Letter – Countryside Property Owners Smell a Fox in the Hen House

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The weeds continue to grow at Countryside.
The weeds continue to grow at Countryside.

We can’t believe that the city is preparing to house 400 CHICKENS in our Northwest neighborhood. In addition there will be rows of greenhouses that look like old military barracks or airplane hangers just down the street from our homes. Is that the community garden proposed by the city in the Neighborhood Master Plan?  Or did we not understand the community garden concept. At least the City will get 0 a year for leasing the property that was actually given to them by the airport in a land swap deal.  Sounds like a lot of chicken droppings to us!

Then we find that on another part of the Countryside property the city is considering a Soccer Sports Complex proposed by Northwest Recreation Club that takes more acreage than allotted in the Master Plan. Their plan is to enlarge and remodel the tennis building into bathrooms and locker rooms, etc. – all of this for soccer tournaments.

Excuse us, but the Roanoke Valley has had soccer tournaments for years. Every time another organization needs hotel rooms during the soccer tournaments we are unable to find any. Soccer tournaments are nothing new to Roanoke.

The City will get zero (0) dollars for this complex. They presently get tax dollars from hotels and restaurants during soccer tournament time anyway. So why did they close the golf course?  They need tax base dollars the city claimed.  Just a thought — do you suppose they are planning to close the soccer fields at Rivers Edge and someone has plans to build on that property?  Now there would be tax base dollars unless of course the building is for non-profit use.

What happened to the proposal for “tennis” in the tennis building? The City wants to use it for bathrooms instead?

We are in agreement that this is NOT a “Neighborhood Plan” and our homes will certainly devalue more if this plan goes forward. The city council, city manager and planning staff should consider and respect the needs and desires of our neighborhood rather than the personal ambitions and desires of a council member’s spouse or even those of respectable business people such as the Food Co-Op.  Why does it ALWAYS seem like we the citizens who pay the taxes don’t matter?

 We are definitely missing something with this whole decision. The city said it was not in a hurry to do anything with the Countryside property except for sprucing up the hayfields of the 10th, 11th and 12th fairways with trails and landscaping. Maybe we are just in shock that these plans would even be considered and we have not gotten to the meat of what is going on. Hopefully it is not what it appears to be.

We are still waiting to see where the $1.5 million dollars for the property will be spent that was approved by city council on Monday. That was the same amount of money it would have taken to keep the golf course operating.  We have high hopes that it will now be used to restore the damage done to our home values that once were adjacent to lush green fairways.

-Susan Hall and Dawn Lamb  on Ranch Road – Neighbors to Proposed Chicken Coops and Members of Countryside Neighborhood Alliance