CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Come 2020, Chesapeake is projected to be the second most populated city in Virginia, passing Norfolk. The University of Virginia released a new study, with projections showing a projected 253,355 people will call the city home.
A bird's eye view of Chesapeake shows lots of homes, but also lots of land. The Navy brought Charlie Ferguson to Chesapeake when he was looking for a place to settle in Hampton Roads, the Western Branch was the perfect spot for him.
Chesapeake's growth is projected to grow steadily in the future. Come 2025, the projection is for more than 265,000 people.
Ferguson is a fan of smart growth, including the new development down the street from his house on Bruce Road.
"Citizens talked to the city and talked to the developer and he changed his mind and went back to building single family homes which are much less dense," said Ferguson. He also believes certain things, including a field house, could only come with more people. "We get excited when the things we need to spur business growth and have nice things for young people to do, it's happening."
Some folks believe parts of Chesapeake don't need development.
"In rural southern Chesapeake it definitely needs to be curtailed," said Jennifer Knight, who is leading a group dedicated to stopping rapid development to help the environment.
Knight is leading a group dedicated to stopping rapid development to help the environment.
"Look at the importance of that land conservation, not just for environmental factors, but for generations to come, that's crucial," said Knight.
She believes there is room for everyone in Chesapeake and notes how the area is much bigger than Norfolk, so the density is still lower. However, she believes development needs to be done correctly, which she said she still hasn't seen in Chesapeake.