Thursday, September 20, 2007


Many Richmonders can remember a time not so long ago when Midlothian was a sleepy village, where residents enjoyed a laid-back, rural lifestyle, similar to the way of life that Goochland County residents are clinging to. But after years of reckless, unfettered commercial development, Midlothian Turnpike today is a disaster of endless fast-food restaurants, strip malls, traffic lights and, of course, terrible congestion. This once attractive community turned suburban nightmare should serve as a warning to everyone who is proud to call Goochland County home.

The saddest thing about these pictures is that the people who lived in Midlothian twenty five years ago never wanted this to happen! This was a lovely rural community, but the elected officials were more concerned about tax revenue than serving its citizens. Never mind the fact that Chesterfield County did not have the infrastructure to support the massive growth that continues today. Much of Chesterfield already resembles the horror of Northern Virginia.

This is where the battle lines have been drawn in Goochland County, at the corner of Broad Street and Manakin Road.

If developers have their way, this cornfield directly behind Satterwhites Restaurant will soon become a massive strip shopping center, twice the size of the Food Lion shopping center just down the road. But, the land must be rezoned and of course that means the proposal must come before the Goochland County Board of Supervisors. Developers want the property to be classified as B-1 which is the least restrictive of all commercial classifications. The list of businesses approved under B-1 includes fast-food restaurants, drug stores such as CVS and office space. This is the epitome of hodge-podge development and does not fit in with the county's plans to build "Centerville Village."

Access to the strip mall would be open to both Manakin Road and Broad Street. Locals know how challenging and dangerous it already is to turn left onto Broad Street from Manakin Road. Add hundreds of more cars into the mix and we're talking about a serious decline in our quality of life, not to mention our safety. No doubt many of those cars would come off of I-64 and 288 after seeing highways signs advertising the fast-food joints and gas stations.

This is why we choose to live in Goochland County, but we are going to have to fight to keep it. The time to act is now to prevent our elected officials from allowing Goochland to become another Chesterfield! The Citizens Committee To Keep Goochland Beautiful is a non-partisan group of Goochland residents who feel strongly that the time has come to draw the line on poorly conceived commercial development.

If we do not act, eastern Goochland County will be lost forever! You can start by clicking here and contacting your representative on the Board of Supervisors.

Please return to this website for updated information regarding an upcoming meeting open to all residents of Goochland. Your involvement is needed and wanted! We invite you to click on the "comments" section below to let your voice be heard.

(posted by Jim Hale)

1 comment:

Bodica said...

I hope the concerned citizens of Goochland can unite in bringing controlled growth to our beautiful county.