Daleville development affects entire county
We live in Buchanan, but I still attend the Board of Supervisor (BoS) meetings in Daleville. Since most of the business at the BoS meetings is about Daleville development, why would I need to attend? Because, what happens in Daleville affects all the county townships. It comes down to resource.
Is the current overdevelopment causing the current strain on our water resources? First, the Virginia Water Authority pulls in water to support Daleville from a great many areas. Those areas include Troutville, Fincastle, Buchanan and Eagle Rock. Granted, a good deal of the water in Botetourt comes from Carvins Cove. This past year, most of Southwest Virginia was declared a drought region. Twice before, the area was declared a drought area, 1999, 2002 and now again 2023. Carvins Cove is still below levels despite the recent rain and snow we just had. It is very poor planning on the BoS side to believe the drought situation will not continue at some point. How many residents in the county remember when the wells went dry in Ashley Plantation because of overdevelopment and the owners had to cover the cost of drilling new wells out of their own pockets.
Sheriff’s Department resources are being strained. Every time I make a trip to Daleville there is an accident. My daughter, who lives in the Old Daleville College apartments, complains about sirens in the area day and night. Every time there is an accident, all three units must roll out – sheriff, fire and EMS. Putting additional traffic lights in the area is not going to cut down on the number of accidents in the area. These accidents are pulling resources from departments that already suffer from a slow response time and that are needed in other areas.
I realize the county needs to develop to generate tax revenue. Adding another convenience store (Wawa) near an already existing convenience store (Sheetz) does not even make sense. It falls along the lines of putting in a brand-new care wash (Road Runner) when a perfectly good car wash existed right down the road.
Address what the area needs. The closest childcare center to the area is at Mill Creek in Fincastle. With all the new families moving in, childcare would be a much-needed facility. The BoS needs to concentrate on jobs in the county. They cannot keep relying on Altec and the cement plant to keep generating jobs. Troutville has numerous empty commercial buildings that could be developed. They have failed to tap into the most attractive items that would draw an existing employer or an employer looking to build in the area – easy access to I-81, low taxes, and an existing work force. Not to mention the attraction of all the recreational and tourist facilities that are available in the county – the James River, camping grounds, fishing, hiking, etc.
All the housing that is being developed was aimed at providing housing for Roanoke, not Botetourt. Roanoke has thousands upon thousands of empty buildings that they can develop into housing. I do not see the need for Daleville to become a “bedroom” for Roanoke. Residents who live in Botetourt but work in Roanoke will ultimately do most of their spending in Roanoke. I commuted from Buchanan to Roanoke for 13 years. When I left work, I stopped at Walmart, Lowe’s and Kroger in Roanoke or Roanoke County. I did buy all my gas in Botetourt because the tax rate on gas was lower. All that food and sales tax revenue would ultimately stay in Roanoke.
Most of the population of the county is middle-class, blue-collar workers living paycheck to paycheck. They cannot afford to live in apartments that range from $1,800 to $3,000 a month. Are there any plans to build affordable housing? I am not talking about Section 8 housing but housing that these people can afford. My daughter currently pays $1,099 a month for a two-bedroom apartment in the old Daleville College building, which I feel is ridiculous considering the age and condition of the apartments.
In closing, I can only say that the development in Daleville has hit a peak. Concentrate on other townships in the county. Concentrate on bringing jobs to the county.
Not the right location for Wawa
I attended the Board of Supervisors meeting concerning the proposed Wawa at Daleville Town Center. Most of the citizens did not object to Wawa as a corporation, the objection was how it fits into the proposed site; or more importantly, how it doesn’t fit.
The parcel allows for no entrance off Route 220; therefore, all 1,500 cars going to Wawa every day must make two left turns into a residential neighborhood.
The county’s traffic report states that a restaurant on that site would increase traffic by only 334 cars, not 1,500; plus, there should be space for an entrance.
I feel there is a great deal of pressure to pass this project. However, I feel we should be patient and see how the 117 new homes at Greenfield and the 100 Fieldstone apartments affect traffic in an already congested Daleville.
Again, it’s not Wawa, it’s location, location, location.