Ardith “Riley” Overbay was a happy man Monday night October 1 when he left the Botetourt Planning Commission. Cottages at Steeplechase his latest development offering for gentrified living, had finally been approved though with conditions. It was a second trip before the commission and had been tabled to allow for changes as well as stakeholder meetings in the community.
Traffic back- up at the Read Mountain Road stoplight onto Cloverdale Road was the biggest concern by far on both sides of the table. At certain times of the day like morning and afternoon and when there are accidents on I-81, traffic is a huge issue along the road and with line of sight. The new entrance on Read Mountain Road will require road construction, signage on pavement, a turn lane access and right of ways all that need to be finalized through VDOT.
Those factors lead to the most impactful condition attached by the Planners which is, “VDOT must approve the entry way from Read Mountain Road which will likely require a waiver,” said Sean Goldsmith who designed the proposed new traffic flow of Read Mountain Road in the presentation for Overbay.
Mac Scothorn who organized community meetings with stakeholders in the area including importantly residents of Mountain Crest subdivision. He spoke on behalf of the constituents in Mountain Crest subdivision who are worried that the new development will impact their neighborhood with more traffic and particularly those making a short cut when traffic backs up on Read Mountain Road. It will be the primary entrance and exit until 25 homes are sold in the new development other than the construction entrance.
Planning member Steve Kidd said, “I do not believe the ( VDOT) figure of 1,100 extra car trips per day is accurate.” He did want to see the road that will go from Read Mountain Road to Teresa Lane, (where a cul de sac is currently located) and onto Arrington be a public road instead of the proposed private road. Kidd felt the need for safety regulation by law enforcement if speed becomes an issue. Indeed the four planners with their “yes” votes included the public road as a condition as well.
55 single family attached units and triplexes are planned for Cottages of Steeplechase. Overbay offered that the cost will be more in the $250-300 thousand range instead of the reported $200 thousand range. The lower cost had brought neighbors to believe more families with children rather than the retirement community that Chris McMurray who works for Overbay, had stated was the target group.
County Administrator Kathleeen Guzi was on hand as well as Jeff Busbee Botetourt County planner and new planner Wade Burkholder who spent his first day with a new subdivision plan before the Planning Commission. Planning commission members present were Sam Foster, Chris Whitely, Bill Hughes, who lives in Steeple Chase, and Steve Kidd.
The construction entrance will enter onto Read Mountain Road instead of Teresa Lane. Kevin Assenet who lives on the Tereasa Lane cul de sac said at the end of the meeting he is still not happy with the approval decision. He had been one of the stake holders in community meetings with Scothorn. Others who spoke about traffic and water concerns with the new development included Paul Hatem, Richard Philpott, and Eric King.
The approved plan goes to the Botetourt County Supervisors on October 23 for final say with the condition that VDOT approves the entry way.