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Sep 21

419 Kick-off Meeting Recap

Posted on September 21, 2016 at 5:11 PM by Bailey Howard-DuBois

community meeting

On September 15, 2016 nearly 150 members of the public joined Roanoke County staff and leadership for an energetic discussion about the future of the 419 Town Center study area.

Strengths and Weaknesses Inventory

Local business representatives, area residents and VDOT staff helped brainstorm lists of strengths/opportunities and weaknesses/challenges for transportation, development and economic growth:

Strengths & Opportunities:
  •  Central location
  •  Availability of retail and commercial space
  •  Demographics (income, education, culture)
  •  Natural environment
  •  Community support for change
  •  Potential access to Carilion by bike
  •  Easy to get to
  •  Already zoned for business
  •  Not restricted by historic protection so can be made more handicap accessible
  •  Opportunity for mixed use, choices, and to attract people and businesses
  •  No new malls built in Roanoke area recently
  •  Lots of traffic (i.e. visibility)
  •  New owner for Tanglewood Mall
  •  Good mix of professional tenants
  •  Attractive region to visitors
  •  Local focus (ex. Farmer’s Market)
  •  Appalachian culture

Weaknesses & Challenges:

  •  Traffic
  •  Lacks alternative transportation access
  •  Disconnected development
  •  Aging infrastructure
  •  Lack of exposure
  •  Generational gap between Millennials and Empty Nesters
  •  Topographic challenges
  •  Resistance to change from certain leadership
  •  Lack of space for traffic
  •  No bike paths or sidewalks
  •  Proximity to single family houses
  •  No mixed-use zoning
  •  No vacant land
  •  Railroad is a barrier
  •  Tax dollars support other areas
  •  Small airport
  •  Risk of losing affordability, diversity within each community
  •  Risk of stormwater challenges, local food shortages

See something missing? Tell us in the online survey!

Town Center Visioning

Participants also voted (with dots) on the designs and features they liked best in town centers around the country.

dot exercisedot exercise

Check out the 419 photo gallery to see more pictures and examples of the meeting exercises.

The community feedback gathered at this meeting will help guide the development of the 419 Town Center plan over the next several months.

You can view the full presentation online. For more information, visit the 419 webpage. Share and discuss your own ideas about the study area on the MySidewalk page.