Chesterfield supervisors sign off on Rockwood area redevelopment plan

The Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the Rockwood Special Focus Area plan Wednesday. The land-use plan will guide the project area toward higher-density residential and mixed-use development. (Courtesy of Chesterfield County)

Chesterfield County has a new roadmap to guide the redevelopment of aging retail centers at the corner of Hull Street and Courthouse roads toward a mixed-use future.

The Board of Supervisors on Wednesday voted unanimously to adopt the Rockwood Special Focus Area plan. The long-range land-use plan is focused on an area of 673 acres centered on the Rockwood Square, Oxbridge Square and Rockwood Plaza shopping centers, which are near Rockwood Park. The park is also part of the design area.

“Years ago (this area) used to be a real Mecca of shopping in Chesterfield and I think it just needs a little love now and we’re going to put together this roadmap and, hopefully, get the investment that follows this to revitalize this area,” Supervisor Christopher Winslow said during Wednesday’s meeting.

The area extends from Falling Creek in the north to Horner’s Run to the south, and from Gregory’s Pond, the Falling Creek Farms and Amberleigh subdivisions westward to the Genito Woods subdivision and Price Club Boulevard.

The plan envisions a shift toward mixed-use development in the area’s shopping centers over a 50-year period. High-density residential development would be located to the area’s northwest and east.

The vision for the core of the design area states “that a mix of commercial and higher-density residential uses be located predominantly along Hull Street and Courthouse roads, and along an envisioned north/south interior street creating a ‘main street’ district.”

“The plan provides a healthy balance of residential, commercial, retail, office and entertainment uses that are mutually beneficial,” Senior Planner Andrew Noxon said. “It promotes additional housing options we don’t currently have in the area. It also encourages a walkable development pattern with higher densities centered around the main intersection of 360 and Courthouse Road.”

The plan suggests Rockwood Square and Rockwood Golf Park as “likely” candidates for phase one of redevelopment in the core area. The design area encompasses 426,000 square feet of commercial space, half of which is in the area’s shopping centers.

New roads would be built to better link the area together. VDOT estimated about 77,000 vehicles drive through the area every day.

The plan counts the presence of the park (which had 586,000 visitors in 2019) and nearly 200 acres of undeveloped land as pluses to enact the vision. The plan also identifies the large number of landowners (105 owners who hold 168 parcels), low residential density and the presence of utility lines, the county water pump station and resource protection areas as challenges to the realization of the plan.

The county has assessed the project area at $96.5 million. County officials have said previously the county doesn’t intend to buy any land itself to make the plan a reality. It would require property owners to make the next move with the plan as a guide.

“The plan is only a guide for future land-use decisions. This is not law or ordinance. Property owners would still have to apply for zoning changes to develop or redevelop much of the land within the Rockwood area,” Noxon said.

The plan doesn’t change existing zoning designations in the area but by identifying future potential uses is intended to guide the approval of future rezoning requests in the area. The plan is in accordance with the county’s comprehensive plan goal of mixed-use development at major intersections in the county.

The plan can be viewed here.

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