IOW pitches 2040 plan in town hall

Published 9:44 pm Thursday, January 22, 2015

Members of the Isle of Wight County government again made their pitch about what can be done to meet what County Administrator Anne Seward called “financial challenges.” The case for increasing development in the northeastern end of the county was made on Wednesday evening to about 38 residents from the southern side attending a town hall meeting in Walters.

“We need strategies to pull ourselves through,” Seward also said before Richard Rudnicki of Planning and Zoning gave a presentation on Inventive Solutions for a Liveable Environment (ISLE) 2040.

“We have to spur growth,” he said. “The engine driving that is in the northern section.”

It’s there where businesses such as IHOP, Starbucks, Applebee’s and Buffalo Wild Wings would be likely to settle because the population, which he said is 62 percent of the county, could support what they offer.

Asked about developing Route 10 going toward Suffolk, Seward answered, “You take what you have. Route 10 doesn’t have the infrastructure” for immediate development.

The benefit from focused growth could mean reducing the financial burden of taxes.

But that promise didn’t wash with several in the audience.

“Why should I support that [plan],” asked one woman who did not identify herself. “We’re carrying the load.”

One man said, “Nobody’s doing nothing.”

However, another possible place for development is in Windsor and the Shirley T. Holland intermodal Park. But much hinges on the fate of the new proposed Route 460 project.

Beverly Walkup, director of Planning and Zoning for the County, showed a map of where the road would go. At this time, a bypass would go north of Windsor, but with no guarantee of even an interchange. However, many people would like the road to go south in order to accommodate existing and potential industries in and around the park.

Rex Alphin, the supervisors’ chairman, said the reason for going north from south is the reduced impact on wetlands.

Asked about a timeline on the road, Walkup estimated that following approval, there could be two years needed to finalize design, and another two to three years to build.

Windsor supervisor Delores “Dee Dee” Darden called the new proposal, “A real shock to us. It isn’t what we want, but we’re hoping to make the best of it.”