Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Evans Spring plan still fuzzy on concepts

Fredrick Gusler, Senior Planner

The last leg of the Valley View Interchange has been holding up completion of the three-legged stool that opens up 100 acres of vacant land for development since 1999. There has been no on or off ramp to exit or enter Valley View Mall from I-581 North.

VDOT is trailing its projected start date for the ramps by six months said Fredrick Gusler, Roanoke’s Senior City Planner Tuesday evening. VDOT is scheduled to begin work sometime in 2013 with completion expected in 2015. VDOT will buy four properties on Norris Drive.

Thirty area residents who live adjacent to the Evans Spring property attended the public meeting. The meeting was a culmination of 16 months of smaller meetings with area neighbors and an executive committee that included the owners of the parcels.  The previous three public meetings in the summers of 2011-2012 didn’t go so well said Gusler.

Evans Spring Concept

There were two “fuzzy” concepts on display that only differed primarily on the location and connection of roads – an arterial street from the interchange to the property and local streets that offloaded neighborhood traffic on to collector streets. Andrews Street, Hershberger Road and 10th Street are major connections.

The fuzziness came in where the different colored areas designated “mixed-use” for various scales of commercial, residential and preservation. The preservation areas follow Lick Run Creek and the area around what is left of Fairview Lake. Lick Run may have to be rerouted and the lake may be used as water collector or a “water feature.” The Greenway will primarily follow Lick Run and connect with the partial Greenway to be constructed at the Countryside property.

The 10-acre city-owned retention pond will probably be relocated to capture runoff from development. The land partially lies in a flood plain making stormwater management an essential component. Both concept plans had a bridge over I-581 from Fairland to Valley View Mall. “That’s one of the ideas one of the owners has,” said Gusler. He thought it was a good idea but was unsure of who would bear the cost. Gusler speculated that the city might help them if there was an economic benefit. “The developers are going to pay for most all of the street network,” he said.

Joe Ramsey, Hershberger Road Parcel Owner

Several of the four property owners attended the meeting. Joe Ramsey who owns the parcel at Hershberger Road said no one has approached his family with interest in the property. “We are not developers … I’m just a salesman,” said Ramsey who identified himself as a realtor.

Gusler said he felt sure that the owners “wanted to make the most money out of it. Any future land use like this should be a compromise.” He said the city’s involvement would ensure that nothing was built that would “cause the people to not want to live there anymore.”

William Golden (light jacket) discusses plan with other area residents.

William Golden whose Aspen Street house backs up to the Hershberger parcel said, “we wondering what kind of development is going there.”

The concepts were “all general,” said Gusler. “ Nobody can give you a specific answer to this point … you’re going to see more traffic.”

Gusler guessed that city council would vote to adopt the plan in January 2013. A second duplicate public meeting will be held at William Fleming High School on October 25 at 6:30 p.m.

The concept plans can be seen at

Not a lot of answers yet for the residents around the Valley View interchange

Evans Spring landowner and neighborhood activist make waves at public meeting

Posted By Valerie Garner

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