NW Roanoke residents still pushing for no development at Evans Spring area

Many people living nearby Evans Spring moved there after being forced from their homes during Urban Renewal

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke City is still getting a lot of pushback from neighbors wanting the Evans Spring area to be left alone.

Earlier this week, Roanoke City Council got an update from consultants on what could possibly go in the 150-acre space. It’s the largest plot of land still left undeveloped in the city.

On Thursday, it was all about the community. Dozens of people came out for an engagement meeting with the consultants at William Fleming High School.

The presentation was the same as the one given to City Council but this meeting had more of a town-hall style to it to allow the community to share their questions and concerns.

LaDonna Jordan is just one of the strong opposers to any sort of development at the site.

[Roanoke City Council hears update on Evans Spring future development]

“We’ve already said what we do and do not want. Most of us said no development, I include myself,” Jordan said.

A majority of people living nearby the Evans Spring site don’t want to see any development unless it helps the environment. One of the other driving factors is people fearing they would be kicked out of their homes, similar to what happened to black neighborhoods in the 60s and 70s during Urban Renewal.

“We have been traumatized. We have been made promises that have never been kept. This is our history of this country. So yes ... we are leary,” Dreamer Nelson said.

Consultants did clear up that no one will be forced from their homes. One of the other things discussed was just a lack of terminology with development and who’s running what.

Veronica Fleming with Community Engagement and Charrette Associates has been one of the leaders in getting the community engaged throughout the process.

She implored people to make their voices heard by City Council and the City Manager.

About the Author

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.

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