Housing and Neighborhood Actions


Implementation activities

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Create housing clusters, market-rate developments with a mixture of residential uses on a large site, located within or adjacent to established neighborhoods.

City provided surplus land for the Colonial Green development; acquired former Countryside golf course for development.  The zoning regulations for the MXPUD district were refined to permit a broad range of residential and commercial uses in the same development.

STRATEGIC INITIATIVE: Develop village centers in neighborhoods with a mixture of higher-density residential uses and neighborhood commercial uses.

Identified existing and new Village Center locations through neighborhood planning process.  Refined the Neighborhood Commercial zoning district and mapped CN zoning districts in existing and future village centers designated in neighborhood plans.

NH A1. Revise zoning ordinance to encourage the development of higher-density, mixed-use village centers and strengthen site development, landscaping, and signage requirements in village centers.

The Neighborhood Commercial zoning district refined to permit maximum site development at small scale and mixing of uses.

NH A2. Identify and map existing and potential village center locations.

Limits of existing and new centers are identified in neighborhood plans.

NH A3. Rezone existing and potential village center locations to encourage and accommodate higher-density development and a mixture of uses.

Neighborhood Commercial districts were mapped according to neighborhood plans on the 2005 zoning map. Higher density residential is generally mapped around village centers.

NH A4. Develop a strategy for improving existing village centers, redeveloping underutilized centers, and creating new centers in key locations through the neighborhood planning process.

Neighborhood plans recommend general improvement strategies and identify the best locations for new centers. Some existing village centers were strengthened with streetscape improvements.

NH A5. Consider ND, Neighborhood Design District, overlay zoning for qualifying centers in Rehabilitation and Conservation Areas to encourage compatible design of development in village centers.

Rather than using the design overlay as originally envisioned, the strategy changed to include design features in the Neighborhood Commercial base district, which expanded where the standards could be applied.  The Urban Design Manual provides design guidance for buildings in and near village centers.

NH A6. Develop interdepartmental and agency approaches to target public improvements in village centers.

Village center improvement projects involved coordination and consultation by multiple departments and agencies. The street design team evaluates projects holistically, considering stormwater, bicycle and pedestrian accommodations, design, and urban forestry in addition to vehicular traffic.

NH A7. Locate City services in village centers, where feasible.

Few city services have been located in village centers.  Notable locations include the Melrose fire station, the Raleigh Court fire station, and the Melrose Library.

NH A8. Develop and adopt four to six neighborhood plans annually.

By 2010, planning staff had completed plans covering all areas of Roanoke.

NH A9. Address land use, transportation, public facilities and services, greenways, utilities, and economic development.

Neighborhood plans address these specific elements.

NH A10. Develop indicators for neighborhood health and sustainability.

Neighborhood Indicators developed in 2010. Some data updated by RVARC (2017). VT updating mapping component in 2018.

NH A11. Involve neighborhood organizations, civic groups, and businesses in the development and implementation of neighborhood plans.

Residents and business owners are involved in the planning process through workshops and other venues for involvement. Where appropriate, neighborhood and/or business organizations are noted as having leadership roles. Neighborhood Development Grants provide resources to groups for implementation. Technical assistance is available as needed. Stakeholder groups are formed and maintained in CDBG target areas for the duration of the effort.

NH A12. Inventory and increase marketing of existing housing programs and incentives that encourage new residential development.

Strategic Housing Plan adopted (2006)Created Guide to Housing Programs for distribution to public.  Down Payment Assistance program for new City homebuyers. Rehabilitation tax abatement and infill tax abatement programs. Energy Efficient Home Rehabilitation Program encourages reinvestment in existing housing stock.

NH A13. Develop housing marketing strategy to identify new programs and incentives.

Strategic Housing Plan adopted 2006. Created new Market Rate housing programs. Share information about City programs. Developed specific marketing activities to advance Strategic Housing Plan implementation.

NH A14. Increase infrastructure funding to improve and enhance existing neighborhood streets and streetscapes; explore alternative funding sources such as grants and private contributions.

General fund streetscape/traffic calming budget line item established. CDBG funds used for infrastructure projects in Hurt Park and West End and will likely be used in Melrose Orange Target Area. Neighborhood sidewalk construction program. Obtained Safe Routes to School grants for projects around Addison, Preston Park, and Garden City.

NH A15. Strengthen neighborhood organizations and civic groups to develop neighborhood pride.

Ongoing programs through the Neighborhood Support office such as Leadership College, Welcome Roanoke, organization webpages, Neighborhood Development Grants, Neighborhood Month activities, annual recognition program, and National Night Out.

NH A16. Adopt design and performance standards for neighborhood streets, sidewalks, and tree canopies.

Adopted a nationally-recognized Complete Streets Policy and Street Design Manual to ensure accommodations for all types of street users are considered. 2005 zoning code includes enhanced landscaping and tree canopy standards for development sites. 2007 Subdivision Code includes improved standards for new streets.  Bike Friendly and Walk Friendly application/designation provide objective assessments and improvement targets.

NH A17. Identify gateways, key intersections, and major corridors for physical improvement that promotes neighborhood identity and pride.

