To the Editor: This  project is essentially a large gas station with, typical, enhanced experiences (alcohol and lottery opportunities)  – picture a Sheets, or...

To the Editor:

This  project is essentially a large gas station with, typical, enhanced experiences (alcohol and lottery opportunities)  – picture a Sheets, or another Wawa like the one 1.5 miles away – and a retail strip center – maybe as nice looking as the one going up one mile away, maybe not; apartments and a storage facility – and a projected additional 22,000 vehicles each day. Yes, that’s the projection.  

It is being called Courthouse Landing by the developer.  Notice the reference to the airport and “landing.” The developer is selling it as “the Gateway to Chesterfield.”

The County project number is 20SN0526.  I oppose it.

The intersection – of Route 10  (Iron Bridge Road) and Courthouse Road is the intersection that all school buses and child-carrying, parent driving, teacher and admins driving, county workers, bike riding, and walking, etc. traffic goes through to get to Gates Elementary, Bird High School, and the Tech Center – daily.  Twice each day (at minimum – to and from) (some at the start of the day and the end of the day – that makes four times for many kids/people)  

The vehicles exiting Rt. 288 South – many wanting to turn left to get to Gates or Bird, etc. NOW have a very short and unsafe “weave” to go through to turn left to get to the road to the schools.  Try it if you haven’t, at rush hour, with school buses jockeying for position.  NOW, add 22,000 cars per day EXTRA because of the Courthouse Landing project.  

The county “economic development authority” is giving away (excuse me, selling) the 59 acres (now all wooded; no problem to anyone; furry animals and lovely birds love it) that abut and border Gates Elementary, to the developer for a cool $2 million.  Not a bad price!  Well, except that commercial property in Chesterfield is assessed at a much higher value than that.  And, the EDA has not requested an independent appraisal of this property.  Why?  What should we expect?  Am I missing something here?

Could such property be better utilized by the schools there, and as a nature preserve – that would continue to offset the pollution and noise from Rt. 288?  

Because of the 22,000 additional vehicles per day (aren’t there enough already?), and the gas station (24 hours?), and the strip retail (“open till 9”), etc. Deerfield Estates residents should get used to the additional noise, light, sight, and air pollution.  

The corner property, privately owned, has had people from outside of Dale district (our district) write or call in with pro comments for the project – lobbying if you will.  I speculate why.  They don’t live here. They are county residents and can be counted, but they don’t live close, so there are no consequences to them or their families.  

Perhaps the county could buy that property and make it into something nice – a nice gateway into Chesterfield!  Put up more county buildings like the Courthouse next door!  And leave a substantial buffer from Rt. 288.  

I almost forgot about the airport.  Our expanding airport is going to be able to accommodate larger jets than they can now.  So, the Courthouse Landing project is in the flight path.  Yes, the developer has accommodated the height restrictions of the FAA.  Those who live in the new apartments might think about the fact that what goes up must come down sometime.  Chilling thought.  Sorry.

Linwood Hines