Following similar efforts in the areas around Rockwood Park and the former Southside Speedway site, Chesterfield County is working on new guidelines for the future transformation of a swath of property around the Chippenham Parkway and Iron Bridge Road interchange.
County staff are underway on the Ridgedale Special Focus Area plan, which would help steer redevelopment of nearly 580 acres just inside the county’s border with Richmond.
While the fine details are still being worked out, the upcoming draft proposal is planned to recommend mixed-use and denser residential development for the area. The draft is expected to be completed later this spring or summer, Chesterfield Senior Planner Brett Meadows said.
“We’ve done conceptual ideas and presented those to different stakeholders and community members and we’re now drafting the actual document,” Meadows said in an interview last week.
The subject area includes a now-vacant former Martin’s grocery store at 5201 Chippenham Crossing Center as well as some undeveloped or underdeveloped properties, which are seen as sites for the new development that would be encouraged by the plan, Meadows said.
The area also is home to Ukrop Park soccer fields, youth swimming nonprofit SwimRVA and J. G. Hening Elementary School. Several apartment complexes, some single-family homes and a portion of Mary B. Stratton Park are also within the boundaries of the focus area.
Noting the presence of several sports tourism and recreational features in the vicinity, Meadows said the plan would encourage development intended to benefit both residents and visitors to the area.
Some of the undeveloped subject area is already being eyed for a residential project by an entity tied to Clay Street Builders, which is seeking zoning approval to build a subdivision called Benton Woods. That development is proposed to feature more than 100 single-family lots on 27 acres at 4911 Iron Bridge Road.
A Special Focus Area plan is a long-range planning document intended to give development guidelines for specific areas that are deemed candidates for change or are in the midst of a shift already. The plan wouldn’t change any existing zoning, but would lay out a roadmap to guide future rezoning decisions.
Chesterfield locked onto the Ridgedale area for the Special Focus Area treatment because county officials see an opportunity to improve an access point into Chesterfield.
“This specific area is a gateway, whether you’re coming from the city of Richmond or coming off Chippenham Parkway from other places,” Meadows said.
The plan would also include guidance on ways to improve pedestrian and bike access in the area. The East Coast Greenway, a bike trail system from Maine to Florida, cuts through the area along Iron Bridge Road, and Meadows said the route would be incorporated into the plan proposal.
Once the draft is created, it’ll be made available for public feedback. The Planning Commission is currently expected to vote on whether to recommend approval of the plan later this summer. The Board of Supervisors would provide final approval, and that vote is currently expected to come in the fall at the earliest, Meadows said.
In April, the county planning department held an open-house meeting to discuss the proposal with local residents.
Chesterfield in recent years has approved special focus plans for the areas around the former Southside Speedway and Rockwood Park, where StyleCraft Homes is planning a new residential development.
Chesterfield really should look to spur more investment and development in the Route 10 area between Chippenham and 288. I know there are some things in the work, but the now vacant Neighborhood Walmart area in Watermark is a prime location that would be ideal for more retail and has a man-made lake that could be utilized similar to what was done at Winterfield/Midlothian area. It’s been vacant (outside of the Wendy’s) for at least 3 years now despite all of the new housing developments that have been developed in the area. We do not have enough restaurant and shopping… Read more »
I always thought that Walmart Neighborhood Market site would be a good place for a Kroger given the lack of grocery options in that area (there’s a Food Lion and that’s it). But that area does definitely deserve some attention.
Kroger seems to have been spooked by Publix, Aldi etc. Their strategy in the Richmond metro seems to be to class up their existing footprints to prevent drive-by grocers going to Wegmans. Remember Ukrops? Then Martins.. and when Martin’s sold no one would take the whole portfolio. Sure, a Marketplace could have a LOT of uses…. but there are STILL a few supermarket sites with huge parking lots that remain vacant — building a new supermarket is a big risk and you don’t want to compete with yourself. Kroger spent millions preparing an imperfect site in a VERY convenient spot… Read more »
It would nice if the Kickers could transform the old supermarket into an indoor soccer or futsal center for kids. This would make a great after school program, just as one example of how they could use it.
I agree or it could be a total sport’s gymnasium for Soccer, Mountain climbing, Basketball, tennis etc. If they destroyed the building they could extend more options for kids (Playground, Baseball, Basketball, Tennis, Football) and possibly the park trail leading to the water reservoir.