A dissenting viewpoint

This just in, from one of those rare people who actually use Mill Mountain.

"In case you haven't heard there is a group of people in Roanoke called Valley Forward. They have this idea of wanting to put a Restaurant atop Mill Mountain. The debate and argument has been going on quite a while now. The original plan has been scaled down a great deal from their original propasal.

I have been and continue to be in opposition to this development. Commercial development does not belong in a public park!!!! They claim that the structure will have minimal impact on the mountain, however they have not supported this with evidence other than claiming that they are building a LEED friendly building. The existance or idea of the structure in itself violates LEED recommendations that state land that is being used in a natural way should not be disturbed in order to build a structure.

There is no way to prove that construction traffic itself will not lead to pollution, road damage and disturb the natural habitats of so many animals. There has been no data published to detail the impact of soil erosion and damage from rain water run off from the addition of a building and two parking lots. There has been no evidence to support whether the proposal would be a success. In fact, Valley Forward has failed to answer the concerns posed by many citizens who are in opposition to the plan. They contunue to claim that based on a survey of a 500 people, that a majority of citizens favor this development. I find this funny as a large number of citizens do not know nor understand the scope of the project.

If you care about keeping Mill Mountain green, please consider attending a meeting of the Mill Mountain Advisory Committee at 4pm on Thursday January 24th at the Discovery Center. If you would like to speak on the issue, please note that you must sign up in advance. "

via Jen's Bike Blog


Anonymous said...

Aren't there still legal issues concerning whether anyone can build anything on Mill Mtn?

what is the status of that?

Is an environmental impact statement required before a new LEED Rockledge is built?

Finally, all I've heard is thousands of tourists are going to hotfoot it to Roanoke to have dinner atop Mill Mtn. I exaggerate of course, but I don't think I've seen any estimated use figures.

I for one don't think the project is worth the City investing anything in. Hell the City is so strapped right now for financial resources it can't. Seems to me no one is going to invest in the venture unless there is a good prospect of financial success.

Oh yes, the developer(s) who ever they may be will have to do ALL the improvements to the road leading to the top of Mill Mtn - this would be a condition of allowing it to happen and that my friends would be the show stopper.

If you focus on the above them perhaps investing a lot of emotional capital in this is a waste - although tis nice to keep up the noise so the fools at City Hall can hear you. They don't know a bad project from their collective butts.

Jen said...

Yes there are legal issues. The City/Valley Forward must have permission from the Fishburn heirs to proceed with the project. From what I understand the heirs are against it and will follow the recommendation of the MMAC, which is a group of folks formed to represent the best interest of Mill Mountain. They are simply advisors, but seemingly are carrying some amout of weight with their opinion.

I don't think the City has promised any funding for the idea. Valley Forward supposedly will foot the bill. Personally, I think the City has enough problems right now without this debate continuing. It would be nice to see similar energy focused on improving schools, roads, etc, etc.

We shall see what happens next. I just hate to see people being mislead by half-truths, lies and misinformation. I don't like the way the City conducts its business and wish that more people would hold them accountable for the stupid things they do. The councilmembers need to start running the City and get their noses out of special projects like this, the market building and that stupid amphitheater. What do we actually pay them to do???

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

want to see an example of how building on mountain would look?

take a look up the SW section of where Hwy 220 & Electric/Franklin intersect.

when i first moved here 4 years the mountainside was beautiful... a shameful sight now.

Anonymous said...

Jen's points are exactly correct. Of course, there are those who say "who cares, we already have a neon star and a man-made zoo" so what's the harm in putting a nice little restaurant up there. The harm is that no one has adequately addressed the issue of construction impact, destruction of a finite area of natural green space, or any of the other issues. If built, you can bet that once the novelty of this place wears off, it will shut down and remain an eyesore on what was a unique and beautiful mountain. Why not take some of the run-down buildings in Roanoke and put your trendy restaurant there? That would be a responsible use of resources, and if done right, you could look from that restaurant up to the nice, open, and preserved green space on Mill Mountain.

Anonymous said...

Re: Jen's 2nd comment concerning the fools at City Hall. Get today's issue of the Roanoke STAR. For those of you unaware of the STAR it is a new weekly newspaper published by Stuart Revercomb in order to provide an alternative to The Fish Wrapper (AKA).

On January 7th David Trinkle received the Roanoke City Council Review And Analysis Borad's presentation of its annual; Obfuscation Award presented to the Council Member who does the best job of deliberately misleading the public. Nelson Harris was a close second. The details and a photograph of the award should be in the Star.

Anonymous said...

To the previous poster, you wouldn't happen to be Stuart Revercomb making a plug for your cat box liner, ooops, paper?

Anonymous said...

Re the previous comment asking if I were Stuart hyping his own paper the answer is no.

I am, however, a dissatisfied reader of The Fish Wrapper - aka The Roanoke Times, whose strength seems to be Ace Cub Reporters who all failed Journalism 101= and present half a story and then keep the pot stirred.

Consider the following concerning Rockledge before you waste your Emotional Capital.
The probability of the Fishburn heirs giving permission for it is about 5 percent on a good day.

If Valley Forward cares to go to court and challenge that, the probability of being successful is less than 20%. For those who remember probability theory that is a less than 1.5% chance of getting permission to build Rockledge. Perhaps Valley Forward can come up with the financing for construction of the building and that doesn't address upgrading the access road which would be prohibitively expensive and the show stopper. However, isn't it more fun to get in an uproar, run around saying we have to do something, organize, shout and dance, etc and feel like we are doing some thing useful which is a lot of wasted effort because of not being fully informed of the facts.

Valley Forwards approach is unrealistic and frankly self centered by people whose infatuation with "cool" ignores reality. They have all the answers but the reality check comes when they get the questions and find none of them fit the answers.

Been there, done that, got the tee shirt and feel like I am shouting in the wind.