Calling on Albemarle County Supervisors to enforce their April 2010 decision banning a roadway connection to Woodbrook, WCA President Susan Reed presented a petition containing the signatures of over 90 Woodbrook Residents. The petition was presented to Supervisors during the “matters from the public” portion of their October 5, 2011 day meeting.
What County officials are calling a “path” is actually a 200-foot extension of a roadway used to provide access for service vehicles and heavy equipment to the Arden Place storm water management system. The roadway connects Arden Place to a point within a stone’s throw of the intersection of Brookmere Road and Idlewood Drive in Woodbrook. Woodbrook residents have opposed the roadway since June 2009 when it was first proposed. In April 2010, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors in a 6-0 decision banned the connection. Developers built the road anyway.
Listen to President Reed’s presentation to supervisors and their response. (16m)
In her presentation, Woodbrook Community Association President Susan Reed said, “This board voted [to stop] the sidewalk at the Carmike terminus,” she began. “This project is like a zombie, it just won’t die,” she said. “It begins to sound like someone has an agenda to put in a sidewalk to Woodbrook and perhaps later a road,” said Reed. “Many of the trees that were cut down to do this were in the Woodlands Preservation Area,” she continued. “We’re told that you won’t know whose property the sidewalk is on until the whole project is finished. Say what?” she asked? “All Albemarle County citizens should be very concerned, apparently, a ‘no’ in public can become a ‘yes’ in private.” Reed concluded with, “You all voted on this and all have a responsibility to see that it’s done correctly.”
The petition, signed by 92 Woodbrook residents, asks supervisors to order the developer, Coleway Development, to remove the unapproved portion of the roadway.
It seems clear that Supervisors either forgot their previous ban on the connection, or were uninterested in enforcing it. They were remarkably out of touch with the facts. “[it] doesn’t go anywhere near Woodbrook or the lagoon”, said Rio District Supervisor Rodney Thomas referring to the road that ends just feet from the neighborhood. “It’s not going toward Woodbrook,” said chairperson Ann Mallek. “It’s a lovely path, it runs down along the stream,” said one supervisor. “It’s going to be a terrific amenity for the people that live out there,” he continued, apparently unaware that the supervisor’s April 2010 decision ordered that this section of the road be barricaded to pedestrian access. “They wouldn’t like it if we couldn’t get there when it backed up and flooded all over their neighborhood,” said Ann Mallek referring to the portion of the road that is not in contention.
Even heroic attempts by Directory of Community Development Mark Graham were unable to get the supervisors back on course.
But perhaps the most dramatic denial of any Board responsibility for their April 2010 vote came from one supervisor who said, “My posture on it has been that people that have called me, contacted me, is that this is in Rodney’s district so I’m just leaving it to him — I don’t want to get in the middle of it.”
Listen as supervisors vote 6-0 against a connection to Woodbrook at a public hearing held in April 2010.
Many Woodbrook residents were offended by the nature and tone of supervisors’ comments that included remarks such as “Woodbrook people were jumping sky-high off the ground,” and “the people were so impatient.” One supervisor suggested wearing a “football helmet” or “flack jacket” when working with residents here. “They are mocking us,” said one Woodbrook resident.
The Friday meeting, promised by Supervisor Rodney Thomas, was canceled by Thomas Friday morning. No definite date for a new meeting has been set.