Friday, February 11, 2011

What does a hoveround, lipstick, a pig and a golf course have in common?

My Countryside Trail Blazer

Well you see there’s this what you might call planning group trying to piece together what you might call some sort of “Master Plan.” I think they’ve had ohhhh, say five or six meetings now.

Since no professional development group was able or willing to come up with a master plan, city council thought they’d throw it up against the planning commission wall and see if it sticks. [Cartoon needed here]

Sometimes there is only 2 or 3 that show up and sometimes there are more. There is my favorite planning type person who has come to every meeting – vocal, opinionated and appreciated. I give him grief but if we weren’t fighting we wouldn’t be talking. “Now Valerie … [add anything here like airplane noise, sinkholes yada, yada, yada]” says the slender man shaking his head giving me a grinning stare.

My favorite demand of the planning commission for the winding trails was to “be sure and make them hoveround friendly.” If we are still alive to see the results of this plan we’ll need the trails to be “hoveround accessible.”

Most of the work is by a patient planning administrator and his trusty cad man. Sometimes he has trouble keeping the members in line. He once said to me that he felt like “he was herding cats.”

There are always 5 to 10 neighbors that show up to these work sessions. At first they were quiet but that didn’t last long. It’s tough to watch your retirement home and dreams swirl down the toilet.

Just a little about what is going on – it looks like the tennis building might be saved. There is interest by at least three groups including Charles Price, President of the Northwest Recreation Club. He and Clay Dawson submitted a sketch for the last open house. They are searching for money to complete the recreation facilities they have planned. CLICK HERE to the sketch.

CLICK HERE to interview with “Fuzzy Minnix” on airport snafu the city has encountered with greenway and trails in the “crash zone.”

There was an open house last summer after meetings with the neighborhoods in the golf course vicinity. This is five years after the Burcham dynasty bought the golf course with intent to build high-end housing. The then city manager Darlene Burcham and her sidekick assistant Brian Townsend claimed getting our input would “stifle the creativity of a developers plans.”

I’m not going to rehash the story. Instead below is a copy of a December 2008 Roanoker Magazine article. This is the ONLY article written that tells the story almost in its entirety.

That super Elizabeth Parsons who never even heard of the Countryside and didn’t live in Roanoke listened, took my FOIA material and sought out appraisers and developers.

Now I gave all this same information to other media and they just called it “interesting.”

This is the real story about the ill-fated purchase of “the city that tried to put lipstick on a pig.” CLICK TO ENLARGE below then click on image to enlarge further.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Community

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Comments (2)

Bubba Greene

February 26th, 2011 at 11:42 AM    

Damn! I thought sure it was a sign that Dan Casey was on the property.


February 26th, 2011 at 8:09 PM    

Good one Bubba!

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