Record turnout

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 2, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

A decrease in personal property taxes.

Less rental housing near the Suffolk Executive Airport.


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More retail businesses and jobs, with continued focus on keeping the community’s rural flavor.

More street lights and road stripes on the city’s rural roadways.

That’s just the beginning of the Holland and Whaleyville communities’ wish list for the city’s future, offered up Tuesday by residents attending the city’s forum on 2018 Comprehensive Plan revisions.

A standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 people jammed the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center’s auditorium, a first-time show of this magnitude at the comprehensive plan meetings.

The city has sponsored a series of meetings in recent weeks to educate residents on the comprehensive plan review. The final meeting is slated for 7 p.m. today at King’s Fork Middle Fork, 350 Kings Fork Road.

City planners and URS Corp., a Virginia Beach company working on the comprehensive plan update, spent a few minutes reviewing long-term growth projection for the city. The crowd then broke down into small groups, where residents shared their likes, dislikes, and opportunities for the city.

&uot;I moved out here in 1970 because it was quiet at one time, not overcrowded,&uot; said David Tooley of Longstreet Lane. &uot;But it is getting that way bad.&uot;

Residents called for the city to find a better balance between progress and the community’s agricultural roots.

&uot;My father farmed out here all his life,&uot; said Douglas Wiggins of Holland. &uot;I’m very concerned about the loss of agriculture to the area. I think we are losing more of it all the time now.&uot;

Ronnie Yopp, who lives on Cornith Chapel Road, agreed.

&uot;We need to make sure keep some of the natural woods so we can have hunting and fishing,&uot; he said.

Several residents, including Whaleyville farmer J.R. Collins, said they want to see more local job opportunities and more retail and recreation facilities in the communities.

&uot;We used to have six businesses in Whaleyville,&uot; he said. &uot;Now all we have is a gas station. You have to drive 15 miles just to get a hamburger on Sunday.&uot;

The city needs a better balance of low-rent housing throughout the city, Collins added. Right now, too much of it seems to be in the airport area.

With so much of the city’s development in the northern Suffolk and Godwin Boulevard areas, residents in the southern part of the city are concerned that their area is not receiving its share of services and capital projects.

&uot;That doesn’t mean we don’t want to build schools,&uot; Collins said. &uot;It looks like we wait 20 years to get services from the city out here. Everything is going north while our kids have (lengthy) bus rides to get to school.&uot;

Jean Wiggins agreed.

&uot;I’ve always felt like we had taxation without representation,&uot; she said. &uot;We are in the country and we are treated like we are in the country.

&uot;Now is the time to do something about it.&uot;