I have a few thoughts regarding the Pavilion Development Company's proposed development of the Evans Spring site across I-581 from Valley View Mall:
1. The City should be assured by the developer that the site following build-out will generate no increased storm water flow and no decreased water quality than comes off the site now. The pipe that carries Lick Run under Washington Park is at capacity now and any additional flow will flood Brown-Robertson Park and across 10th Street. Children are in contact with Lick Run in lower Washington Park and should not be subject to contaminated runoff as they play in the creek.
2. The developer should be required to complete construction of all stormwater management facilities--underground treatment and storage, rain gardens, etc.--before proceeding with building and road construction on the surface, just as the developer of Ivy Village at Franklin and Wanju was required to do. Downstream stormwater flooding and pollution mitigation should be job one on this project.
3. The developer should be asked to donate the spring and pond on the site and sufficient margin around them to the City for a City park and natural area to provide public recreation, protect the unique natural wetland environment, and help protect water quality downstream. A nature center should be built by the City in this park to provide children in Northwest Roanoke with the same environmental science education opportunity that children in Southwest Roanoke have at the Discovery Center in Mill Mountain Park.
4. The developer should be required to complete Lick Run Greenway through the site at that same time that other infrastructure for the project is being built,
5. The overall design of the Evans spring project should harmonize with and complement the adjoining neighborhood so that together they form an attractive, walkable destination attraction for the neighbors as well as the city as a while. One way to approach this goal will be to save as many trees on the site as possible during development.
6. The neighboring community's concerns regarding the potential large increase in automobile traffic off I-581 and past the Roanoke Academy elementary school on 19th Street is well-founded. Street and traffic design should take this valid concern into account.