APPROVED BY CITY COUNCIL-1998
The MOU has been executed with the City and is subject to annual review and funding. This program will continue until such time as the Wards Corner Steering Committee, consisting of City and NRHA staff as outlined in the MOU, determines that the programs are no longer needed and funding ceases.
On September 9, the City held a public meeting to review the draft plan for the Central Hampton Boulevard area at ODU’s Ted Constant Convocation Center. The area under consideration extends from Colley Bay to the railroad tracks and from Colley Avenue to Bowdens Ferry Road and includes the neighborhoods of Highland Park, Kensington and Lamberts Point.
NRHA is very active in this area with the Hampton Boulevard redevelopment project, Lamberts Point conservation neighborhood and other initiatives.
Paula Shea of the City’s Planning Department walked participants through the planning process, which includes the following phases: Analysis, Vision, Draft Plan and Final Plan. The process is currently at the Draft Plan stage.
The market study performed for the area shows that there is 210,000 – 260,000 square feet of potential retail growth over the next 10-15 years, which should be neighborhood and student-oriented (primarily along Colley Avenue, Hampton Boulevard and Monarch Way). There is also potential for auto-oriented retail along Hampton Boulevard.
The market study also shows a potential for 350,000 – 400,000 square feet of office/research growth over the next 10-15 years.
In regards to the potential market for new construction, the study determined that 85% would be older or younger singles/couples and 15% families. These residences would come in the form of lofts, 1- or 2-story apartments and townhomes with a breakdown of 75% multifamily and 25% single-family dwellings. Homeownership of these units was stressed. Note that NRHA will build new townhomes in the 26th Street and Hampton Boulevard area in 2010.
A transportation analysis shows an increase in volume expected, significant through Hampton Boulevard with a relatively small net traffic impact over 10 years. Improvements to Hampton Boulevard are planned.
The vision for Hampton Boulevard includes office and research space south of 26th Street and it was emphasized that this did not mean light industrial. The area north of 26th Street would have auto-oriented commercial, but be pedestrian accessible (by having sidewalk access up front and parking in the rear) on the east side of Hampton Boulevard. The west side would remain neighborhood-oriented commercial and residential, which was based on feedback the Planning Department received from residents.
The Killam Avenue area was acknowledged as unidentified residential character, especially between 38th and 49th Streets. There would be transitional land uses to buffer from industrial area to single-family homes (i.e.: townhomes).
Colley Avenue would continue with commercial, office, and research space along with multifamily units. A new development is proposed for the lower end of Colley Avenue. It was stressed that this area needs to remain pedestrian friendly.
Implementation would include updating the general plan, developing a pedestrian commercial overlay (a rezoning tool) for Colley Avenue, revise development regulations regarding building placement and massing, revise parking standards and develop an access management plan to limit curb cuts onto Hampton Boulevard.
The vision plans for the neighborhoods of Lamberts Point, Highland Park and Kensington includes buffering (or transitions between property types/zones), no breaks in residential fabric, a variety of housing types and residential character reinforced with streetscape improvements.
Lamberts Point would include low density residential fronting Bowdens Ferry Road with medium density residential serving as a transition, which would include the 14 townhomes NRHA has planned for 26th Street.
Highland Park has single family residential east of Killam Avenue, higher density to the west of Killam Avenue (the ODU area) and medium density along Killam Avenue to serve as the transition between sides.
Kensington has single family residential with medium density serving as a transition along Killam and the industrial areas along the south.
In order to implement these vision plans for the neighborhoods, NRHA’s conservation plan needs to be updated and diversity of housing types and homeownership programs will be encouraged. Streetscape improvements are also needed.
The mixed-use areas include University Village, the industrial section south of 27th Street and Knitting Mill Creek (between 44th and 45th Streets). The development of University Village will continue to be student and university oriented, but also needs to connect ODU to the greater community. Knitting Mill Creek is a mix of commercial, institutional and residential and these eclectic uses will remain as a defining characteristic of the area.
The implementation for this area includes developing a mixed-use zoning district, encouraging aggregation of parcels and working with ODU.
The access network, or roadways, for the Hampton Boulevard area was also addressed. Hampton Boulevard itself needs further improvement regarding signalization, multi-use paths, sidewalks and landscaping. Developing an access management plan is crucial.
Neighborhood streets will be narrowed, plantings will be put in place along the sides of the streets and on-street parking will be created.
The use of buses and bikes was also mentioned, needing surveys of users and improving signage and bus shelters. Signs for bike paths need to be added, as do stripes for bike routes. The Elizabeth River Trail needs to be planned and implemented.
Sidewalks and crosswalks need improvement along Hampton Boulevard, Colley Avenue and Killam Avenue. Existing parks need enhancements; water access needs to be improved as does pedestrian and bike access to parks. Park regulations need revision in order to ensure active uses. The community will be engaged in deciding gateway and identity signage.
Presentations of the Draft Plan began in March. Comments received from residents and participants will be evaluated before preparing the final public hearing draft, which will lead to the adoption of the final plan.
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