“You’ve heard of the bridge to nowhere, this is the sidewalk to nowhere.” That’s how Woodbrook Community Association president Susan Reed concluded last week’s tour of the proposed connection of Arden Place to the Woodbrook Lagoon. The tour, recorded on video, was conducted at the request of this blog.
Woodbrook residents may recall that in September 2009 the Albemarle Planning Commission rejected extending the Arden Place path as far as the Lagoon. In a unanimous decision, the commission narrowed the path from 8 feet to 5, terminating it at the Carmike Theatre. In a surprise decision last November, county supervisors returned the path to a width of 8 feet and extended it to the Woodbrook Lagoon.
“There’s so much trash it’s clear that people come down here quite a lot to party. I can only envision a sidewalk making that much easier,” said President Reed as she stood on the very spot where supervisors decided the path should end. “Looking at the steep grade of things I cannot imagine families walking through here with strollers and bicycles,” said Reed. “I also can’t envision children walking to school by themselves through here,” she said. Last June, Richmond based Dumbarton Properties, the owners of Albemarle Square, made it clear how they felt about the path by formally requesting Arden Place developers construct a fence between their two properties.
|Shown in red, a connecting path to the Woodbrook Lagoon was rejected by the Albemarle County Planning Commission last September then re-instated by County Supervisors in November. Woodbrook residents hope to convince Supervisors to re-instate the Planning Commission’s September decision Wednesday.|
President Reed then guided us through the lagoon and on to Woodbrook. “This area used to be the cesspool for the Woodbrook neighborhood,” said Reed referring to the untreated sewage that was dumped into the Lagoon in the 1970s.
“We already know that people use this as a cut through area for crime,” said Reed. Following a recent robbery at the Fashion Square mall a portion of the stolen property was subsequently found in Woodbrook.
Reed went on to explain that the original plan to end the path at the Carmike Cinema connection makes sense. “You can go to the movies, you can go to the little shopping center that’s around the Carmike – there’s somewhere to go,” she said.
The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors will meet this Wednesday April 14th to review their decision to widen and extend the path to the Lagoon. All Woodbrook residents are encouraged to attend. Interested residents will have up to three minutes to address the board with their concerns should they wish to do so. The meeting will take place in Lane Auditorium in the County building on McIntyre Road beginning at 6:00 p.m.