Letter – Warehouse proposal stinks

Published 1:48 pm Friday, March 29, 2024

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The proposed Tidewater Logistics industrial complex at Lovers Lane and Route 460 outside of Windsor is downright offensive. It reeks of desperation to offload another property the county paid an inflated price for and zero consideration for the citizens who will have to live with it.

The project’s economic impact analysis is an exercise in creative writing enhanced with voodoo math. The project claims to create 1,200 permanent jobs with an average salary of less than $45,000 a year. This average salary presumably considers higher-paying managerial and skilled labor positions on site, so most of these jobs will be at minimum wage or slightly above. 

The median house price in Isle of Wight is $300,000 based on the number used in the analysis, cited by Zillow. No one making less than $45,000 is buying a house in this county and, as of this writing, according to Zillow, there are only four rental properties in the county priced lower than $1,500 a month. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that this project has a negligible job impact on the county. 

The real incentive for the county is the opportunity to collect taxes from the companies that would eventually move into the complex. Recently, the Isle of Wight commissioner of the revenue stated the project overestimated the machinery and tools taxes by 250%. If this is such a great deal, why inflate the numbers?

Since February, the developer has been shamed into amending the project’s traffic analysis to include Port 460 in Suffolk, increasing the estimated traffic flow in and out of Windsor by 24%.  They also had to add Lovers Lane (the road most impacted by the project), meaning they had to account for a 64% increase in recent traffic accidents, including one fatality. Again, why omit this data if this project is good for us?

The county owns most of the land in this project, and the comprehensive plan calls for mixed development, not industrial use. In other words, they own full responsibility for this project and can’t dodge accountability by citing the mistakes of their predecessors. It is disgraceful that the county planning department and Economic Development Authority endorse this project as written; hopefully, the Planning Commission and supervisors use better judgment.


Lewis Edmonds