Developers finalize plans for new urban community in Botetourt County

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
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BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Developers in Botetourt County are finalizing plans for a “new urban community” in the Roanoke Valley. Partners held a community input meeting with neighbors and stakeholders last week.

After weeks of talking with neighbors and community members, the Wilkinson Group is moving forward with development plans at the former Murray Farms. One nearby resident explained it could be the biggest development he’s seen in recent years.

“I mean it’s really been undeveloped forever,” Grant Holmes said. “It makes sense for the farm to sell because it’s the right time.”

Holmes lives right in front of where “Harvest at Blue Ridge” would go. He’s given his feedback to developers through the community input meetings.

“They’ve been responsive and given me cell phone numbers to call them personally,” Holmes said. “When I ask them questions, I feel like I get straight answers.”

The buildings on the former farm grounds would stay intact, but the rest of the land would be developed into stores and hundreds of homes for the new urban community.

The president of The Wilkinson Group explained the developers are working to address neighbor concerns.

“People are always concerned with what’s in the back of their house because they’ve always enjoyed the solitude and peace,” Dale Wilkinson said. “We do want people to know that we’re accounting for that in how we’re changing this.”

Wilkinson explained the main idea of the project focuses on community relationships.

“Our idea is to kind of get away from the automobile as the concentric pivot point for most people, and actually get to know your neighbors a bit,” Wilkinson said.

Holmes explained how he is interested in the neighborhood’s walkability aspect.

“That five- to 12-minute walkability, that easy walk, most everything you’re going to need is going to be close,” Holmes said. “If you need to go get something, you don’t have to go to your car; it’s all right there.”

The development plan outlines a variety of homes in a walkable and sustainable neighborhood near the border of Botetourt and Roanoke County.

“I hope the plans that they’re talking about go in the direction they’ve talked about it because it looks really nice,” Holmes said.

The next step is for developers to submit an application to the county.