Consultant briefs Roanoke City Council on master plan for Evans Spring property

Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 10:11 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The consultant who was hired to create a master plan for the Evans Spring property in Roanoke briefed members of city council Monday afternoon. Bill Mechnick said planners have come up with a proposal that is responsive and feasible.

The 150 acres of privately-owned land are located across I-581 from Best Buy and Target.

A previous attempt to create a commercial development there stalled amid strong neighborhood opposition. And before the consultant delivered his report Monday, one speaker urged members of city council to protect the natural resource.

“Evans Spring is not just a piece of land; it’s a sanctuary,” Joy Truskowski said. “It’s a natural spring that gives water to humans and all beings. It’s a wetland that cleans the water for all beings.”

The city hired the consultant, Land Planning Design Associates, late last year. The firm has conducted surveys and held community meetings.

The president of the firm, Bill Mechnick, outlined a plan that includes commercial development near the interstate and housing closer to existing neighborhoods. It also includes buffers to protect green space and the creek that runs through the property.

“We’re not going to make everybody happy with this plan, but like I said, we can pull a lot of levers in terms of the community amenities aspect, responding to community needs, the environmental aspects of the plan, as well as making it something that’s market-responsive,” Mechnick said.

Members of City Council did not vote on the master plan Monday. The consulting firm will return with a final draft later.