Sunday, September 16, 2012
Can you hear us now Mason Adams of The Roanoke Times who erroneously stated that recreational fields were “a consideration that had been discussed in depth during the writing of the plan before planners decided to go with agriculture instead.” He didn’t bother to contact the Countryside Neighborhood on his presumption.
Instead he took the City’s word on what transpired in the Planning Commission Work Sessions that I/we attended. There was NO “extensive discussion on the playing fields.” It immediately turned to urban agriculture to spur a town center. No member of the Countryside Neighborhood Alliance objected – not one person. It wasn’t until the chickens came up did feathers fly and most were Mller Court and the out-of-the-blue created Northwest Citizens group.
It is well known that chickens or farm animals are not a requirement to have urban agriculture. It exists without fowl all over the country in urban areas. There is a letter of interest submitted to do just that but cannot be considered until council votes Monday.
In January at William Fleming a few “vocal voices” became belligerent toward Chris Chittum Planning Administrator and wouldn’t believe him that fowl was definitely off the table. The majority there were Countryside Neighbors and they did not object to urban agriculture. I repeat no one.
Countryside will be the neighborhood to get the brunt of a split Sports Complex not Miller Court. We will sit right in the middle. Miller Court has no skin in the game on the Master Plan and doesn’t care about the town center or residential build out. All they care about is “no chickens.”
Let me say that Countryside invited Miller Court to multiple meetings to include them. Miller Court never reciprocated and broke off communication. We asked the city to move the park to the 12-acre parcel to make them happy. The city refused. If this passes into recreation then Miller Court doesn’t understand they will have no control over the Sportspex fields. Repeated attempts at explaining what urban agriculture means went nowhere. They see a farm with chickens and will not budge. Does that mean they get their way?
I got a scathing email from a Miller Court member saying, “you got $1.5 million for a park and we got nothing.” It was their choice not to participate in the Master Plan. It was their choice not to give any support for keeping the golf course all these years – that is not until it effected them with 400 chickens.
Chris Van Hyning of the Planning Commission was right when he said, “that there was opposition to the agriculture, but there wasn’t consensus on that issue either, and they are just the loudest voices.”
I do think city council will override the Planning Commission for political reasons ….”certainty” be damned and as Tom Carr told us too that “we hate children.” Say good-bye to the town center, branch library and hello to one big Sportsplex.
Charles Price and Roanoke Valley Youth Soccer attended our meeting displaying ALL the sports fields around the tennis building. It will be interesting to see if Anita Price recuses herself.