Conditions Summary

Nature and outdoor recreation are strengths for the region.  Buggs Island Lake is the largest lake in Virginia with 50,000 acres of water and 800 miles of shoreline, and home to some of the best largemouth bass fishing in the country.  State parks and a multitude of trails are located in the region.  Visitors have many opportunities to hike, ride horseback, observe wildlife, hunt, fish, kayak, and canoe.


-2013 Virginia Outdoor Plan, PD13  



Southern Virginia has made significant progress over the past 20 years weathering major economic storms centered on agricultural and textile industry shifts.  The Southside Planning District will continue to work with localities and EDA to leverage funds to assist with identified priorities and projects.  There are many strengths that can be celebrated and there are also many challenges remaining.



Identified Strengths from Past Plans and Stakeholder Interviews

  • Shovel Ready Industrial Sites

  • Low Labor and Land Costs

  • Competitive Tax Rates

  • Ample Recreational Opportunities

  • Strategic Location on the Eastern Seaboard

  • Access to Healthcare

  • Low Cost of Living

  • High Speed Broadband

  • Availability of Water

  • Small Town/Rural Environment

  • Growing Support for Local Foods

  • Brownfield Redevelopment Opportunities

  • Excellent Community College System and Proximity to High Caliber Four-Year Institutions

  • Transportation Networks


Identified Challenges from Past Plans and Stakeholder Interviews

  • Unemployment

  • Aging Population

  • Strengthening Central Business Districts

  • Illiteracy

  • Out-Migration of Youth – “Brain Drain”

  • High Quality Daycare for Working Families

  • Quality of Public Education Facilities

  • Aging Infrastructure

  • Educational Attainment at all Levels

  • Availability of Skilled and Semi-Skilled Jobs

  • Adequate Freight Rail Capacity and Infrastructure to the Port of Virginia

  • Affordable “Last Mile” Broadband

  • Continued Reliance on Traditional Industry Sectors


Southside Planning District Commission

200 S. Mecklenburg Ave. South Hill, Virginia 23970

(434) 447-7101