The Board of Supervisors started its November 9 meeting with a recognition of Sgt. Cara Jacobs, for being chosen as one of 40 law enforcement professionals under the age of 40 from around the world that demonstrate leadership and exemplify a commitment to their profession.
Each year, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) chooses recipients for its “40 Under 40 Award” from across 32,000 officers and 170 agencies. The IACP is the world’s largest and most influential professional association for police and is committed to advancing safer communities through thoughtful, progressive police leadership.
All award nominees are current employees of local, state, federal, tribal, or transnational law enforcement agencies. Sgt. Jacobs is the only Virginia recipient of this year's international award, and the third Roanoke County Police officer to receive this recognition since the award program began in 2016.
>> Visit the IACP’s website for more information about the “40 Under 40” program.
In new business, the Board of Supervisors approved a resolution authorizing an amendment to the engineering services contract with Hurt & Proffitt, Inc., and re-allocating $4,542,105 in previously appropriated Smart Scale funding, and $4,352,469 in previously appropriated Surface Transportation Block Grant Program funding for the West Roanoke River Greenway Phase 1 Project.
The Roanoke River Greenway is identified as a regional priority in the Roanoke Valley Greenway Plan, and it is considered a critical component of economic development and tourism initiatives. Roanoke County is developing the West Roanoke River Greenway proposed between Green Hill Park in Roanoke County and West Riverside Drive in the City of Salem. This project has been designed by Hurt & Proffitt and proposes to construct an approximately 1.4-mile section of greenway that connects Roanoke County’s Green Hill Park to the greenway in the City of Salem.
Phase 1 of the project is a 0.6-mile section of greenway with a trailhead parking lot on West Riverside Drive that will extend east along the Roanoke River to the existing greenway in the City of Salem across from Kingsmill Drive. The project is locally administered, with oversight from VDOT, and funded through federal and state programs. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2023-2024.
Development of the West Roanoke River Greenway has been underway for over a decade between Green Hill Park in Roanoke County and Riverside Park in the City of Salem. This action appropriates funding and approval to begin the project’s first phase, with Phase 2 and eventual completion determined by the availability of grant funding and other future funding sources.
>> Learn more about Roanoke Valley Greenways and the 2018 Roanoke Valley Greenway plan.
The Board of Supervisors also approved the first reading of an ordinance to acquire property at 6781 Mount Chestnut Road to expand Happy Hollow Gardens Park and authorize the execution of a deed and other documents necessary to accomplish the acquisition of the property.
Happy Hollow Gardens Park is a 49-acre park located off Mount Chestnut Road in Roanoke County. The park is wooded with a trailhead parking lot, a small amphitheater, a picnic shelter, a boardwalk trail through an azalea and rhododendron garden, and approximately two miles of natural surface trails. Happy Hollow Gardens was purchased in 1908 by Bernard and Ellen Wharton, who used the property for their summer home. In 1940, Mr. Wharton started a wholesale nursery business and used Happy Hollow as the propagation site for azaleas and boxwoods. Mrs. Wharton planted a variety of flower gardens and ferns on the property. Two of the Wharton’s nieces, Mary Jane Burgess and Cherie Burgess Shindell, made their home on the property and continued to maintain and expand the existing gardens.
The current park was created in 1985 with a donation of property by the Burgess sisters to establish a nature park for future generations to enjoy. Additional park property was donated in 2007 by Sarah Jane Martin as a gift in memory of Guy M. and Janice K. Martin. The 14-acre property donation was subject to conditions that the County would conserve the land in its natural state as a forest and habitat for wildlife and open for public access as a park with trails for walking and hiking only.
In 2022, Mrs. Kathleen Steinbacher approached Roanoke County about the possibility of donating the rear portion of her 4.26-acre wooded property that is located adjacent to Happy Hollow Gardens Park to Roanoke County. Mrs. Steinbacher and her husband, Thomas J. Landsberg, have agreed to donate a 1.7697-acre portion of their property to Roanoke County to expand Happy Hollow Gardens Park. As part of the donation’s restrictions, the land will be retained in perpetuity by Roanoke County as a forested open space park that is open for public access and recreational use. There will be no logging or cutting of trees allowed, except as needed to maintain the health of the forest and there will be no commercial or residential development, consistent with the care and maintenance of the other property that makes up Happy Hollow Gardens. A second reading and the Board’s vote on this matter are scheduled for December 13.
