Roanoke County Mixed-Use Proposal Pending, Plan Amending | Government and politics

The Roanoke County Planning Commission’s review of a proposed mixed-use development on Edgebrook Road is now on hold.

The issue was on the committee’s agenda on Tuesday, but after a contentious community meeting last month between neighboring residents and ABoone Real Estate, Inc., developer Alexander Boone said he was updating plans for the site before submitting it to the county governing bodies for approval. .

Boone’s project would bring townhouses, commercial offices and a hotel to a mostly residential area and across from the Interstate 81 Park & ​​Ride lot in Roanoke County, near the Salem city limits.

He said that while many of the approximately 100 residents at the March information meeting exhibited “rude and immature behavior,” he still wants residents, especially those in the Fairways at Hanging subdivision. Rock close, know he listened to their concerns and made changes to his original plans.

“This meeting was not something we had to do,” he said. “But it’s important for us to get the opinion of neighbors, and we listened to those who agreed to have a respectful dialogue with us.”

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Some residents – largely from the neighboring The Fairways at Hanging Rock subdivision – said they were upset with the project, as they had been told another subdivision would be built on the roughly 32-acre lot, nothing with a commercial component.

Other major criticisms of the project come from those who say a huge influx of traffic would further weigh down Edgebrook Road and Thompson Memorial Drive, where they say traffic can already get cumbersome at times.

Boone said Balzer & Associates engineers and a VDOT review show the roads can handle the increased traffic that would result from the development.

The land is currently zoned for low-density single-family housing, but Boone is hoping for mixed-use rezoning to accommodate his proposed project.

“We are considering tinkering with and revising the plan we submitted in our rezoning application,” he said Thursday.

A four-story hotel and two commercial buildings to be used for a doctor’s office and pharmacy, as well as up to 70 townhouses, were in the original plans submitted to the county, but some changes were made, Boone said.

The biggest changes, he said, would come from reducing the total number of townhouses to 50 and building a three-story hotel, to allay some of the neighbours’ concerns.

“We had good conversations with some people who were reasonable and eager to have a meaningful discussion and the four story hotel really bothered them so we are working with hotel developers at the moment to see if it works to have a three-story hotel,” he said.

Boone said his group had also removed the 15 townhouses that were to be closer to the property entrance on Edgebrook Road to help alleviate traffic issues.

“We would just leave this part of the R-1 property area [low density residential] and develop it later,” he said.

Boone also noted in a letter to county officials addressing some of citizens’ concerns that commercial buildings would now be two-story under the new plan.

Boone was quick to point out that if the single-family homes were what was being built on the land, they would have to be sold for a much cheaper price than neighboring homes in other developments due to the land’s proximity to the land. highway.

“It would hurt the value of adjacent properties,” he said, noting that concerns about commercial development driving down home values ​​for Fairway residents were not based in fact.

He also said limiting the total number of homes to 50 should give residents who live behind the development more buffer than would have already been in the original plan.

Boone also noted again Friday that commercial development is listed as an essential land use by the county’s future land use plan.

Philip Thompson, county planning director, said most of the project fits into the map, except for the location of the hotel, which is currently designated as “neighborhood conservation.”

“Some of the commercial homes and townhouses would conform to the county’s future land use plan,” he said.

The changes are improvements over the original plan, according to Fairways resident Stas Mavrides, although he still has concerns.

“But commercial rezoning is still problematic for us. I think we have to wait and see what actually ends up in the formal ‘profer’,” he wrote in an email.

Catawba District Supervisor Martha Hooker said she looks forward to seeing the revised plan for the project located in her district.

“I hope it will be a good project and something that everyone can support. I look forward to seeing the revised plan,” she said, noting that she thinks Boone is doing a good job trying to listen to resident feedback.

Boone’s company purchased the roughly 32-acre lot off Edgebrook Road from fellow developer Joe Thomas in December, county records show. Although no sale price is listed, county records indicate the property should be valued for tax purposes at $522,500.

Boone said he thinks the updated plans should be ready for submission in May or June.

The project would then be submitted to the planning commission, which would vote on a recommendation to the supervisory board whether or not to grant the rezoning, with the supervisors making the final decision.

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