Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Message sent to my neighbors

As I expected we lost the battle and well actually the war. What politician would vote against children and positive economic impact to the city coffers.

Those of you who have been here since 2005 know what we’ve been through. First it was upscale housing built by Toll Brothers, they looked at the property after the city purchased it and pulled out. No other developer came forward. We were suppose to be a development like Colonial Green. Then they said keep the golf course open and put minimal investment in it for 5-10 years until the housing market recovers. Each year they contracted Meadowbrook to operate the golf course and it went downhill because they didn’t know whether it would be open from year to year – golfers went to other courses as did tournaments that couldn’t count on the course being open. The city used the excuse then that it wasn’t making money ignoring the fact it was their fault.

Then council in 2010 in a closed meeting shut the golf course down. Then council directed the Planning Commission to come up with a Master Plan. Kissito healthcare wanted the property but was kicked aside because it didn’t fit the Master Plan.

Now the Master Plan is amended to where there will be little if any possibility of housing, a town center or branch library. What might be build will cater to tournaments like concession stands.

I want to thank all the members who came Monday. We had a good showing but the deck was stacked against us from the very beginning. This gives some indication what the Master Plan means on any other part of the property. No parcel is safe from being amended at the city’s discretion. We had 75 petition signatures.

It’s amazing that just a year ago the Master Plan was to give us “certainty.” I lament that no news reporter point out all these years the variety of promises through three councils and now a new city manager.

If soccer fields were so important why was this not the first thing thought of in 2005? Why did they not think soccer fields were so important all these years to pick other parcels/parks in Roanoke for fields. The Orange Avenue (once for a new football stadium to replace Victory Stadium) acreage sits vacant. If soccer fields were SO important they would be there.

There will be future input meetings for the park/trails as well as the Sports Complex and street designs etc. I will send out notices if I get them but at this point I will not be attending any more of these input meetings as I find them fruitless.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Commentary, Community

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