Martinsville residents share thoughts, concerns about revitalization of city's west end

Meeting held Wednesday to help develop plan for revitalization

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Wednesday's rain put a damper on the plan for some of Martinsville's movers and shakers to walk down Fayette Street and talk to people about how they would like to see their community revitalized.

But, it didn't stop a meeting to get feedback.

Last year, 10 News first told you about the plan to reshape the west end of town.

Lawrence Mitchel has lived most of his life in Martinsville and had a lot to say about the plan so far.

"The initial thought is that it needs improvement, but I think this helps," Mitchel said. "(It) let's the community know what needs to be done and also that the community needs to get more involved."

Mitchel suggested that the street map being used as a guide for the revitalization needs to extend past North Street to include the people that live in that area.

He also made suggestions about where speed bumps need to go and better controls for semitruck traffic.

"We don't want it to be a complete commercial area. It is a residential area," Mitchel said.

He and others are worried that their property values will decrease if the area becomes heavily commercialized.

His concern stems from the fact that part of the revitalization plan includes turning the former Paradise Inn into a combination of a small store and possibly some restaurants, both offering fresh food grown locally.

Martinsville Community Planner Susan McCulloch says a final plan is still being developed, but feedback from today's meeting will be a big part of it.

"The public is very interested. They're giving some amazing feedback, great thoughts about things that we may not have known about. So I'm really happy people came out today," McCulloch said.

Wednesday night, McCulloch and consultants from Durham, North Carolina-based Renaissance Planning, which the city is working with to develop the revitalization plan, planned to analyze Wednesday's feedback.

Another meeting is scheduled for March 8 at 6 p.m.

As of Wednesday, a location had not been determined.

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