Carolina Road could grow soon

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 21, 2005

Imagine as many as 3,000 new homes on and around Carolina Road.

Being able to zip along a back road linking White Marsh and Hosier roads.

Shopping at new stores on Carolina Road.

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On Wednesday, Ray Gindroz, principal with Urban Design Associates of Pitts-burgh, shared these visions for the future of the Car-olina Road corridor with the Suffolk City Council. His presentation was made during the council’s work session at the Hilton Garden Inn and Suffolk Conference Center.

Key components of UDA’s proposal, which council members will be reviewing over the next month, include:

-Extending an east-west connection from U.S. Route 13 to White Marsh and Hosier roads.

&uot;The lack of that east-west road has been a serious problem for existing east Suffolk neighborhoods for years,&uot; said Gindroz.

The city should also develop design criteria that would encourage the development of interconnected streets along the Carolina Road corridor.

-Revising the city’s Compre-hensive Plan to add as many as 3,000 homes on Carolina, White Marsh and Hosier roads.

Gindroz recommended the city begin extending sewer and water infrastructure along parts of White Marsh and Hosier roads.

-The city should also limit residential development and enhance capital improvements around the Suffolk Executive Airport, paving the way for an emerging air taxi industry.

The area around the airport would be better suited for single-story commercial development, Gindroz said. Also, the city should work to keep a second runway, which the state has discussed closing, operational.

The city’s small airport is in a unique position to capitalize on air-taxi service over the next five years, Gindroz said.

&uot;You should view this as an ace in the hole for economic development,&uot; he said. &uot;You should be prepared to grab a brass ring when it comes along…and clearly this is one.&uot;

Development in southern Suffolk should be tempered with preservation of the area’s rural character, Gindroz said.

&uot;Maintaining the character of the area is vital,&uot; said Gindroz, noting the importance of preserving the area’s fields, farms and woodlands.

Research has shown that communities that have capitalized on their original character tend to have more long-term value, he added.

&uot;That’s what makes great cities…when you have a rich collection of different environments,&uot; Gindroz said.

Despite the growth proposed for Carolina Road corridor, Councilman Curtis Milteer, who represents the Whaleyville borough, says it’s not enough.

&uot;We need to go further south,&uot; said Milteer. &uot;I think this plan cuts the southern part of the city short. Citizens in that area of the city deserve an opportunity for further development too.

&uot;We’ve spent millions safeguarding our investment in downtown Suffolk,&uot; he said. &uot;We need the rooftops in southern Suffolk.&uot;