Smithfield and IW to discuss Farmers’ Market funding – Smithfield Times

Smithfield City Council has authorized Managing Director Michael Stallings to enter into negotiations with the County of the Isle of Wight to jointly fund the construction of an indoor / outdoor farmer’s market building.

The 13,300 square foot structure would be located along Main Street as part of plans by former Smithfield Foods President Joseph W. Luter III to redevelop the former Pierceville and Little’s Supermarket properties into a development for use. mixed named “The Grange at 10Main”. Luter bought and razed the old farmhouse and grocery store from the 1730s in 2020.

The Farmers’ Market, a seasonal effort of the Smithfield and Isle of Wight Shared Tourism Department, currently operates out of the Bank of Southside Virginia parking lot in town. Luter provides the market with a permanent home all year round and contributes $ 1 million towards the construction of the building, though the city and county can jointly raise an additional $ 6 million through sponsorships, private donations, local taxes or state and federal funds.

The Jan. 4 city council vote to begin funding negotiations was unanimous, with members Valerie Butler and Randy Pack absent – although the proposed development itself has yet to be submitted to the Town Planning Commission of city ​​or city council for approval.

“We wouldn’t do anything to borrow money; we would just work on a deal to support the farmers market, ”Stallings said. “If the project is not approved, this commitment does not have to be kept. “

City and county officials received their first official snapshot of Luter’s plans on December 22. In addition to the farmer’s market, the plans show 150-space underground parking, 902 additional above-ground parking spaces, 225 apartments, a hotel, 45 single-family and duplex homes, and 33,350 square feet of retail space. But to move forward with those plans, Luter would have to ask the city for mixed-use rezoning.

Currently, the city’s zoning ordinance does not allow mixed-use developments, but the Smithfield Planning Commission has already scheduled a January 11 public hearing on amending the ordinance to replace the unused zoning classification. “Head office and research district” by “planned mixed-use development” or PMUD.

According to the proposed ordinance amendment, the new zoning option would allow single-family attached and detached homes, multi-family residential dwellings, bed and breakfasts, retail stores and other uses to coexist on a single 5 acre parcel. or more. It would also allow a maximum building height of 60 feet, compared to 35 currently, to accommodate four- and five-story buildings.

James V. Payne