Residents provide ideas for development near Route 460Published 11:15am Saturday, December 1, 2012
BY STEPHEN H. COWLES/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
WINDSOR—The 80-plus people attending a Thursday meeting were asked to place stickers on Windsor-area maps to show where they would prefer to see development along the new U.S. Route 460.
Windsor-area resident Samuel Duck’s chief concern for the 55-mile toll road, which will connect Suffolk with Petersburg, was not development, but noise. He hopes buffers are planned.
Windsor-area resident Joe Forrer, who has lived in the county for seven years, is worried about the highway going through his property on Blackwater Road.
The purpose of the meeting at Windsor High School was to gather input about development that could occur with the construction of the $1.4 billion highway, which is set to begin in 2014.
“There had been no real long-range planning in several years for Windsor,” said Richard Rudnicki, a planner with the Isle of Wight County Planning and Zoning Department. “We knew there were going to be changes, and we didn’t want to be behind the eight-ball.”
First to be identified was where Route 460 is now and what’s proposed. Aerial images were also taken to find places such as roads and farms, as well as businesses in the county and Windsor.
“We identified all agricultural districts,” he said, and noted the importance of the county’s agriculture heritage.
At the same time, Hampton Roads has been identified as the third largest port on the East Coast, said Rudnicki. That and the availability of the Shirley T. Holland Intermodal Park in Windsor make for a desirable way the county can capitalize on the resources.
“We want to grab a piece of that,” he said.
Residents can also provide input on their wishes through a survey on the county’s website. During the meeting, they were asked to pinpoint where they would like to see development and where they would not on table-sized maps of the town and surrounding corridor.
Rudnicki said a ballpark figure of 20 to 25 pinpointed locations. He added that the majority of people there wanted to learn more about the project from a Virginia Department of Transportation representative.
“A lot of concern is still tied to the new 460, and preserving agriculture land surrounding the town, particularly in Zuni,” said Rudnicki.
A second meeting will take place in next year and the results of the surveys will be presented.