The City of Roanoke Brownfield Rail Corridor Revitalization Plan is complete.
Click the link below to download a copy of the plan:
Brownfield Rail Corridor Revitalization Plan 4.5 MB pdf
The plan outlines key recommendations for the City's first steps in revitalizing the Rail Corridor which include:
In the News
EPA grant puts Roanoke rail corridor cleanup on track - Roanoke Times, December 7, 2011
EPA Helping Roanoke Reclaim Land - WSET13 News (area ABC affiliate).
- Developing a full brownfield inventory
- Engaging directly with the property owners representing vacant properties within the Rail Corridor
- Completing and disseminating marketing materials for vacant and underused properties within the Rail Corridor
- Developing a neighborhood cleanup program
- Developing a more comprehensive database of Rail Corridor Properties
- Engage local businesses on skills required and outreach efforts
- Rezone key areas of the rail corridor - this will create specific transition areas between residential and industrial use
- Develop a "skills catalog" - prepare a directory of skills held by the labor force in proximity to the Rail Corridor that will help to both identify future industrial targets and also enhance local and regional marketing efforts.
The Rail Corridor Planning Area was mentioned in the EPA Region 3 Land Revitalization Newsletter for Fall 2011. Click here to read the newsletter and access the article "Roanoke takes brownfields to task."
The City has been awarded a $175,000 EPA Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program grant for Roanoke's "Rail Corridor Planning Area." EPA grant funding will be directed to brownfields-impacted sites within the corridor. The grant funding will result in an area-wide plan which will inform the assessment, cleanup and reuse of brownfields properties and promote area-wide revitalization. EPA selected 23 pilot projects across the country and the City of Roanoke is proud to be one of the recipients of this award.
EPA Planning Grant Fact Sheet (PDF)
Click here (PDF) for a copy of the grant application submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency in June 2010.
The City has hired CWS Consulting Group to lead the project planning process. The project team is led by Chris Steele of CWS Consulting Group, and includes:
This project targets the Rail Corridor Planning Area which is a discrete portion of the Rail Corridor delineated in the City-Wide Brownfield Redevelopment Plan. This plan will build on previous neighborhood planning efforts in Hurt Park, Loudon-Melrose, Gilmer, and West End as follows:
These documents provide an overall plan for the neighborhoods, particularly from a residential perspective as most participation in these planning processes comes from residents and neighborhood organizations. City staff largely develops economic development elements in the plans. These plans were adopted before the City developed a brownfield program. They identify underused industrial property as an issue but do not provide significant policy on best reuse scenarios or specific actions to put the properties back into productive use.
Through the brownfield program, some initial efforts have been pursued in the planning corridor. These include the development of a City-Wide Petroleum Inventory that identifies historic gas stations, auto repair facilities and the like that may represent reuse opportunities. In a similar effort an inventory of brownfield sites was performed in the Loudon-Melrose and Gilmer neighborhoods as part of an update to the Loudon-Melrose plan.
The Rail Corridor Plan will build on these existing efforts to create a holistic plan that will transform the entire corridor in a manner that benefits residents and business owners in the area. The City has hired CWS Consulting Group to work with the partnership to develop a well balanced and sustainable plan for the corridor. In addition to basic land use, the CWS team will provide expertise in evaluating economic conditions, determining best uses based on current and expected market conditions, developing strategies for transitioning uses and other specialties that are not possessed by City staff. Thus a model plan will be created that can be adapted for other parts of the City.
Involvement of the community will be a key element throughout the planning process. It is recognized that an engaged public is the only way to develop an inclusive plan that will receive support for actual implementation. It is envisioned that public involvement will take the form of open public meetings and stakeholder meetings to solicit support from specific sectors (residents, business owners, property owners, developers, realtors, etc.) regarding specific issues. Meetings will be held in various locations in the corridor to provide easy access and opportunity to attend to all those that will be affected by the plan.
Input from residents, business owners, and property owners in the corridor is the critical element to determine what is important in the community and what is desired for the future. Input from outside developers, realtors, etc. is also important to gain a better understanding of what is needed to generate private sector investment in the corridor.
Support from the community will be sought throughout the project to gain an initial vision and then to flesh out details as the plan is developed. This will create a core group of interested parties in the corridor to work with the City and its partners to implement the plan.
Where is the Rail Corridor Planning Area?
The "Rail Corridor Planning Area" covers approximately 425 acres excluding the rail yard that bisects the area. The corridor stretches from 5th Street, N.W. and S.W. on its eastern edge to 24th Street, N.W. and S.W. on its western edge. The corridors southern boundary follows Patterson Avenue, S.W. and the northern boundary follows Loudon Avenue, N.W. The area includes portions of the Gilmer, Loudon-Melrose, Hurt Park, and West End neighborhoods. Numerous small brownfields are located throughout the corridor with historic uses ranging from steel fabrication, scrap yards, lumber yards, oil distributors, manufacturers, automotive repair and contractors shops. There are approximately 60 brownfield eligible properties and sites within the corridor. Click here (PDF) to download a copy of the map shown below.
Questions/comments should be directed to B.T. Fitzpatrick, City Planner/GIS Technician at 540.853.1334 or email@example.com