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City to initiate an Evans Spring development plan The City of Roanoke is taking the first step toward a new initiative in planning for development of the Evans Spring area properties along I-581 near Valley View Mall. On Monday (June 6), City Council will consider 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.
At 130 acres, the Evans Spring Area remains as the city’s only vacant development site of consequence. As the project to complete the I-581 Valley View interchange was mobilizing in 2013, city planning staff created a general plan with recommendations to guide future development. That plan, intended to create a framework for a future development proposal, called for a mix of commercial and residential development that would connect with the surrounding communities. This current effort will take that general framework and add greater clarity and specificity to future development options.
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 sometime in 2023.
Each of the three partners will contribute $75,000 to the effort.