Project will change the town’s unique character – The Suffolk News-Herald
For the editor:
I am writing to express some concerns regarding the proposed change of an agricultural zone to M2 Heavy Industrial on the 540 acre farm bordered by US 460 (Pruden Boulevard), Murphy’s Mill Road, Pitchkettle Road and Kings Fork Road.
If the city council votes on August 17 to allow this project to go ahead, there will be a big change for a gateway to downtown. The project to build warehouses in a free zone will bring construction jobs, but I don’t think they will for Suffolkians. I saw the Hispanic gentlemen working on the new warehouse infrastructure on Carolina Road and it reminded me of the death of two Guatemalan men at the Amazon warehouse. So, it would seem to be a common practice to bring in construction crews.
The jobs that will come will be for warehouse workers. These warehouses are not distribution centers, but duty-free storage until the contents are sold.
If this project is allowed, I think we will be waiting many years to be in the tax black because we the citizens will be the ones to bear the majority of the road infrastructure that will widen US Route 460 (eminent domain?), Pitchkettle and no, not Murphy’s Mill and not Kings Fork. The trucks will turn onto Kings Fork which is winding with ditches and two cemeteries. Yes, it would be very difficult to make it suitable for trucks. This is the route taken by school buses to reach schools in Kings Fork. This is the route we take to reach Route 10 stores, healthcare and the planned Publix.
Can economic development pursue a use of this property to improve the lives of our citizens? It could certainly be mixed use with businesses offering well-paying jobs, entertainment for families (cinema, skating, rock climbing) and amenities for travelers like hotels, food, gas stations and charging stations for electric vehicles.
I’m afraid we’re letting the city lock itself in warehouses. I really don’t understand how our planning department found their M2 designation for the suburban overlay to be a good fit. I don’t see how that was the intent of the 2035 global plan.
We need to be much more forward-looking to maintain the unique character of our city. Please contact the council before the vote on the 17th. If we, citizens, do not inform them of our objections, how will they know?