Overcrowding in Suffolk

Published 12:26 pm Tuesday, March 3, 2020

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To the editor:

As a lifetime citizen of Suffolk, I would like to address my growing concern of overdevelopment in our city. Suffolk is known for many things, including its farming of peanuts, nearby Lipton Tea distribution, and its close location to the Dismal Swamp.

Being raised in a family of farmers, I have concerns that our city’s agriculture is being scarified in order for our city to bring in revenue. Farmland has become neighborhoods or housing developments. The issue is farmers are forced out of their land for the city to put houses on. There have been many farmlands taken to build poorly built houses on what once was our city’s agricultural sites. Land is necessary for crops that brings farmers’ income in. Land is being used to grow crops for your plate on the dinner table, used to grow cotton to make the clothes on your body or for supplies you use, and much more.

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In addition to farmland depleting, new homes added to Suffolk are causing many problems. Our schools are overcrowded. Many of our students are being educated in mobile units or older school buildings that need renovations. Crowded schools lead to less time students have to grow their education, because there are so many students in one classroom. This brings many issues that could be discussed about teachers themselves and how they struggle to provide every child with a five-star education and prepare students for their end-of-the-year SOLs.

Lastly, the roads in Suffolk are in pitiful condition. More homes in Suffolk build the population, which means more vehicles traveling on the roads. The roads in Suffolk are already in bad condition, but now the adding traffic will make it worse. Leaving the house to go to town feels like a trip through Norfolk or Virginia Beach. Suffolk does not have the room for more people. Why build up Suffolk and its beautiful land? Let’s focus on maintaining our beautiful agricultural city and ensuring we can maintain the schools and highways for the citizens we currently have prior to developing more in our city.

Ashlyn Pippin