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Neighborhood Plan Update
City Council adopted the Melrose-Rugby Neighborhood Plan on August 16, 2010. The new plan supercedes the orginal neighborhood plan from 2001. For more information, please contact Frederick Gusler at 853-1104.

Melrose-Rugby Neighborhood Plan

Melrose-Rugby is one of the City's early suburbs, developed between 1889 and 1920 after construction of the Salem-Melrose streetcar began in 1890. The neighborhood became predominantly African-American beginning in the 1960s when urban renewal programs in the Gainsboro neighborhood displaced many residents. Many of those residents have remained in the neighborhood and are members of one of the City's most active neighborhood organizations, the Melrose-Rugby Neighborhood Forum.

Melrose-Rugby is bound on the south by Melrose and Orange Avenues (Route 460 West), a major four-lane arterial street with a mix of commercial and residential properties. Aside from that, the rest of the neighborhood is somewhat secluded and quiet, with many old foursquare and cottage style homes uniformly situated along hilly streets. On many streets the neighborhood has exceptional mountain views.

Since the adoption of the plan in 2001, several of its priority recommendations have already been implemented. In 2002, the City's first Neighborhood Design District (NDD) was adopted by City Council in Melrose-Rugby. The NDD addresses residents' concerns about the quality of infill housing by requiring all new construction to adhere to design guidelines, which ensure that new housing will be compatible with the existing housing stock. The City of Roanoke is unique in the Commonwealth of Virginia in that it is the only locality granted the specific enabling legislation to implement design standards outside of a locally adopted historic district.

In addition to the NDD, installation of curb, gutter and sidewalk has been completed on a number of streets, and the Rehabilitation District has been expanded to increase code enforcement efforts.

Download the original (2001) Melrose-Rugby Neighborhood Plan