UDA proposal explained at community meeting

Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Nov 17, 2010 - 04:17 PM

Nearly 100 residents filled Abingdon Elementary School’s cafeteria Nov. 9 to hear about a proposed Urban Development Area (UDA) in the Gloucester Point community.

The UDA, a state mandate for localities that have grown a certain percentage over the last decade, is an area of the county selected for future higher density, mixed-use growth. Gloucester Point supervisor Bobby Crewe hosted the Nov. 9 meeting to explain the process.

Several residents in attendance expressed their concern that this proposal would uproot them from their homes and force them to buy into planned communities that they could not afford. Others were concerned that the higher density would negatively impact an already high traffic volume in the area.

Another resident asked how the proposed 400-1,000 acre UDA would fit along the Route 17 corridor without knocking out many existing structures and asked if wetlands and flood plain management studies had been conducted.

The state offered a grant for each locality affected by the mandate to assist in planning the UDA. In Gloucester’s case, The Cox Company out of Charlottesville was hired.

"All we’re doing is trying to determine whether this will work in this location," said Frank Cox, president of the engineering firm. "We may get to the end of this, throw up our hands and say we might as well just knock down the bridge," he joked.