Welcome! This blog tracks the real estate market in the Central Shenandoah Valley, featuring market data and analysis, an exploration of common buying and selling questions, and candid commentary on all things real estate.
If you are interested in discussing any of the topics on this blog, or the details of your specific real estate situation, call or e-mail me!
You can have a voice -- make your opinion known as to where the City of Harrisonburg should consider installing sidewalks and shared-use paths.
The Harrisonburg Public Works Department will be presenting a proposed Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan on November 16th at Keister Elementary School at 5:00 PM.
You can review the proposed plan here on the City's website.
The map above shows "Alternative 2", which is the identified as the Preferred Build Alternative at Exit 245 in the Exits 245 & 247 Interchange Alternative Analysis.
Here are some comments from the Harrisonburg Rockingham Metropolitan Planning Organization that might help contextualize these possible future changes....
For Exit 245 the next steps are to line up funding. That is already in progress but at this time they are only looking at doing an interim improvement there. With the removal of the former hotel in the southeast quadrant of that interchange JMU offered the city some additional right-of-way and the city has requested funding to realign the northbound exit ramp to match up with the existing Forest Hill Road intersection on Port Republic Road. There would be little to no additional right of way impacts for this improvement. If funding is awarded then construction could begin next summer for this improvement but there is no guarantee that funding will come through.So, while these changes are likely in the future -- the exact nature of them has not been finalized, and many of the changes are not likely to take place for quite a few years.
Click here to download a high resolution version of this map, and a few others as well!
The Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing today at 7:00 PM to receive input on expanding the its "Urban Development Area" to include the additional land shown on the maps above.
This potential expansion would triple the size of the current UDA, which was established in 2011 just after Sentara RMH Medical Center opened. From the staff report to the Board of Supervisors....
"Since 2011, commercial and residential development activity has increased and Stone Spring Road has been completed. [...] Interest in the development of commercially zoned land in this same area is expected to increase as a result of the relocation and completion of Stone Spring Road and the construction of Albert Long Park."Why should this area be expanded, you might ask? Per today's DNR article...
"According to county officials, an expanded UDA would put Rockingham County in a better position to compete for state money under the new prioritization process for transportation funding adopted by the General Assembly in 2014."Click here to read today's Daily News Record article on the topic.
Click here to download an excerpt from the Board of Supervisor's packet.
If you and your Tesla electric car are staying overnight in Harrisonburg, VA you may want to consider booking a room at By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages where a Tesla charging station has now been installed.
From today's Daily News Record article....
Drivers of Tesla electric cars have a new place to recharge in the Shenandoah Valley, with more locations on the way.
In a curious coincidence, when walking near the Ice House yesterday, on my way to Black Sheep Coffee and then to Blue Hub Coworking, I saw a Tesla drive by. It was traveling eastward, as if, perhaps, from By the Side of the Road?
The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Metropolitan Planning Organization (HRMPO) is studying potential interchange modifications on Interstate 81 at Exit 245 (State Route 253/Port Republic Road) and Exit 247 (U.S. Route 33/East Market Street).
Read all about the potential changes and access fun maps like that above (and below) at this link....
I-81 Exits 245 & 247 Interchange Alternatives Analysis Study
Here is one proposal for a reconstructed Exit 245....
Be sure to check out the levitating house on Reservoir Street.
As of a few days ago, this house (shown above) was hovering a few feet above the ground -- presumably being moved away from Reservoir Street to make room for the road expansion. Many homes along Reservoir Street had been removed entirely to make room for the wider road -- but this one is apparently being (slightly) relocated.
Details about the Resevoir Street expansion can be found here.
click here for a much more interesting larger version of this image
JMU is hoping to close a section of Mason Street and Grace Street internal to land that they now own on both sides of each street to make the area more pedestrian and bike friendly.
Read lots of details in this article from yesterday's Daily News Record.
click here to view a larger version of this image
Construction is booming on Port Republic Road in the vicinity of the Sentara RMH Medical Center, to include....
click here for a larger version of this image
Have you driven on Stone Spring Road lately near the Wellness Center? I had not done so in the last week or two, and thus had not yet become totally befuddled by the new road configuration in that area.
As shown above, Peach Grove Avenue (which goes by Stone Spring Elementary) now connects all the way through to the new Connector Road.
AND....if you were driving along Stone Spring Road, coming from Port Republic Road, you'll hit a dead end, and have to turn onto the new section of Peach Grove Avenue.....to then get on the Connector Road.....to get over towards the Wellness Center.
AND....the people living on the section of Stone Spring Road between Peach Grove Avenue and the new Connector Road likely have a slightly trickier time getting to and from their houses right now given the construction in that area.
Anyhow -- check out a larger version of the image above by clicking here, or drive through the area yourself to experience these road improvements. I'll be glad when the full Connector Road is finished!
Oh, and here is the image without my labels.
As suspected a few years ago, the location of the new hospital (now Sentara RMH Medical Center) did indeed bring with it plenty of additional commercial (and residential) development in its immediate vicinity.
Earlier this week, the Board of Supervisors approved a rezoning request for "Coffman's Corner" -- a new commercial development intended to be developed at the intersection of Stone Spring Road and Port Republic Road, and with frontage on Ridgedale Road. It is a small, and somewhat irregularly shaped piece of land, so much so that it won't have a VDOT road system -- it will have private roads, maintained by a Property Owners Association.
