To the Editor: I am strongly opposed to the Courthouse Landing Project. My immediate concern is the the virtual planning meeting set for May...

To the Editor:

I am strongly opposed to the Courthouse Landing Project. My immediate concern is the the virtual planning meeting set for May 19. There will be no public comments at the meeting, so the county has set up Portal to leave comments online. 

I’m concerned because the previous virtual meeting comments had an unusual amount of comments from the Matoaca District in favor of the project.

I’m also concerned about the data obtained from Gatesgreen Drive corridor has 2,750 vehicles per day currently and there will be an additional 2,700 vehicles per day with completion of the project.

This dead end road has three schools, CCPS offices for Pupil Transportation (Main Office, Area 1 and Area 5), their Bus Fleet Garage, Training Office and ESOL/Prekindergarten Welcome Center on the west side of Courthouse Road.

The Chesterfield County Courts Complex, Courts Complex Road, Government Center Parkway, Public Works Road, Krause Road, and Chesterfield County Fairgrounds are on the east side of Courthouse Road. These roads provide access to the Courts building, Lucy Corr Nursing Home, Spring Arbor Senior Living, County Animal Control, and more.

The project is expected to generate 21,000 average daily trips, requiring three left turn lanes from Iron Bridge Road eastbound onto Courthouse Road southbound and three right turn lanes from Courthouse Road northbound onto Iron Bridge Road westbound.

The VDOT Traffic Impact Data obtained in the field indicates that the existing

Gatesgreen Drive corridor has 2,750 vehicles per day using this roadway. It is anticipated that as much as 15 percent of primary site trips could utilize this corridor on a daily basis. This could add approximately 2,700 vehicles per day to this corridor.

Relative to the existing daily volume and the land use type along this corridor, the increase will be significant.

A very real concern about the weaving pattern from Route 288 southbound to reach the light to turn left off of Iron Bridge Road, that there really isn’t a solution. The fact is that the distance from the end of this off-ramp to the light is 1,250 feet. The county is concerned about the backup on the off-ramp, but there is still the issue of actually merging over to the left turn lane. This distance isn’t going to change.

The fact remains that building 600 housing units directly below the airport flight plan is more than having special home insulation to lessen the sound of the planes. It affects all the residents being able to enjoy all the outdoor amenities of the walking paths, benches, etc. The noise will only get louder and more frequent as the runway expansion proceeds to accommodate larger planes and jets.

The project is said to benefit the county by bringing in $5 million in commercial sales volume. Of course, this is an estimate, not a guarantee.

Comments for approval from the virtual meeting expressed a need for a hotel, nice restaurant, medical offices, shopping, nice grocery store, jobs and income for the county. There is plenty of available retail space within a five-mile radius. There are four gas stations, three grocery stores, multiple restaurants and plenty of office and retail space available. Let’s fill the many empty office and retail space before we start building more.

With the current economic situation, the planning commission needs to think about the many small businesses that are having a very hard time now. Some of them may have to sadly close their doors permanently.

Although the developer has tried to address every issue, the project is NOT right for this piece of property because it is landlocked on three sides, beneath the airport flight path, on a virtual dead end road, and too close to Route 288 for an adequate weaving pattern.

This proposed project should NOT be approved, especially without public comment. The developer thinks it has solved all the related issues but I don’t feel this project should be built on this site. 

Amy Sowder