Another Big-box development?

Good story in this week’s C-Ville about another potential development on 29 North.

The area Wood wants rezoned comprises 230 acres on the west side of Route 29N and south of the Hollymead Town Center (most of which was also developed by Wood). He wants the zoning changed from industrial service to mixed use, allowing development that Wood said would be similar to the Hollymead Town Center, including a big box “larger than 65,000 square feet.” The land is currently home to a mobile home park and a business.

One of the more interesting aspects of this story is the negotiating chip the developers are bringing to the table.

He said an unnamed retailer would fund the extension of Berkmar Drive in that area, a road project the County also wants to see.

This is progress at least, but it potentially conflicts with the current Places 29 Master Plan that is underway. Anybody with interest in the future of the 29 North Corridor should either attend the work sessions or at least read the discussions.

Growth on the 29 North Corridor is doing many things. Two of note (for today) are that 1) 29 is becoming less and less of an efficient through-road and more of a stop-and-go nightmare. 2) The Central VA region is becoming more and more segmented. Just a few years ago, one could live and work on opposite sides of the City/County. Now, we have “sections” – Lake Monticello, 29N, Crozet, Pantops … unbridled, careless growth is going to harm our region, perhaps irreparably.

Here is where my idealism rears its ugly head. I wish that developers would develop with good conscience rather than strictly dollars. They should ask themselves – how can I develop this area/project so that my kids will want to go there?

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