Neighborhood guide priorities.  Parks and Rec expanded hanging basket program and improved landscaping at several prominent locations across the City. Welcome signs installed at 14 gateways.

NH A18. Revise zoning ordinance and review the application of the building code to permit development of live/work space.

Virginia Rehabilitation Code adopted and in use since 2005. 2005 zoning ordinance added live/work units as a land use category.

NH A19. Develop economic incentives and review the application of building code regulations in the downtown to encourage residential development.

Completed survey and nomination of all eligible areas for state and national registers, to facilitate rehabilitation by enabling use of historic rehabilitation tax credit programs.    Adopted the Virginia Rehabilitation Code.     The 2005 zoning code added first floor residential as a permitted use. Extended on-street parking for downtown residents and provided reduced-rate garage parking for residents.   Provided strategic City-owned properties as incentives for development.  Provided streetscape improvements in conjunction with redevelopment projects.

NH A20. Inventory and market vacant lots and underutilized sites for higher-density, mixed-use development.

Strategic Housing Plan identifies key housing opportunities. Outlook Roanoke Update identifies key development sites. SJRA plan calls for adaptive reuse of sites in The Crossing District for mixed-use development.

Inventory of City-owned properties assessed and prioritized for disposition.

Published a Property Catalog of nearly 200 available properties in West End to encourage development/rehabilitation.

Evaluated property reuse strategies as part of HUD consolidated plan update process and housing/brownfield programs.

NH A21. Complete a housing survey that defines and maps sustainability indicators on a citywide basis.

21st Century Challenge surveyed conditions in core neighborhoods (2005).  Strategic Housing Plan assessed market factors. 

Housing conditions are inspected and surveyed by Code Enforcement staff and are evaluated in neighborhood plans;  Neighborhood Indicators Project contains considerable data on housing that can be tracked over time.

NH A22. Develop a housing plan that includes guidelines for housing choice, sustainability, and social and economic diversity.

Strategic Housing Plan adopted.   RVARC also prepared a regional housing plan (2010).

NH A23. Develop criteria for evaluating new residential development proposals to ensure compatibility with surrounding neighborhoods and support of the City's goals of a balanced, sustainable housing supply.

Neighborhood Design District overlay implemented in 15 neighborhoods to improve quality and character of new housing in neighborhood plans.

Residential Pattern Book provides a guide for residential design (2009) with accompanying plans library (2010) and neighborhood outreach,

C2C Housing Design Competition - one project constructed.

Madison Field development proceeding using Earth Craft construction methods on property purchased from City.

Colonial Green remains active with townhouse development per pattern book and development plan.

Countryside Master Plan includes design principles for residential development.

NH A24. Strengthen enforcement of building maintenance codes, rental inspection program. Develop a strategy to increase geographic coverage.

Rental Inspection Program operational with inspections every 4 years.   City is authorized to designate Rental Inspection Districts wherever housing conditions warrant.

NH A25. Market the Real Estate Tax Abatement program to encourage rehabilitation of older homes.

Refined program and created a brochure to market; online GIS utility to show available incentives.

NH A26. Consider demolition of derelict or neglected structures, outside of historic districts, when rehabilitation is not economically feasible, plans for appropriate redevelopment are approved, and redevelopment furthers the neighborhood goals for a balanced, sustainable housing supply.

Owners of derelict structures ordered to repair or raze. Demolition anywhere is considered a last resort.

NH A27. Identify and assemble vacant or underutilized land for the development of housing clusters. Consider using public or community development corporations to assemble property for housing development.

Opportunities for new housing identified in neighborhood plans and the Strategic Housing Plan, (e.g., Colonial Green, Madison Field, Miller’s Hill, and Countryside).

NH A28. Revise zoning ordinance to permit higher-density residential and mixed-use development for housing clusters. Where appropriate, rezone identified areas for development of housing clusters.

2005 zoning ordinance and map implemented this action, especially with expanded options in the MXPUD district. Future Land Use Plans contained in neighborhood plans indicate appropriate areas for mixed-density and/or mixed-use development.

NH A29. Revise zoning ordinance to encourage quality infill development that reflects the character of the neighborhood including infill development standards.

Neighborhood Design District (NDD) was implemented in Melrose-Rugby November 2002. The 2005 zoning map expanded the district to 14 additional neighborhoods. 

NH A30. Develop a plan for the location of shelters, transitional living facilities, and day facilities that provides appropriate services in all areas of the City and the region, taking into account access to public transportation and proximity to other support services.

The taskforce on homelessness reorganized as the Roanoke Valley Alleghany Regional Advisory Council on Homelessness and is now under the administration of the Regional Council. The 10 year plan to end homelessness is inclusive of other localities.

NH A31. Develop affordable housing plans including programs that include a mix of housing types and opportunities for both rental and homeownership as part of the housing plan.

Strategic Housing Plan adopted and neighborhood plans address housing mix and recommend densities and housing types.

Existing housing programs include the affordable and market rate Down Payment Assistance Program. Finalized affordable and market rate rehabilitation programs for the conservation and rehab districts (encourage mixed-income neighborhoods).