Council shifting attention to south Suffolk

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 30, 2004

Members of the Suffolk City Council seem intent on taking a second look the commercial zoning along the Carolina Road corridor.

On Wednesday, the first day of the council’s three-day retreat in Williamsburg, several council members said they believe the commercial /industrial zoning established during the creation of the Unified Development Ordinance five years ago has done nothing to help the southern Suffolk


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&uot;I get calls daily,&uot; said Whaleyville Councilman Curtis Milteer. &uot;Agriculture is beginning to sour and small farmers can’t compete any more.

&uot;People in the southern end of the city have to drive six miles to get a loaf of bread. We need to look at a plan where we can get more rooftops in that part of the city.&uot;

Mayor Bobby Ralph asked Ray Gindroz, principal with Urban Design Associates of Pittsburgh, to return to Suffolk in the near future for more in-depth planning for the Carolina Road corridor.

Milteer’s comments came on the heels of the council’s recent vote against Millstone, a subdivision proposed for the Turlington Road corridor.

Ralph and Councilwoman Linda T. Johnson, who represents northern Suffolk, the borough receiving the most growth, agreed.

In years past, Ralph said, the four-mile stretch of Carolina Highway, between downtown Suffolk and the Suffolk Executive Airport, had a strong mixed-use development of homes, conveniences stores, groceries and the like.

&uot;In the planning process of the UDO, I think we killed it,&uot; Ralph said. &uot;That corridor was to be for nothing but economic development, but during that time nothing has happen.

&uot;That corridor is a dead connector.&uot;

Johnson agreed, saying that most property owners in the rapidly growing northern n Suffolk communities hadn’t expected that part of the city to grow so fast.

&uot;I guarantee you there are people who will be more than happy for that to happen,&uot; Johnson said.

It’s also important that rooftops be built in southern Suffolk so people will be on hand to using the growing service and businesses offered up in downtown Suffolk.

&uot;They think we are missing a boat here,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;I think they are the people who are going to use the services and help downtown.

Councilman Calvin Jones of Holland, also a fairly rural borough, said most people living in Whaleyville and Holland come out for the peace and quiet.

&uot;A lot of people have come in because it’s rural and they like it that way.&uot;