Evans Spring Development Plan

The Evans Spring Planning Area is approximately 150 acres of land along the southern side of Interstate 581.  The Melrose-Rubgy and Fairland neighborhoods border the property to the south and west.  The Evans Spring area is the largest assemblies of developable vacant land left in Roanoke.  

As work on the I-581 interchange was being planned in 2011, city planners began work on the Evans Spring Area Plan.  The plan, adopted by City Council in 2013, provides a general framework for expectations for how development should occur.  It recommended development of a mixed-use neighborhood within the context of its adjoining neighborhoods, a regional shopping center, and an interstate highway frontage.  A detailed master plan is before development begins and will be required before a rezoning can be considered.

In June 2022, the City announced that it would initiate an Evans Spring development planning process.   City Council approved a partnership agreement with the property owners and the Economic Development Authority to hire a professional consultant to look at the property’s potential while engaging adjacent neighborhoods and the surrounding community. The objective is to collaboratively create a plan that is both economically feasible and has a positive relationship with three adjacent neighborhoods known as Melrose-Rugby, Fairland, and Villa Heights.

Even with the interchange project complete, developers still need to build a bridge from the ramp to gain access to the site. One significant challenge for the consultant will be to identify a feasible design and provide strategies for funding the construction.

The properties would need to be rezoned by City Council before development could start. The new planning initiative could culminate in a rezoning application for consideration by the Planning Commission and City Council some time in 2023.

Each of the three partners will contribute $75,000 to the effort. 

Update September 12: 

There were two responses to the City's Request for Proposals.  A small group of city employees is working through the process to select the consultant and get the planning project underway by mid-October 2022.  

 

The Evans Spring Planning Area is made up of 108 lots and street right-of-way area. The numbers on map below indicate the approximate land area in acres. Together, the three areas equal about 150 acres. The City owns a 4.5 acre water detention basin and the land that the Lick Run Greenway occupies.


evansspring location map



What is happening with Evans Spring now? 

The City is going through a selection process to identify and hire a professional consultant to handle the planning process. Below is an excerpt from the Request for Proposals that summarizes the services the consultant will expected to provide. 

Community Engagement

A successful planning effort must integrate a robust strategy for engaging stakeholders of the surrounding neighborhood as planning begins, as elements of a plan emerge, and to completion of a plan that contains adequate detail to initiate a rezoning process. The engagement process is critical to the success of the project. 

In addition to traditional forms of engagement such as meetings or workshops, the consultant should lead a design charrette that enables intense engagement in evaluating a variety of scenarios in a short time frame. The hope is that ideas generated can respond to a multitude of interests simultaneously (urban design, market opportunities, community concerns, transportation, etc). The intent should be to identify design approaches that consider all relevant interests successfully.

Master Plan

The consultant will provide a development plan with the following essential features:

  • The general location, size, and orientation of buildings and their general usage (commercial, residential, and mixed). The composition and form of buildings should be such that they are capable of being adapted to new uses when the initial uses are abandoned. Generally, buildings should front directly on streets.
  • A connected street framework arranged in a pattern to create frontage access for parcels. The street network must provide connectivity from the surrounding neighborhood at multiple points. 
  • Patterns for the design of various streets consistent with the City’s Street Design Guidelines.
  • A parking plan that shows the general location and size of parking fields and minimizes parking to the minimum necessary and de-emphasizes parking through location. 
  • Integration of the floodplain and floodway areas of Lick Run into the development
  • Consideration of the Lick Run Greenway development according to the Roanoke Valley Regional Greenway Plan.
  • The plan should ensure it considers the City’s adopted urban design principles contained in the City’s Urban Design Manual, the Evans Spring Area Plan, and City Plan 2040.
  • General approach to managing stormwater.
  • Thoughtful integration with and transition to surrounding developed areas.
  • A phasing plan.

Development Analysis

The consultant will provide the following analyses in support of the development:

  • Traffic projections for traffic for each street, especially those which connect to the surrounding neighborhood. 
  • Tax revenue projections and net new economic benefit to the City.  
  • Cost estimates for all infrastructure and the ramp access to the existing I-581 Valley View interchange and a general proposal for financing such infrastructure. 
  • Considerations/strategies to integrate local businesses and facilitate local entrepreneurship into the development.