By Stephen Ince
Ince is a software developer. He resides in the Hollins area of Roanoke County with his wife, Linda, and poodle, Benjamin.
As a resident of Roanoke County in the Hollins area, I’m saddened, disappointed and admittedly a bit angry at the decision that now allows for the construction of a Trucking Terminal and Repair service near the 5100 block of Hollins Road. The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors have officially approved this venture via a slim 3-2 margin. As with any decision in matters such as this, I have no doubt that the lure of increased taxes and marginal employment opportunities played a big role in the decision. An adage advises one to “follow the money” to try and understand where something leads. That is probably more apt in this case than anything else. I also think that cost/risk considerations were probably discounted as the lure of increased revenues presented themselves. However, while difficult to put a direct dollar amount on the costs/risks of this venture, they are present nonetheless. These “costs” include but are not limited to the following:
n Risk to automobile drivers from the increased truck traffic that will happen on Hollins Road.
n Risk to school buses and the children contained in them as they get on and off.
n Increased traffic on the streets of residential neighborhoods due to vehicles attempting to avoid the increased traffic on Hollins Road.
n Increase traffic noise from trucks as well as the new facility once operational.
n Increase emissions from the increased traffic.
n Risk to Tinker Creek and those residents with well water from possible pollution run off.
n The area (including residential homes) would no longer experience a real night given the 24/7 lighting of and truck traffic to and from the facility.
n Property values in the surrounding area would be negatively affected (reality has a way of overriding “studies”) much to the chagrin of the homeowners.
I believe the negatives outweigh the positives in this case and not by a small margin. I also think that those who stand to benefit from this do it without consideration of the impact on their fellow citizens, seeing only dollar signs and nothing else.
I ask those involved in this decision who voted to approve the rezoning, if any of you would not be okay with a facility such as this in close proximity to your home or place of dwelling, why is it okay for those whose dwellings would be affected?