(from Roanoke City) Greater Roanoke Transit Company (GRTC) d/b/a Valley Metro and the City of Roanoke have determined they will not appeal the recent decision of the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA). “Though disappointed in the decision of the BZA, GRTC and City Council do not feel appeal of the decision to be the appropriate course of action,” said Anita James Price, President of the GRTC Board and Member of Council. “Both GRTC and the City Council remain committed to the delivery of a modern and convenient central transit station for the thousands of riders that depend upon Valley Metro service to get to jobs, medical appointments, shopping and school,” noted Mayor Sherman P. Lea, Sr.
GRTC and the City have studied the need for a modern, convenient central transit station to replace Campbell Court and serve the patrons of Valley Metro. The focus on the location of a new facility has been Downtown Roanoke to ensure the continuation of existing service levels. Kevin Price, General Manager of Valley Metro noted that “Campbell Court is nearing the end of its useful life and will become obsolete.” Price said that approximately 45% of Valley Metro patrons have downtown as their destination.
The City Council has directed staff to initiate actions that will ensure the continued location of this vital facility in Downtown Roanoke. These actions will include initiating amendments of the City’s Zoning Ordinance to permit a transit station facility in Downtown Roanoke. This effort will include appropriate design and development standards for such facilities, public notice of the proposed amendments, and public hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council. City Manager Cowell stated that these amendments will allow the City and GRTC to evaluate all potential sites, including the Brandon Lot, for the new central transit station facility.
Further, the City Council remains committed to the redevelopment of the current Transit Station facility located on Campbell Avenue, into a vibrant office, residential retail center along with the development of an indoor waiting area for Amtrak passengers adjacent to the existing train platform. To that end, Bob Cowell, Roanoke City Manager, announced that City Council plans to take action at their September 8 meeting on extension of the development agreements associated with the redevelopment of the Campbell Court facility.