Leave us alone
Residents of Grapewood Drive packed the Brookside Community Building last Thursday to express their opposition to the proposed extension of their road to Brookside Parkway. Photo by Glenn Howell
The future of New Baltimore involves interconnectivity, where commuters and residents have multiple options to get to work, the grocery store or their favorite restaurant.
Don't tell that to Grapewood Road residents, though, who want nothing to do with a proposed plan to connect their street to Brookside Parkway.
More than 50 residents of the 30-year-old neighborhood spoke vehemently against the connection in an emotional and often contentious town hall-style meeting last Thursday with Brookside Development representatives.
The Grapewood extension, which is less than 1/8 mile, has residents concerned about cut-through traffic to Kettle Run High School and Greenville Elementary School across Rogues Road.
Residents say the two-lane, curb-less and gutter-less road, can't handle additional traffic volume and must be improved.
They are also worried about high school drivers who may speed through their neighborhood from the adjacent Brookside subdivisions.
Currently, students coming from the other side of Rogues Road to Kettle Run or Greenville must take Eddington Road in order to get to school each day.
Even the New Baltimore Volunteer Fire Department has expressed its opposition to the connection with company president Todd Rosamond calling the decision a potential "disaster."
"It will dramatically increase the number of cars through the neighborhood, and will be a danger to the residents and the kids," Rosamond said.
Weston Kennedy, Vice-President for Brookside, said the plan to connect could occur within a matter of months. However, after the spirited meeting with residents on Thursday, Kennedy said road construction could be delayed to better address residents' concerns.
Those improvements could be anything from additional stop signs, to sidewalks to using the current Virginia Department of Transportation right-of-way to make road improvements to the current VDOT standards.
But Kennedy also made it clear that the residential developer has no intention of stopping the project, believing its has a legal right to do it.
According to a subdivision plat recorded on Feb. 6, 1985, the cul-de-sac at the north end of Grapewood Drive is considered a "temporary turn-around easement" which will be nullified "when the street is extended in a northerly direction through the adjoining property."
With a plan to build 500 more houses in the New Baltimore area, Brookside intends to extend Grapewood to establish better connectivity in the area for everyone in the community.
"This isn't a Brookside issue," said Brookside principal Ed Moore said of the new connection. "This is a community issue."
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of Wednesday's Fauquier Times.
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