High Street on the chopping block?

Published 12:41 pm Thursday, August 10, 2017

I wonder what prompted Matt King, president and CEO of Walk2Campus, to attend the Farmville Planning Commission meeting July 26 and speak on behalf of the Martins’ proposal to build a so-called student housing complex.

He stated that he was not opposed to the project and welcomed the competition.   

It is believed by most members of the community that Walk2Campus does an excellent job of maintaining its rental properties, and I would concur. 

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Why then did King come all the way up here from South Carolina to speak on behalf of the Martins’ project? Could he possibly be testing the waters? It would appear so.

If the Martin apartments get approved and the Walk2Campus properties get re-zoned, the various homes owned by Walk2Campus are also in danger of being demolished in favor of more large commercial-like buildings. 

Perhaps King has it in mind to level the rental houses lining High Street and surrounding streets so that his company no longer has to renovate and maintain those historic homes.

Regarding parking for this project, real estate records show that the Martins own other properties across the street from the proposed project, which could be one of the options being considered.

For what purpose are zoning regulations if only to be changed here and there to benefit developers who desire a piece of the pie?  One might as well do away with zoning regulations altogether. 

Rezoning to the university-designated R-3A Residential Zone would open up a good portion of our historic High Street and adjacent streets to the building of student housing buildings (aka apartments). And who’s to profit from all this? The land owners, the developers and any number of intermediaries. 

And what’s in it for the town? More tax revenue? The disappearance of a number of the beautiful historic homes along High Street would certainly change the landscape of High Street, and the lure and charm of a portion of our historic Farmville will be gone forever. I would hate to see this happen.

We haven’t even digested the construction of an approved roundabout before throwing another monkey wrench into the equation. 

The roundabout was proposed to alleviate the congestion and safety concerns in that area. Instead, it is proposed to add to the problems by increasing auto and pedestrian traffic generated by a large apartment complex.

The roundabout was estimated to take nine months to complete. 

Now there is talk of a construction period of 18-plus months, which would cause sheer havoc in that corridor.

This area should not be rezoned. Let’s not take the heart out of “The Heartland.”

Carol Fauci lives in Farmville. Her email address is horseshoesjf@gmail.com.