River Road is the wrong place for new proposed wedding venue project

Dear Editor,

The corridor between Crozier and Goochland Courthouse has remained a residential/agricultural neighborhood for as many years as I have been fortunate to live in Goochland County.  My late husband and I intentionally chose this area 37 years ago after looking at many neighboring counties. My son and his wife and three young children live on this property now and love it as much as I do. I realize that there will be changes as Richmond expands and grows but I always think of the bumper sticker that was printed some years ago: Grow Goochland Gracefully. The sticker was available about the time that the village concept was presented by the Planning Commission. As the Broad Street corridor stretches into our county, we all are becoming aware of the threat to our rural atmosphere...the peacefulness that makes Goochland County so special.

We can grow and still have that rural quality. I have understood over the years that River Road is classified as a scenic highway. It can remain so if we protect our corridor now.  As some of the larger parcels shrink in size, we need to maintain our gracefulness. At 2421 River Road West there is a conditional use permit being considered for a wedding and event venue, as well as winery and tasting room that would operate all week long. The venue would host parties of up to 300 people that would involve amplified sound, alcohol consumption and increased traffic flow.  River Road West already carries a heavy traffic flow at the start and end of the day, as well as multiple work and construction vehicles throughout the day.  The 522 and River Road intersection accessing Powhatan is already a very busy intersection as people exit 288 to avoid backup.

I am the first to admit that the wine/ party venues in the western end of Goochland County have been done well and present a lovely setting as I am sure the River Run venue would also. But at River Run there are 14 lots called River Cliff on the right and a historic farm parcel on the left that back right up on the 60 acres that comprise the proposed venue.  Noise would not only disturb those parcels but also the adjacent ones across Route 6.  Noise carries further than one thinks, especially over water (i.e. the river). Also, based on our current traffic situation, we would have an increased traffic problem and alcohol consumption would  intensify this.

We live in a non-commercial neighborhood (except for Tanglewood Ordinary that has been grandfathered because of its age). Can we not keep the commercialism in the villages as promised? Would this venue set a precedent for other commercial development in this area? How would it affect our property values? Would it grow Goochland gracefully?

There are many questions that can’t be answered now but we do have the power to impact the future development of our beautiful corridor and county. 

There is a meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 6 of our Board of Supervisors. If you feel as we do, please attend and make your voices heard.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Smith

Dustin and Christy Smith

Donald and Maria Becker

Goochland

When it comes to top policing job, White is best choice

Dear Editor,

I worked for one year in the Goochland County Public Schools in the Special Education Department in the late 1990s.

I resigned after one year stating the IEPs I was a part of were not completed within federal guidelines.

The problem was in the administration at central office. Bring in Dr. James Lane and Dr. Jeremy Raley, clean up some of the weak practices and look at the awards our school system has today.

I see a similarity between this story and the Sheriff’s department.

Sheriff Agnew did not have any competition until 2018. Weaknesses in case evidence collections were exposed and some practices were not up to current standards.

The shake-up is resulting in a slow move to improved practices after being awoke. This is why we need Levin White as Sheriff.

More sharpening of skills is needed. The expansion of our county in commercial and housing developments necessitates an experienced leader who has a wide resume dealing in the inevitable crimes, drugs, and traffic fatalities that will follow.

This county needs immediate preparedness as the commercial openings are coming in the next months.

Levin’s resume exceeds any other candidate. His ability to connect this county to regional resources because of his knowledge is needed.

We can become a safer community that is proactive instead of reactive and one other localities will admire instead of winking about.

Debra Arnold

Goochland

Among candidates, Creasey’s love for county is most clear

Dear Editor, 

I am writing to express my utmost support of Steven Creasey for Sheriff. Although I am not presently a resident in Goochland, I have known Steven for many years and have worked with him through the Fire/Rescue Association. I can attest to his integrity, professionalism, and remarkable leadership. 

Steven is an authentic servant leader who sincerely looks for opportunities to help others rather than seeking ways for others to benefit him. His upstanding character, experience, commitment, and successful career speaks for itself. He is honest, fair, and carries himself with both strength and humility. Goochland has been blessed to have him serving and protecting its residents for his entire career. The good people of Goochland will be lucky to have a man of such high caliber serving as their next Sheriff. 

Sgt. Creasey is a lifelong resident who as one reader so aptly described, is a “son of the county.” Goochland should be proud to have produced such a son and indeed must be proud based on the vast number of signs that are continually being requested and displayed by his enthusiastic supporters. I have to say the excitement and love evident in the citizens supporting Sgt. Creasey is in itself impressive and a heartwarming testament to his character and impact on the lives of those he serves.

Besides his experience and obvious likeability, Steven is highly educated and is the only candidate with a Master’s Degree (Human Services/Law Enforcement). He is the only candidate to be inducted into the Criminal Justice Honor Society and he holds many certifications and credentials. He is in fact the only sworn certified law enforcement officer on the ballot and has been endorsed by current and retired sheriffs in other counties as well as individuals of notable distinction in law enforcement, government, and business. 

And perhaps more importantly, Sgt. Creasey’s resume boasts of commitment and continuity. He has dedicated his life to the residents of Goochland through volunteer fire/rescue, through the sheriff’s office, and through his participation in multiple civic organizations. With his experience, training, education, credentials, and impeccable character he has certainly had opportunities to move to other jurisdictions and the private sector. However, he chose (and continues to choose) to stay in the county that raised him where he wholeheartedly serves his friends, family and neighbors. I believe it is not just a job to him -- it is his calling. It is my hope that the citizens of Goochland will wisely choose this incredible individual just like he has chosen them. So, I join in with so many others in proclaiming that there is no better candidate for sheriff than Steven Creasey!

Sincerely,

Kelly Jones

Richmond

Lacolette’s work on behalf of District 1 speaks for itself

Dear Editor,

Regarding Doris McKenzie’s letter to the Editor last week, I wholeheartedly concur that Susan Lascolette has done an exceptional job representing District 1 as our Board of Supervisor.  She and the other Board members have worked tirelessly and the results show. I urge all District 1 voters to continue to support Susan Lascolette this November.  We have too much to lose. Don’t let the hard work of the last eight years go to waste!

Marjorie Mayo

Columbia

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