Evans Spring Development Plan
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.
A consulting team headed up by Land Panning and Design Associates of Charlottesville was hired to lead the process and has been working throughout the year on community engagement and research to inform a master plan recommendation. On November 20, the LPDA team will present its recommendation to City Council in a briefing. The slides for the presentation will be available here on Thursday morning after they have been provided to City Council members.
Next steps will be determined following the briefing in November. Two major decision points lie ahead if the property is to be developed according to the master plan. First, the properties would need to be rezoned by City Council. Second, there will need to be a funding strategy for the interchange connection to I-581, which is expected to exceed $50M.
Primary contact for information on the project is [email protected]
What was the consulting team asked to do?
We required our consultant to provide three general categories of professional services (1) Community engagement (2) Master plan development, and (3) Development analysis. These requirements were incorporated into our contract with the consultant.
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 desire 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.
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.
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.