In its consent agenda, the Board of Supervisors also approved the following items:
- Resolution amending and re-adopting a Grievance Procedure.
- Confirmation of Madeline Sefcik’s appointment to the Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare Board of Directors and the appointment of Donald Sowder to serve on the Roanoke County Economic Development Authority.
- Request to accept and allocate grant funds of $6,200 from the Community Foundation’s Jacqueline S. and Shelborn L. Spangler Fund to Roanoke County Fire and Rescue for the purchase of a thermal imaging camera for the Back Creek Fire & Rescue Station #11. The Community Foundation Serving Western Virginia has served the Roanoke Valley and much of southwest Virginia for over 30 years. Currently, it administers and makes grants from over 300 named endowment funds on behalf of the community. One of those funds is the Jacqueline S. and Shelborn L. Spangler Fund. The Spangler Fund makes grants that benefit communities in the Rt. 221 corridor, from Cotton Hill Road up Bent Mountain to Check in Floyd County. The Spangler Fund will cover 100% of the cost of the thermal imaging camera for the Back Creek Station. No additional County funds are required.
- The petition of Panda Storage Rentals and Sales to obtain a special use permit for equipment sales and rentals and a special use permit for a mini-warehouse on approximately 4.82 acres on land zoned C-2, High-Intensity Commercial District, located in the 5300 block of West Main Street and the 5400 block of Pleasant Run Drive, Catawba Magisterial District. The adoption of this item does not imply approval of the requested zoning actions, but it satisfies the procedural requirements of the County Charter and schedules the required public hearing and second reading of this ordinance. The second reading and public hearing on this ordinance are scheduled for December 13, 2022.
The Board of Supervisors meeting continued at 7:00 PM with a public hearing regarding a petition by Neil Aneja to obtain a special use permit to operate a short-term rental on approximately 0.30 acres on land zoned R-1, Low-Density Residential, located at 2776 White Pelican Lane. After a public hearing process and discussion by the Board of Supervisors, the petition was denied.
Board of Supervisors Work Session
The Board of Supervisors moved to work sessions with staff to discuss the Rt. 460 Land Use and Connectivity Study with the Board of Supervisors and to review with the Board of Supervisors the status of the County of Roanoke's Capital Improvement Program (CIP) projects.
The Route 460 Land Use and Connectivity Study will guide future decisions and actions in the Challenger Avenue corridor over the next 15 to 20 years, with the goals of recommending ways to travel around the Bonsack community that are alternatives to Route 460/Challenger Avenue, considering existing zoning classifications and future land use designations to determine potential changes to match desired development types and examining existing at-grade railroad crossings for potential improvements that may create development opportunities between the railroad and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
>> See the Route 460 Land Use and Connectivity Study for the latest plan recommendations and an overview of the plan’s process.
The Board’s work session with staff to review the status of the County’s Capital Projects included the recently completed Diesel Exhaust Removal System for Fire & Rescue facilities, along with updates on current projects for Public Safety, Transportation, Stormwater Management, and other projects across the County.
The Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is a detailed ten-year listing of projects submitted to the Board of Supervisors for approval. A capital project is defined as having a countywide benefit, a cost of more than $100,000, and a lifespan of more than five years. If funded by bonds, a project’s lifespan must be at least equal to the length of the bond issue. Projects include major items such as reconstruction or replacement of buildings or equipment, new construction or development, and acquisition of property and equipment.
>> For more information, see our Capital Improvement Program (CIP) page.
>> All Capital Improvement Program projects may be viewed on the Roanoke County GIS CIP Project Viewer.
The Board of Supervisors also held a closed meeting as allowed by the Code of Virginia, Section 2.2-3711(A)(1) for discussion and consideration regarding present and prospective appointees to the County’s Volunteer Fire Fighter Volunteer Incentive Program Board.
For More Information
More information on each of these items, along with the meeting video can be found under the Past Meetings section of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Meetings and Videos page.