419 Town Center leaders share update on plan and hear from community
ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - The 419 Town Center Plan has been progressing for years. Thursday night, leaders held an open house to share that progression and share with the community what’s next.
“You don’t want to sort of implement things behind closed doors, you want to give people a chance to see what that implementation looks like,” said Nick Britton, a Project Manager with Michael Baker International.
Thursday’s meeting gave residents an inside look into what’s already happened and how they can continue to have a voice in the plan’s future.
“What we’re really looking at is kind of a mix of design and the style of the area. So it’s not just Tanglewood, it’s not just 419 itself, but sort of that entire area we’re looking at,” said Britton.
A question mark surrounding the plan has been the flow of traffic onto Route 419. Construction to widen the road has been completed, with further plans to address the 220 intersection planned for 2024.
“The construction is a piece of the larger picture. Making sure that you’re not going to be backed up to the intersection every single time everyone gets off. It’s getting cars moving faster and giving more access to people on 419,” said Britton.
Developers know this process isn’t going to be completed overnight, but are focused on making sure the public is involved in each phase moving forward.
“Roanoke County is looking far ahead here and saying this area is not gonna be the same as it is right now or where it was 5 to 10 years ago. Having that goal already in your mind and planning for it, makes sure that not just the county, but the public has some kind of stake in that process,” said Britton.
Some used Post It notes to share their ideas on the plan, with each person we spoke with having the same feeling about the 419 area’s future.
”I think it’s great that we’re looking at further development, I think this side of town needs it and we’re very excited for it,” said Jeremy Everitt, who works for a business near Route 419.
“I think this part of the county has a powerful growth input. I’ve been around long enough to know it takes a little effort and patience to let good things happen,” said Ned LeGard, a longtime Roanoke County resident.
The 419 Town Center Plan’s developers will take the public’s comment into consideration as they plan to bring plans to Roanoke County leaders in May.
Roanoke County will then be able to decide how to move forward and ultimately bring the next step of the plan to the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission for approval.
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