He opposes apartment complex

Published 4:52 pm Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Open Letter to the Suffolk City Planning Committee and Governing Council

To the editor:

I am writing in opposition to the proposed rezoning for Nansemond Parkway Apartment Complex.

I live in the Suffolk Meadows neighborhood adjoining this property and have serious concerns regarding the impact 204 additional high-density residential units would have on the traffic along the Nansemond Parkway/Shoulders Hill corridor and the safety and well being of travelers and residents. As I am sure you are aware, the traffic in this area continues to grow at an exponential rate with the explosive growth in Northern Suffolk. This has already significantly hindered safe and efficient passage through this area.

Add into that equation the trains that frequently intersect Nansemond Parkway several times a day and night at this exact point. When this occurs, many harried drivers cut through the Suffolk Meadows neighborhood, far exceeding the posted speed limits, putting themselves and others at danger. Recently, a motorcyclist was killed at this corner. During the lengthy train stoppages, many drivers leave all common sense behind and travel a quarter-mile or more on the wrong side of the road (this occurs on Shoulders Hill also) on a two-lane road with ditches on both sides, putting everyone at further risk.

Now add in the soon-to-be-opened Amazon warehouse right across the street from the proposed apartment complex and the already approved Tractor Supply, convenience store/gas station, and fast food restaurant, and we are looking at a potentially disastrous situation.

Traffic issues on Route 58 have been occurring at increasingly alarming rates. The last three weeks alone have seen traffic backed up numerous evenings for hours from the Chesapeake border to at least Wilroy Road. Residents of Suffolk Meadows and surrounding neighborhoods can’t even exit their respective streets when this occurs. I cringe to think what would occur if there was a life-threatening emergency at this time.

The Suffolk Police Department does not have the manpower resources to effectively police these situations as they currently stand, no less with additional high density residential units being built. Add in the potential for increased noise, litter and crime and the need for additional taxpayer-supported services and I do not see this as being a benefit for anyone but the developer.

I do not oppose the current owner of this property selling it, but I do oppose rezoning it and approving the building of high-density residential units. As an alternative, I am asking the city of Suffolk to work with the local residents to approach Amazon and the other business owners in the Northgate Industrial Complex to purchase the property and turn it over to the city to be subdivided into small community gardens for all residents of Suffolk to be able to plant vegetables and gardens on or possibly a community park with tennis/volleyball/basketball courts. These types of options at least add a benefit to the community and not add to the already stressed infrastructure. I would think that Amazon, Norfolk Southern Railroad, CSX Railroad, and other commercial neighbors would at least be open to these types of discussions and, if done correctly, would not add one penny to Suffolk’s operating budget.

I ask you to please do the right thing for the people of Suffolk and deny this rezoning proposal and the building application.

Thomas Rein

Suffolk