A number of Floyd County residents sold their homes recently — usually at a loss — to head for other locales.

Why? A variety of reasons.

One couple we know bought a house in Nashville. They say there’s more to do there.

A friend is headed for Alabama. He says there’s more work there and the winters aren’t as brutal. He works in construction and the building season lasts longer down south. Also, there’s a lot of work helping to rebuild tornado-ravaged Tuscaloosa.

Another couple told us Floyd has changed too much and some of that change destroyed the reasons they moved to the area a dozen years ago.

“Floyd isn’t Floyd any more,” they said. “It’s become too plastic, too commercial, too contrived.”

Yet others say the growth and focus on tourism has made Floyd County more vibrant, more exciting and a more interesting place to live.

“We came here for the music, for the arts and for the lifestyle,” said Sandy Talbot, a newcomer to Floyd as she watched the street musicians at the Friday Night Jamboree last week. “There’s a lot to do here, really surprising for such a small community.”

Some who move to rural areas find country living not to their liking. They cite noise from barking dogs, a lack of services or too many battles with insects or septic systems.  Some don’t care for the time it takes to tend to large yards or the effort needed to take care of gravel driveways that wash out in heavy rains.  Others don’t like getting stuck for days or weeks when a big snowfall hits.

Some migration out of the area is expected. People get restless.  Adapting to a rural lifestyle is tough for some, especially those used to an urban setting with nearby shopping, more entertainment options and expected services like trash pickup.

But some cite problems you just didn’t used to hear expressed in this area: Traffic, crime and high taxes.  This year’s increase in taxes hastened the decision of some to leave — even though tax rates in Floyd County remain among the lowest in Virginia.  Other express concern over the sharp increase in thefts, home break-ins and the epidemic of crystal meth production and use.

Some who moved to Floyd County to escape the problems of urban life found those problems moving in next door.  Yet others want to return to urban living because the they find it more suited to their lifestyles.

To each his (or her) own.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Slick pic Doug. I like the alignment of elements that make a mirror view appear to be looking through a hole instead.

    I thought this article might be about VDOT idea to pass ownership of rural rosds to local government. That would be a Ross Perot moment as I paraphrase his comment about a giant sucking sound when that happens.

  2. Hey Doug, this blog is a good find. Its surprising to hear that people have been leaving Floyd County. My wife and I JUST moved down here (Willis), and its complete heaven compared to our previous New Jersey home. I kind of like that downtown Floyd is a little touristy. You get a fun vacation type vibe there, then can drive back up to my little house deep in the country. A perfect mix if you ask me.

    Sure we hear some barking dogs in the distance, and it takes 20+ minutes to get to the nearest good grocery store, but being surrounded by this much natural beauty and having such control over your land is priceless. And compared to NJ, the taxes are crazy low. Its all relative I suppose.

    One thing for sure, nothing ever stays the same. So although there are people picking up and leaving, remember others are moving in. This no doubt will change Floyd, but hopefully change it for the better, not worse 🙂

  3. Change is coming! The proposed comprehensive plan will be of more impact than ever before. Our planning commission is eluding that zoning is a means to preserve farming. Questions that come to my mind are. Will the farmer receive more per lbs. at the market for a calf coming from zoned property, No! Will business charge less for feed and supplies for use on zoned farms, No! Will the county’s tax rate per $100.00 value be lowered for zoned farms, No! This is being laid out to preserve farming but will not. It will preserve open spaces and that to me shows the true goal “Curbing Growth”. There are means available now to curb growth without the people of this county having to give up their property rights. Our subdivision ordinance now requires two acres lots. Change that to four acres. In the family division leave it at one acre but add the restriction that it cannot be re-sold for five years (allowable by state code). Double the lot size for mobile homes. These three things can be done easily without property owner’s rights being taken away.
    Saw where VDOT wants to shift the secondary roads off onto the local governments. If this comes to happen then the first thing the board of supervision should do is stop requiring VODT standard roads in subdivisions. This will help two ways, less road miles to maintain; will help end the strip lots along the main roads of this county. Our county’s beauty did not come from laws passed by the local, state and federal governments. It’s the generations of people that earned their living from the land and understood its great value and took cares of it, not just preserving it but enriching it. Blood sweat and yes tears have gone into the land of this county and given it the beauty we have. Now if a farmer finds themselves in financial trouble they have the option of selling a two acre lot to keep the rest of the farm going. With zoning they would have to go to a zoning board and beg them to rezone to sell. That blood, sweat, tears and years of paying taxes will not have any bearing on the zoning board’s decision.
    I hope the citizens of this county with take a close look at the comprehensive plan and contact their elected official about their concerns

  4. Jerry brings up some very good points. As I make my way around the community I have been hearing some of these same concerns. Hopefully leadership will consider all aspects of this before making a decision.

    • Lauren,I know the Supervisors will consider all options.A big part of the process will be citizen input.A number them have been pushing zoning for years.Some have had problems with a neighbor,barking dogs,cows bawling,etc.Others have had more serious problems.Rather than take legal action on their own,they want the county to do it.Most want to control the growth of this county with zoning.They need to take a long look at Riner and Roanoke to see how thats working out.As I said before,citizen input will have a big impact on the Supervisors decision.I hope citizens on both sides of the issue will speak to their Supervisor about their concerns.I may not think zoning is the answer,yet I do believe everyone has the right to voice their opinion and should do so.

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