Developer to Remove Woodbrook Connection

 

Developers agreed Monday to remove the portion of the road shown in red on this site plan. Woodbrook is shown in the upper right on this map. The portion of the road that services the Arden Place storm water management system, shown in green on this map, is to remain asphalt.

A representative of Coleway Development, the developers of Arden Place, told Woodbrook residents Monday that the connection to Woodbrook would be removed. “The trail was built in the wrong place, there’s no denying that,” said Arden Place developer Andy McGinty speaking to a small delegation of Woodbrook residents Monday evening. The delegation was headed by Woodbrook Community Association President Susan Reed.

“I’ll take the trail up, bring it back to the original plan,” said McGinty. McGinty asked to keep the portion of the road that services the storm water management area paved as the grade is steep in this location and gravel could wash away over time. “I told [the County that] we will take the asphalt up, the gravel up,” he said. McGinty agreed to remove as much of the gravel roadbed as possible without damaging the land. “I’ll put a couple of maple [trees] out there,” he added. He reminded residents that a significant portion of the road is laid over a RWSA water main that restricts the number and size of trees that can be planted there.

“[The storm water management road] will stop at the abutments, and there will be no bridge on them,” said Coleway Development’s Andy McGinty Monday. The abutments, shown in this photo, mark the location of Arden Place’s storm water management system. The asphalt and gravel heading off to Woodbrook in this photo will be removed. McGinty also said that he will likely build a fence at this location.

Following the meeting WCA President Susan Reed said, “I was very appreciative of Andy McGinty agreeing to meet with us very quickly.” She added, “I find it very refreshing that, in this day and time, someone would just say ‘the buck stops here’ and take responsibility for the mistake (which wasn’t necessarily his) and agree to fix it to the agreed upon manner.” Once the trail has been removed McGinty said it will be very difficult for Arden Place trail pedestrian traffic to get to Woodbrook.

“Nobody’s really going to be able to get from the proper Arden trail [to Woodbrook],” said McGinty. “What I plan to do is to get it done in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

14 thoughts on “Developer to Remove Woodbrook Connection

  1. Thanks to Mr. McGinty for being willing to put it back as close as possible to its original state.

  2. Thanks to Susan Reed and the neighborhood association's board for staying on top of this matter and seeing it through. Although not everyone in Woodbrook participated in the emails and meetings, we will all benefit by not having an opening for another road into Woodbrook. Also, thanks to Dan Gould by keeping us up-to-date on what was going on. You are all appreciated very much.

  3. Thanks to all involved. Unfortunately, I feel that we need to be sure that Mr. McGinty follows through with his plans to our satisfaction. I still believe that the construction company was under advisement from an as-yet unnamed group to build this road. There is nothing to say that this group – be it the developer or someone from county government – will not encourage a mediocre destruction to set the situation for a later attempt at a through road. I just want to be overly cautious. We've been blind-sided before by "good" intentions.

  4. Susan,

    You really get an A+ for being tenacious and sticking your neck out on this one, nice work!

    I still think something feels kinda weird about the whole deal. I'd really feel better if that old "abandoned" right of way that Mr. McGinty introduced us to a couple years ago would go away. I just don't see how Woodbrook or the "greater good" would ever be served by routing traffic through a quiet, 40 year old, established neighborhood like Woodbrook, which by design already puts minimal traffic onto 29.

    Andy McGinty told us up front that his development NEVER wanted to route traffic into Woodbrook. It was because of an apparent reluctance by VDOT to route further traffic onto Rio, near 29, that they were encouraged to look for an alternative (like the Woodbrook r.o.w.).

    With Arden Place finally built, and Woodbrook firmly established for 40+ years, this might be the time to vacate the "abandoned" right of way and secure the peaceful, "un-trafficed" nature of Woodbrook's streets. It might even be a good issue for Rodney to work with, when it's time for reelection.

  5. One problem with vacating the right-of-way is that an entity we care less for might buy it (think convenience store).

    The idea solution would be for property owners on either side to purchase the land from the County. Even if that could happen, I doubt that the County will let it go.

  6. I want to congratulate our neighbors for their active interest in the dispute about the Arden Place path, and for getting the developer to agree to remove it.

    However, stepping back to consider the issue, one wonders what was actually accomplished. As someone who walks a great deal, I enjoyed using the path and consider it a worthwhile resource. Most of the opposition to the path is connected with fears that it is part of a larger plan on the part of the county to build a road into Woodbrook. Like most residents of Woodbrook, I strongly oppose such a road. But because the developer has acknowledged that the path was simply a mistake, these larger fears have been found to be groundless.

    So again, what is accomplished by tearing up 200 feet of asphalt? Like it or not, if the county decides to build a road, they will be able to do so. Removing the path will have little or no impact on that decision. We should continue to be vigilant and oppose any move to build a new road, but we should also realize that the Arden Place path has nothing to do with whether or not such a road is eventually built.

  7. For me the WCA's accomplishment is a big disappointment. For the WCA, it probably is a Pyrrhic victory. Eliminating a bit of asphalt will not prevent the county from implementing its comprehensive plan, and may even accelerate it.

  8. The issue here, to me at least, is not whether the connection is a good or bad thing for Woodbrook, that was decided months ago after a lengthy public debate. The issue here is the sanctity of the public process itself. If government is to encourage public debate, then the outcome of that debate must become the law of the land.

    In this case, I do not believe that the County or developer had ulterior motives in allowing the path to be built. Arden Place is a hugely massive and complex development. Mistakes are bound to happen. But when those mistakes go against public policy then action is required to set things right again.

  9. Glad to see the issue made right, as per the voting, but what I don't get is many residents "trust no one" stance towards the County, but then the immediate trust and respect towards the developer. Why no conspiracy theories about why the developer agreed to remove the path? They certainly discussed the issue with the County – maybe they were directed to fix it and stole the credit from Thomas or maybe they made (another) back-door deal to remove the path on the condition Thomas grant the developer something else. Anyone hear anything from the County about this resolution?

    The path would likely not have been removed were it not for our voices, but I'm just saying that for all we know we just got duped (again). We might as well be consistent with our skepticism and mistrust. After all, that's our reputation lately.

  10. Anonymous: It's not so much that a mistake was made but how these two groups handled the problem once neighbors identified it. The County first denied that there ever was a problem, then when pressed with a transcript of the BOS meeting changed their position. They then called a meeting of neighbors, without the developer present, and claimed that they were not sure if the path was on County property or not. It was. Some neighbors feel that the County openly mocked them at their October 5, 2011 Board of Supervisor's meeting.

    The developer, on being approached directly by neighbors, immediately took responsibility for the error and at once offered to correct the problem at his expense. He was respectful to the concerns of neighbors at all times.

    I have no prior relationship with this developer other than the two times I have met him in regard to this project. I guess we will never know for sure, but I think that, in this case at least, the developer turned out to be the good guy.

  11. Developer McGinty held a voluntary public meeting with the neighborhood, at a meeting space downtown, long before construction began. He was actually looking for support from the neighborhood in securing logical access to his property. At the first big meeting with the BOS he seemed to have been a bit blindsided by either VDOT or the BOS. With Woodbrook's strenuous objections to becoming Arden's driveway, McGinty seemed surprised that access via Rio Rd. then became acceptable.

    I'm not a fan of the Arden development, BUT McGinty played straight as far as I could tell. I wouldn't say the same thing for the BOS / VDOT contingent. Anybody paying much attention to the Western Bypass and Dredge vs Dam issues? Stay tuned for more fun and games, where things never seem to quite make sense. (But now with price tags in the 10s to 100s of $ millions and real impacts to the entire community).

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