We, the undersigned voters of Roanoke City, Virginia and concerned residents of the Roanoke Valley, raise our voices in support of the Friends of Evans Spring and echo their call to Roanoke leadership:
The Friends of Evans Spring call on Roanoke City Council to direct the city manager to develop a plan to acquire the parcels currently zoned Residential - Agriculture (RA) in the Evans Spring Planning Area, rezone them to Recreation-Open Space (ROS, and create a publicly accessible park and greenspace to protect nearby neighborhoods from extreme urban heat and reduce stormwater flooding that endangers downstream homes and businesses.
Evans Spring is the largest remaining tract of "undeveloped" land in Roanoke City and currently provides critical ecosystem services that protect local public health from extreme urban heat and protect homes and property against flooding.
Roanoke has a glut of underutilized and vacant commercial and industrial areas - and the accompanying concrete and asphalt that traps heat and contributes to stormwater runoff. We do not want or need more unnecessary, irresponsible development that degrades our environment and lowers our quality of life.
Please support the creation of a park and greenspace around Evans Spring that respects the wishes of the local neighborhoods and aligns with Roanoke's stated values and goals around sustainability and equity.