IW seeks input for 2018 Comprehensive Plan

Published 11:04 am Monday, June 5, 2017

Isle of Wight County has begun the process of soliciting public opinion for its 2018 Comprehensive Plan. According to Amy Ring, the county’s director of planning and zoning, a survey is now live at a special website, iwus.net/plan, which the county will use throughout the Comprehensive Plan process to keep the public informed.

The first survey available at the site asks residents several open-ended questions: growth and development in Isle of Wight should…, the best thing about Isle of Wight is…, the worst thing about Isle of Wight is…, in the future, I want Isle of Wight to…, and what comes to mind when you look at a map of Isle of Wight? Which locations are important, need to be preserved, need to be changed? The site will include future surveys, the current status of the plan, meeting dates, and any draft documents.

Paper surveys will also be available at the Windsor, Smithfield and Carrollton libraries, the Otelia J. Rainey Community Center in Carrsville, Nike Park and at Smithfield’s and Windsor’s town halls.

The Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission members each took the first survey themselves during a joint work session held on Thursday evening by splitting into groups of five and rotating between stations for each question. Some of the comments made for the first question, “growth and development in Isle of Wight should…,” included “protect the rural environment,” “have more housing and manufacturing in the southern part of the county,” “maintain an excellent educational system,” “have a transportation network that keeps pace with growth,” and “have transportation for the elderly.”

Responses to what is best about Isle of Wight included that it is a rural county, that it has waterfront property, that it is a farming community, it has a low crime rate and has many small businesses. Responses to what is worst about Isle of Wight included the traffic on the northern end of the county, a lack of jobs, a lack of broadband and a difference in the services available at different parts of the county.

Comments made for the question, “In the future, I want Isle of Wight to…,” included having jobs for job seekers, having a southern Route 460 bypass, be rural, and maintain as much green space as possible. Comments made on the map of Isle of Wight County included that it should limit sprawl, improve Route 17 to reduce flooding potential and prepare for increased traffic in Carrollton.

“We plan on having a series of surveys throughout the entire process,” Ring said.

The Board of Supervisors will also be submitting recommendations for people to serve on a Comprehensive Plan Task Force within the next 30 days. Public forums hosted by the county’s Planning and Zoning Department will also be held on June 22 at Carrsville Elementary; June 29 at Windsor High School; July 13 at Smithfield High School; July 26 at First Gravel Hill Baptist Church; and July 27 at Carrollton Elementary to further solicit public comments. There will be two forums held on each day, one from 3:30 to 5 p.m. and one from 6:30 to 8 p.m.