BLACKSBURG, Va. – UPDATE:
The Planning Commission voted against recommending rezoning the land to build Glade Spring Crossing by a 5-2 vote on Tuesday night.
A proposed housing development is creating controversy in Blacksburg.
The Village at Tom’s Creek is a quiet neighborhood sitting next to nearly 45 acres of untouched land. But that could change.
A developer wants to build a new housing community: Glade Spring Crossing.
“There’s a lot of red flags,” said Robin Jones, who lives in the Village.
Jones said that neighbors understand Blacksburg’s need for more housing, but they’re worried about the potential safety and environmental impacts the new development might bring.
“Neighborhoods are not designed to be cut-throughs. They’re designed to sort of, you know, share the burden of their own residents,” said Robin.
The plan calls for 176 non-student homes, both market rate and affordable housing. The goal is to serve the town’s workforce, young families, and first-time homeowners who may find themselves priced out of the housing market.
The average cost of a house in Blacksburg is about $400,000.
Right now, the lot is only zoned for 44 homes. In order to build, the developer is asking the town to rezone the land.
The proposed density is what concerns Traci Sterling, who also lives in the Village.
“It is so densely populated, it just can create a really unsafe living environment when you’re outside,” said Sterling.
They say their children play in the street because there are no sidewalks and such little traffic. They fear that if the developer builds a road connecting the two developments, it would take away that sense of safety and community.
During a town council work session Tuesday morning, council members heard from town officials and the development’s project manager, Meredith Jones.
“I think diversity makes a community stronger,” said Meredith. “[It] allows for everybody to enjoy the benefits of Blacksburg.”
The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. and vote whether or not they’ll recommend rezoning the land.
Ultimately, the decision whether or not to rezone the land will be up to town council.
“We’re not saying don’t develop. We’re not saying we don’t want affordable housing,” said Robin. “What we’re saying is this is not the right project for this property.”