Supervisors Say ‘No’ to Path. Developer Builds it Anyway

In April 2010, County Supervisors instructed developers to delete the portion of the Arden Place path shown in red. On this map, Woodbrook is at the top right, the Carmike theater parking lot is to the top left. Developers built the path anyway.

Woodbrook residents of more than two years will no doubt recall the June 2009 Arden Place connection issue. Residents turned out at two Planning Commission meetings and one meeting of the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors to protest what was first a road then a path. At one meeting, over 30 Woodbrook residents spoke out against the connection. Finally, in April 2010, the Board of Supervisors agreed that the path was not to be built. Developers were not to connect Arden Place with Woodbrook.

Or so it seemed.

On Friday September 16, 2010, Arden Place developers dedicated their path, a path that does go all the way to Woodbrook. Stopping just a hundred or so feet short of the corner of Idlewood Drive and Brookmere Road, the path provides an easy entrance to the small treed buffer area that separates the Woodbrook Neighborhood and Arden Place.

The Woodbrook Neighborhood as seen from a point about 30 feet from the end of the path. The vehicle in this photo is parked at the corner of Idlewood Drive and Brookmere Road.

“I am very disappointed, upset, and concerned that the voted and agreed upon plans for the sidewalk from Arden Place were disregarded.” wrote Woodbrook Community Association president Susan Reed in an email message to this blog. “The supervisors specifically voted against having the sidewalk come to the Woodbrook Lagoon,” she added. Ms. Reed went on to express concerns about the process. “How can a voted upon plan be ignored?! Does no one check to make sure that the plans that were voted on are built to specification? Can people just ignore what was decided by the supervisors and do what they want?” she said. “I would think all citizens of Albemarle County would be concerned about the implications of this,” said Reed.

Rio District Supervisor Rodney Thomas has asked County planners to look into the matter.

Coleway Development, the developers of Arden Place, did not immediately respond to our email request for comment.

4 thoughts on “Supervisors Say ‘No’ to Path. Developer Builds it Anyway

  1. Here is Woodbrook Community Association President Susan Reed's full comment on this story.

    ——————

    I am very disappointed, upset, and concerned that the voted and agreed upon plans for the sidewalk from Arden Place were disregarded. The plan that was voted in called for an 8 foot wide sidewalk from Arden Place to the Carmike Theater. The supervisors specifically voted against having the sidewalk come to the Woodbrook Lagoon. Ann Malleck was on WINA radio the day after the vote talking about it and said that they decided NOT to put the sidewalk down to Woodbrook. She further commented that they had voted to widen the sidewalk from 5 ft. To 8 ft. and how nice it would be for pedestrians, bicyclists, etc. She then said that then it could be turned into a road later if they decided to do that.

    How can a voted upon plan be ignored?! Does no one check to make sure that the plans that were voted on are built to specification? Can people just ignore what was decided by the supervisors and do what they want? Either someone goofed and did not remove the path to the Woodbrook Lagoon on the plans after the vote was changed OR someone decided to ignore the vote. EIther way, it doesn't look good for the powers that be. Again, whose responsibility is it to check to make sure plans are being followed as voted upon? Does the community have to police these things? I would think that plans would be checked several times by different people BEFORE the construction begins.

    Many trees were cut down to put the path down to the Woodbrook area which has caused us to lose a lot of sound buffering from the noise of Rio Road. It seems to me that this would have real legal ramifications. If this group can just ignore what was the voted and agreed upon plan, can't everyone else do that as well? I would think all citizens of Albemarle County would be concerned about the implications of this. Watch and listen carefully at meetings and see what was voted on and what actually comes to pass! Are they going to make this right and take the path to the lagoon out? IT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THERE!

  2. Here's what the neighborhood should be aware of NOW:

    During this summer a road HAS been constructed, connecting Carrsbrook Drive to the old right of way which is now the Arden Place Trail. This road construction went on for weeks this summer and involved cutting many trees and heavy equipment operations. I now have a ROAD in what used to be an enjoyable part of my backyard, on MY property.

    At the moment, this road is just a muddy dirt road, built by RWSA (Rivanna Water-Sewer) to maintain their sewer line that runs along the creek, in back of Eastbrook Dr. At least that's what RWSA has told us (even if the scope of the project seems much greater than maintaining a sewer, which seldom, if ever, has needed any maintenance in the past).

    Excuse me for being a bit suspicious, but with both public opinion and county government directives being ignored in county development, I feel WE now have that right (to be suspicious).

    And with "connectivity" being the county's favorite new ambition, WE would be remiss to not notice that Carrsbrook Drive and Arden Place (Rio Road) are NOW nearly connected, right through our back yards. Take my word for it (I'm an engineer), the road building engineers and contractors would love to bury OUR creek in a big pipe and build a nice paved road in OUR back yards. It's time to really start paying attention.

    If anybody would like to see the new road in Woodbrook, just give us a call or email, I'll be happy to give you a tour.

    Gerry Petencin
    gerryincville@gmail.com
    508 Eastbrook Dr.

  3. In enlarging the photo for display on the Web I accidentally made the vehicle in the photo appear closer than it really is. It's actually around 100 to 150 feet from the end of the path.

    My apologies for any confusion this has created.

  4. I find this very disturbing. The fact that the path was voted down, yet still built makes me feel as though government leadership cannot be trusted. I believe that the democratic process should work and I'm definitely stunned that Arden Place proceeded to do what it wanted anyway, despite the "no" vote. I would like to see our government officials stand behind their decision to NOT allow a pathway.

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