is zoned for agriculture, but the county’s comprehensive plan for the future calls for it to be rezoned as industrial.

It is a perfect business for the location because it requires little water or sewage and will have no negative environmental impact. AMAC’s only main requirement is a rail line and access to a main highway, which this property provides.

In economic development terms, it’s a perfect match. In layman’s terms, it’s a no-brainer.

County planners will do a huge favor by unanimously voting to recommend the rezoning and conditional-use permit. The Board of Supervisors would do well to follow suit during its 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, meeting.

The county’s reputation for being less than business friendly has been well earned in recent years. This is an easy opportunity to start changing that perception.