All growth bad news for someone

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 21, 2004

The march of progress is hard to stop, particularly in the juggernaut that is Suffolk.

The city is seeing it in providing services. It would like nothing better than to be able to delay residential growth until resources are in place to deal with the accompanying stress on overcrowded schools and overstressed utilities. Its hopes are pinned on a bill before the General Assembly that is likely to never see the light of day.

So it goes with residents of the Cedar Point community in Crittenden who are actively opposing a proposed commercial development along Bridge Road.


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Residents turned out in force at Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting to voice their concerns – particularly the traffic situation on U.S. Route 17. The road is a four-lane, divided highway in front of the Cedar Point entrance. However, the stretch of highway narrows into two lanes on each end of Crittenden, where motorists cross the Chuckatuck Creek and Mills E. Godwin bridges.

According to planning department staff, the applicant met the intent of the Comprehensive Plan and the criteria for the location of B1, Neighborhood Commercial and OI, Office Institutional zoning as stipulated in the Unified Development Ordinance.

&uot;Proffered conditions have been presented to ensure that future development will respect the surrounding residential neighborhoods while providing additional opportunities for services within the community.&uot;

With such a recommendation, it would have been difficult for commissioners to deny the request.

It’s hard to think of an instance where growth and development is not seen as bad news for somebody, an unfortunate fact of life – whether for the city in dealing with building schools or residents wanting to maintain a quiet, comfortable lifestyle.

Suffolk has a good plan for managing growth in the UDO. The Governor’s Pointe development complies with that plan and planners were right to recommend it for approval.

Be that as it may, residents have a point in that the developer should have been up front from the start about commercial development aspirations. Once the door was opened, there was little anybody could do to stop them.

Officials should consider amending code to prevent future such surprises.