The Countryside neighborhood has not heard a word from the Roanoke City Planning Department or anyone else regarding progress of the project. The Countryside Master Plan goes before Council on Monday at the 7:00 p.m. meeting.
It will be adopted into the city’s comprehensive plan the same as other neighborhood plans though it is actually a development plan. As these plans go they rarely get anything accomplished. They do however end up conflicting with what a neighborhood really wants or doesn’t want. There is always something stuck in they can point to saying “well you approved it.”
What any lawyer will tell you “don’t sign anything if you don’t understand it.” Good advice the Countryside neighborhood will take.
Estelle McCadden brought a recent example before council. Trailers parked in a residential area. It seemed only the corner lot was zoned commercial/residential. This probably slipped by the Melrose-Rugby neighborhood when adopted into their comprehensive plan.
Since the only way I can get information from the Planning Department is through a Freedom of Information Act request I submitted another one Monday. Thursday I received it in electronic form as requested. The only snafu was that the email attachments in a PDF file do not open. Therefore I replied immediately to send a selected few that had data I wanted to see.
It seems they are holding many meetings with Parks and Recreation. We asked to be a part of the park planning. Until now we had thought nothing was going on until after Monday’s adoption by Council. They have already been working on an implementation and construction task list.
Conspicuously absent is any communications with the city manager, Chris Morrill. Delegation is one thing but “hands off” is another.
CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE for the FOIA documents.
I hope to get the three or four attachments to fulfil the request by tomorrow (the 5th business day).
What are they going to construct? Are they paying for architectural and engineering plans for the trails, greenway and natural areas or something else? I guess it is not for us to know.
The Planning Commission will pitch to the Roanoke Regional Home Builders Association on Thursday. I plan to be there since no home builder showed up at the open house held for them.
The disdain that city administration has for the citizens leaks out every so often … even a Planning Commission member’s thoughts about us came out in an email.
Not that we didn’t already know this from past FOIA documents and conversations. A smile to the public and Council but in the dark recesses of their offices we are just annoyances to work around.
From a Planning Commission member: “I’m frustrated that you and your department’s integrity has been attacked, but considering the source explains a lot…”
Doctoring the report or rather “spinning”: “Please have me review the report of the CPC to the CC regarding the Countryside Plan before it gets transmitted to City Council…I want to make sure the report highlights/overviews the process, open meetings, work sessions, etc.” Brian Townsend
“The residents across the street will not be happy unless it is a groomed golf course. I do not think an expectation to leave green space along that existing frontage is reasonable. I am weary and wary of continuing to throw them bones because they will continue to growl and snarl at us no matter what.” Chris Chittum
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Community, Politics, Roanoke City Politics
Tags: City_Manager, Countryside, FOIA, neighborhood, open_government, parks