County staff approved this rezoning in February 2014, and the Planning Commission on March 4, 2014. This property is across the street (more or less) from The Reserve at Stoneport, an upscale apartment complex currently being constructed.
Per the developer's narrative....
Board OKs Land For Development (Daily News Record, March 28, 2014)
Details from the Rockingham County Board of Supervisors Agenda Packet
When the SouthEast Connector is finished (in December 2014) Boyers Road will no longer connect to Route 33 East. Instead, it will end in a cul-de-sac as shown above. Per Rockingham County, the cul-de-sac and road closure may not be exactly as depicted above, but conceptually this is what is planned
Further details from Stephen King, Deputy County Administrator for Rockingham County, include....
With regards to residents and businesses on Boyers, those with frontage on Route 33 would continue to have access to 33 and the stub of Boyers that remains. Those residents on the cul-de-sac'ed side of Boyers would travel south a short distance to the new southeast connector. Again, precise location of the road closure and cul-de-sac (or similar feature) are to be finalized in the design. If you have any concerns or ideas you would like to share, we're eager to hear them.Click here to view an overview map of the entire Southeast Connector.
Click here to view a map of the section of the Southeast Connector between Reservoir Street and Route 33 East.
The first of the Reservoir Street acquisitions started showing up in the Property Transfers this week.....
2320 Reservoir Street - purchased for $250,160 - assessed for $252,100.
2321 Reservoir Street - purchased for $172,500 - assessed for $142,900
2315 Reservoir Street - purchased for $192,400 - assessed for $192,400
2340 Reservoir Street - purchased for $158,000 - assessed for $162,500
To put those in context....
Reservoir Street is being improved / expanded in the near future, between University Boulevard and the eastern City limits. The improved road will feature:
If you are buying a home near Reservoir Street (Stonewall Heights, Avalon Woods, etc) you should:
View the Reservoir Street Improvement website for a PDF map of the new road.
P.S. Did you know that 18 buildings along Reservoir Street will be demolished to make way for the improved road?
Click on the map above to view a larger version.
In the past several years we have seen quite a few changes on Port Republic Road on the map shown above, including:
All of this new road infrastructure, plus the new hospital, plus a clustering of residential developments over the past 15-20 years has lead to quite a few new projects labeled on the map above.
Given the new hospital, the new road infrastructure, and the large area of existing housing, it is not surprise that we are seeing these new developments along Port Republic Road. Stoneport is the largest of the new projects, and it will certainly be interesting to see what businesses are established in that location.
Almost a year ago I mentioned that a new road connecting Erickson Avenue to Stone Spring Road was moving forward. Construction is now moving forward, with lots of progress starting on the Erickson Avenue end of the connector.
Below is a map showing where that will be situated (click on the map for a larger version) and this is a web site with more details.
City Portion of Erickson Avenue / Stone Spring Road Connector:
The road shown above lies in the City, but the Connector will continue into the County, all the way to Route 33 East near Boyers Road.
The map below shows an overlay of the approved map from VDOT over top of both an aerial and road view from Google Maps. Click on either for a larger view.
Rockingham County Southeast Connector (1 of 2 portions)
As far as I can tell, the County portion will cut through the new campus of Rockingham Memorial Hospital, and then cross through Boyers Road before connecting with Route 33. From what I have heard, Boyers Road will become a cul-de-sac before reaching Route 33.
Get up close and personal (thanks to unanticipated loud construction equipment) with Harrisonburg mayor Kai Degner, and hear about the upcoming Mayor's Sustainability Summit to be held in downtown Harrisonburg.
As Kai mentioned, the agenda for the Summit will be formed around the interests and desires of those in attendance, but may likely include topics such as:
Mayor's Sustainability Summit
Saturday, May 30, 2009
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Starting and ending in Court Square Theater
View more details by clicking here.
My son played in the City's Shenandoah Valley United soccer program this fall, so we had plenty of opportunities to go use Harrisonburg's first roundabout -- if you haven't checked it out in person, you should --- it is a wonderful experience! But perhaps you'd like to practice online first?
Driving on the roundabout is actually a bit addicting --- sometimes my son and I drove around it multiple times --- just for the thrill of it!
One of the local blogs I read is hburgnews.com -- if you're not already reading it, you definitely should! One phenomenon that has been great to observe is seeing local government employees engaging in online conversations.
One recent example is on a post about Delayed Green Arrows around Harrisonburg, where a several Harrisonburg staff people explain some recent improvements in traffic engineering. In the ensuing discussion concerns are brought forward and are then addressed by the city employees. Then, Brad Reed (Traffic Analyst with Harrisonburg Public Works) goes on to say...
I'm excited to say that we will be finished with the new Traffic Engineering Division website in the near future. The site will go over the basics of how the city's signals are timed and coordinated and will give everyone a look at the components used to operate a signalized intersection. We would love to hear everyone's comments and suggestions, which is why the new site will also include a comment form dedicated to signal-related concerns. I encourage everyone to use the new form when it is released. In the meantime, if you would like to follow up or have any questions, please feel free to call the Public Works Department at (540) 434-5928.
Another great example of engagement by the local government is outgoing City Councilman Charlie Chenault's willingness to jump in to provide the facts or clear up misperceptions.
I appreciate you, my blog readers, who often comment and provide your feedback here --- and I recommend you also read hburgnews, and jump into the conversations happening in that forum. It's a great way to not only know about the latest news in Harrisonburg, but also to be a part of conversations that will shape our area's future.
Here's to open, transparent, responsive local goverment!
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