Q &A: How will you balance development and “smart growth” with community needs?


Shajuan Mason, Matoaca (D)
I would balance development by having more data surrounding the needs of the community and how the proposed development will address that need. I would have a separate commission conduct a needs assessment. The needs assessment would address how the proposed development would impact neighborhoods, schools, traffic, transportation, roads, infrastructure, and the impact on public safety. More importantly, the feedback from the citizens would be considered throughout the project. It is also important to look at the development that has already been approved but hasn’t manifested. This way, we are utilizing a more proactive approach versus being reactive. It will help us to avoid the propensity to play catch up which often times results in temporary solutions that develop into larger, permanent problems.

The constituents that I have spoken with have shared they are being ignored and that developers and outside interests have more influence over the BOS. I will try to vote in a manner that takes into consideration the feedback and concerns of our constituents. I would also ensure that our constituents are provided with data from an independent commission regarding the pros and cons of the proposed development so that informed decisions can be made in a manner that allows for effective dialogue from a working relationship perspective. I am known to be a great negotiator and highly regarded as one who is able to resolve conflicts. I would work to honor the requests of our constituents and explain the rationale for all decisions.

Kevin Carroll, Matoaca (R)
Smart growth is an approach to development that encourages a mix of building types and uses, diverse housing and transportation options, development within existing neighborhoods, and community engagement. As I have said before, the Ettrick community has different needs than those of Midlothian or Moseley. Chesterfield is a large and diverse community and the strategies as to what is needed in different parts of the county are best defined by the people who live and work there.

Honest, transparent and timely communication with the people you represent can go a long way. I will be thorough when researching a project and use all information available to ultimately render a decision. I will not discount the voice of the people who are immediately affected by a project due to proximity.

There are some decisions where the community input will weigh heavier than others. In any decision made, there will always be those who disagree. Each case is unique and will have its own process that will lead to a decision. I am running to serve the people of Chesterfield County. I will make informed, ethical, transparent decisions that will be in the best interests of our community.

Murti Khan, Bermuda (D)
Smart growth starts with people. It is time to stop telling citizens how growth will happen. Instead, we need to ask residents how they want growth to happen. Prior to voting on cases, the Board of Supervisors needs to publicize the costs associated with growth. Supervisors need to make sure that the community approves of the costs associated with a specific development.

It is not right for a member of the Board of Supervisors to take campaign contributions from a donor and subsequently vote on a case that would allow the donor to profit in the millions of dollars. This is the current norm. I am the only candidate in this race refusing contributions from developers. If a private business interest gives me money and subsequently has a case in front of the Board of Supervisors, I will not vote on that case.

I am running to represent people. I am not running to represent special interests. A representative must put the needs of the community first. I have a record of standing with you when it was easy. I have a record of standing with you when it was hard. As your supervisor, I will stand up for you as I have in the past. I can’t do it alone. I’m going to need your help. No individual alone can make the community’s vision for the future a reality. That is why I say: “Together We Khan.”

Jim Ingle, Bermuda (R)
The Board of Supervisors is the government closest to the people, and it arguably has the greatest direct impact on the daily lives of county residents. It is important for our local elected officials to be deliberate and thoughtful on issues related to growth, and I am committed to being a supervisor with an open-door policy. As I have learned over the course of my professional career, it’s important to truly hear all sides of an issue. And I’ve also learned that leaders must be decisive in their actions after hearing all sides.

Chesterfield County needs to be friendly to businesses that bring good, well-paying jobs to the county to help reduce the tax burden on residential properties. The county net exports over 100,000 residents a day to work in surrounding jurisdictions. With increased job opportunities locally, we can reduce travel time to and from work, both helping to relieve traffic issues and bringing a higher quality of life for our residents.

As Chesterfield grows its commercial footprint, we need to be mindful of the impacts on existing neighborhoods. We need to get ahead of some of the projects that have been so divisive in the county by ensuring that the process is transparent and that citizens are engaged early on. This will help clarify the citizens understanding of projects and help the applicants bring forth good projects that are supported by the citizens.

Tammy Ridout, Dale (R)
To have balanced development and smart growth, we must have transparent servant leadership and a visionary team. The Board of Supervisors are the employees of the people and the stewards of our tax dollars. Holding bimonthly meetings in Dale District, attending the quarterly Shoosmith Community Outreach and other community meetings to learn about citizen concerns is part of my agenda as a supervisor. To partner with the business community, I will continue my attendance at Chamber of Commerce and other business alliances’ meetings. After my election, I will have a search committee recruit a planning commissioner who votes on development issues with smart growth and community quality of life as his or her priority concerns.

In addition to the school board member, I will expect continuous open dialogue with all my appointments. A leader is only as good as his or her team. A continuous, open dialogue with board members and affected parties allowed me to be a more effective communicator and trustworthy leader when I was the president of the Virginia Dental Hygienists Association.

Jim Holland, Dale (D) *
Managing residential and commercial growth is very important to me because the “quality of life” we have in Chesterfield is directly affected by an appropriate growth rate. One of my top priorities as supervisor is to examine every zoning case that affects residential and commercial growth to make sure it complies with the Comprehensive Plan. Having worked on Comprehensive Plans in 2012 and 2018, I know that using the plan can guide my decisions to maintain an outstanding quality of life for our citizens.

My growth management priority is to ensure that our county is in sound financial condition to manage growth so that it pays its own way. I believe that we should not put unnecessary stress on our public services, especially our schools, fire and police protection. I plan to highly prioritize commercial growth that will be the right kind to complement our neighborhoods and generate jobs that will contribute to our tax base. As supervisor, I listen to my district citizens when making decisions about zoning cases because residents value a balance between commercial and residential development. Our neighborhoods are who we are, and they make Chesterfield County a highly sort out place to live, work and play. Just recently, a zoning case in reference to a landfill in the Dale District was defeated because I listened to the citizens and did not approve the case. The citizens opposed the case and I was their voice at the table to say no to the landfill case in the Dale District.


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