To the Editor:
I attended the Chesterfield Cabinet informational breakfast on megasites on March 22 at John Tyler Community College. This was sponsored by ChamberRVA and I paid a fee to attend.
I was very disappointed to learn that this was a pep rally in support of the megasite project. For an “informational” meeting, I only heard the pro’s and not the con’s, so it was very one-sided.
This breakfast was meant to show unity between the county, the EDA and VEDP, and their intent tomove forward with the Matoaca Megasite project, despite great opposition from their residents. I attend many chamber events and do not appreciate paying to hear a sales pitch, no matter who it isfrom.
The disappointment for me was that the sponsors did not allow “Q & A” time as they had promised in the presentation itself. I had prepared questions for the speakers, but was not afforded the professional courtesy of being able to ask them. Here were some of my questions:
1. Does the current county ordinance forbid allowing I-3 development in a residential area? The correct answer would be yes. Given that, wouldn’t allowing I-3 development in a heavy residential neighborhood be in violation of the county’s own ordinances?
2. Were the mega site examples touted as models of success in Alabama and South Carolina in residential neighborhoods? The correct answer would be no. The examples presented were to create an illusion that was not an appropriate comparison for the project proposed.
3. At the beginning of this meeting County Administrator Joe Casey emphasized the importance of “quality of life” in the county and how our kids would benefit from being employed at such a site and remain in the county, after they graduated college. Where is the concern about the quality of life of the long-term, taxpaying residents of the county?
4. They repeatedly cited the thousands of jobs that would be coming and used the term generically. The county was trying to make an emotional plea for our kids graduating from college to work at places like the envisioned megasite. Amazon is in the Meadowville Megasite and touted by the EDA as one of their successes. How many kids want to graduate college and work for $10-$12/hr at Amazon? If you don’t know who will purchase the property, how can you make such promises about these jobs?
This ChamberRVA meeting was certainly a “baseball and apple pie presentation” making it look as if all the promises they were making will come true. The fact is there is no commitment for any kind of business for this proposed site; therefore you cannot make promises about the quality and number of the jobs, the impact on the environment and transportation, nor the impact on housing in the region. It’s just a wish list.