Friday, February 8, 2013

Developer lowers height of hotels at Huff Lane property


A revision to the application to rezone the 5.3-acre vacant Huff Lane Elementary School property has been submitted by the developer, NDRA II, LLC. By leveling the site to be even with Valley View Boulevard and slightly limiting the total height it reduces the total height from 60 feet (original application) to about 50 feet.

Parker Design Group of Salem in a letter with the application states that the hotels will be no more than 19.5 feet higher than the existing Huff Lane Elementary School. The school height is estimated at 30 feet.


Patrick Corp, President of the Dorchester Court Neighborhood Watch Assoc.

The height of the school was one major complaint of the neighborhood. The prior application failed to  pass muster with the Planning Commission – they voted it down unanimously. The height of the hotels was not the only opposition. Changing the zoning from Institutional (In) and Recreational Open Space (ROS) to Commercial Large Scale (CLS) was not consistent with the Williamson Road Neighborhood Plan.

Skeptical enforcement of the 19 proffers didn’t enamor the Planning Commission members either.

Patrick Corp, President of the Dorchester Court Neighborhood Watch Association said in an email response to the revised application, “at this point, given the planning commission ruling, any development not in line with the current zoning is unacceptable. If city wants to start the process over again with the thought of investing in the neighborhood, we are more than willing to sit down and be a fully engaged party.”

Huff Lane Elementary was closed in 2010 and the property was marketed for sale with the city agreeing that the proceeds would revert back to the school system. RCPS will put the $1.7 million from NDRA toward expansion of Round Hill Elementary school. The anticipated total cost of that expansion is $8 million.

The revised application goes before Roanoke City Council with a public hearing on February 19. Whether City Council will approve it or send it back to the Planning Commission is not clear.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Community

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Comments (1)

T. J. Hackley

February 8th, 2013 at 7:21 PM    

I’m confused by Roanoke City’s attempt to develop any open space available. A few years ago I remember reading an article where a consultant was paid to do a study of the cities facilities and it came back saying that for a city the size of Roanoke it was deficient in recreational fields and other recreation amenities, but now all I see is an attempt to develop almost any open space available unless of course it is in South Roanoke. Case in point Country side golf course and now Huff Lane. Even though I am not a golfer I could appreciate the open space and scenery afforded by Country Side. Now the city wants to take away the facilities at Huff Lane, while every day we here about kids needing to exercise and play. As my kids got older I realized in my neighborhood there was not a place close by for them to play. It looks like Huff Lane is about to turn into same thing.

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