Planners expect Ivor development

Published 9:55 am Friday, January 18, 2013

IVOR—Southampton County planners are preparing for potential development in the Ivor area with the construction of the new U.S. Route 460.

“This road will have a huge impact as to the future development of the Ivor area,” said Michael Drake, chairman of the county’s planning commission, who represents the Newsoms District. “We want to be a little more proactive for setting the stage.”

That means providing the necessary zoning for development.

The state in December contracted with two entities to finance, design and build the new U.S. Route 460 from Suffolk to Petersburg. US 460 Mobility Partners will construct the $1.4 billion, 55-mile toll road, which is expected to have one exit in Southampton County near Ivor.

The Route 460 Funding Corporation of Virginia will handle the financing.

The four-lane divided road will run parallel to the existing U.S. 460, which will remain a free alternative. Construction is expected to begin in December 2014 with the road opening in 2018.

The planning commission during its January meeting discussed options for zoning and adjusting the county’s comprehensive plan — essentially a guide for development. No decisions were made, said Beth Lewis, community development director for Southampton County.

Lewis noted that 90 percent of the county, including the Ivor area, is zoned for agriculture and residential. She expects the highway to bring development.

“It’s a new expressway, there’s always the potential for development in that area,” Lewis said. “I would expect that manufacturing and industrial development will occur along Route 460 because of increased opportunity for better transportation.”

The Ivor area does not have public sewer and water systems, other than a water system that serves residents and businesses in the town is Drake’s understanding.

“For some users, municipal water and sewer are more important than for other users,” Lewis said, referring to a concrete and asphalt plant that will be built on the current Route 460 west of Ivor. AMAC will require neither.

County officials in October agreed to rezone 20 acres from agriculture to industrial for the $4 million to $6 million plant. AMAC will develop the facility on property located west of Sadler Road and expects to create up to 50 jobs. Construction could begin during the first or second quarter of 2013 with operations beginning in the third quarter.

AMAC chose the property because it borders Route 460 and a Norfolk Southern rail-line. The company hopes to have stone shipped in by rail and plans to have a 1,700-foot spur built.

Drake expects to see development between the new highway and the current U.S. Route 460.

“I understand the interchange is going to be on the Ivor Road,” he said. “We do believe that interchange will bring some development.”

Drake doesn’t expect commercial and light manufacturing development to be widespread, but concentrated close to the highways.

Before any zoning changes are made, public hearings would be held for input from residents, he said.