Two options remain for county’s future land use

Published 11:02 am Saturday, October 6, 2018

Isle of Wight County’s planning and zoning staff, on Tuesday, asked Windsor residents to choose between two future land use scenarios during a third series of public forums on the county’s 2018 Comprehensive Plan.

Of the original eight land use scenarios presented to county residents during the previous series of public forums in February, the two remaining are both most similar to the environmental option, which called for an increase in lands identified as resource conservation. The two remaining options also both call for a reduction in areas within the Camptown Development Service District identified as planned industrial.

Both scenarios also call for a higher housing density in the Windsor Development Service District, particularly in areas north and east of Windsor’s incorporated borders. The differences between the two scenarios center on the amount of land designated as business and employment, whether or not urban residential should be permitted, and whether or not the land surrounding the town’s western border should be designated as suburban estate.

Urban residential is defined as single-family attached or detached homes and multi-family residential units at up to 6.5 units per acre, with parks, environmental preservation areas and public/semi-public uses also permitted. Suburban estate is defined as single family residences at up to one unit per acre, with parks and environmental preservation.

Both scenarios are projected to increase the amount of traffic on Route 460. Scenario One, which specifies less business and employment areas and no urban residential areas along East Route 460, and includes the suburban estate to the west, is projected to result in an increase of 2,687 cars traveling between Windsor and Suffolk each day. Scenario Two, which calls for urban residential, more business and employment and leaving the land on the town’s western border as rural agricultural conservation, is projected to result in an increase of 4,402 cars traveling between Windsor and Suffolk each day. However, Scenario Two is also projected to decrease the traffic volume from Route 460’s intersection with Church Street to the town’s western border by 3,175 cars.

Both scenarios are also projected to impact traffic on Route 258. Scenario One is projected to increase the traffic volume between the southern border of Windsor and Route 258’s intersection with Route 460 by approximately 4,132 cars, while in scenario two, this number increases to 5,741 cars.

Scenario Two is also projected to increase the amount of traffic on Buckhorn Drive by 1,414 cars daily, while in Scenario One, this figure only increases by 661 cars.

Richard Rudnicki, the county’s assistant director of planning and zoning, said that when factoring in the roughly 18,000 cars that already travel through the county on Route 460 each day, Scenario One amounts to an increase of around 15 percent, while Scenario Two amounts to around 22 percent.

As for projected impacts to the county’s public schools, Planning and Zoning Director Amy Ring said that Isle of Wight County Schools has been made aware of the potential impacts of both scenarios and that the division is currently working on its own long-range plan. Both scenarios, she said, are in line with what the schools have projected in terms of student population growth.

No changes are proposed for any of the county’s unincorporated villages, except for Rushmere. Here, the county has proposed increasing the number of areas designated as business and employment, suburban residential, suburban estate and conservation development.

County residents will also have the opportunity to weigh in on a proposal to expand the borders of the Camptown Development Service District along Carrsville Highway. The county has created an online survey for residents to choose between Scenario One and Two for each area of the county, available at Residents have until Friday, Oct. 12, to complete the survey.