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Plans for Fifth Street Station Raise Environmental Concerns - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Plans for Fifth Street Station Raise Environmental Concerns

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Plans for the Fifth Street Station mall in Albemarle County are headed to the Board of Supervisors next month. 

Monday, neighbors are asking the supervisors to take a step back and consider the mall's effect on the environment. Neighbors are concerned about the developer's plans to fill in land along Moore's Creek. They're hoping to catch supervisors' attention before it's too late.

Mike Meintzschel has seen a huge change in Moore's Creek, just behind his neighborhood. "The creek has widened substantially, up to forty feet in some areas, and this didn't start happening 'til about 10 years ago, mostly around 2000 when all of the subdivisions started popping up all over the place," said Meintzchel.

Meintzschel says as the creek widens, trees fall and sediment runs off into the stream. He's afraid this problem will worsen if developers fill in this land when they build the mall.

"In talking to my neighbors in Willoughby, they're excited about having a mall on the south side of town, but they're also concerned about the watershed and protecting our buffer," said Meintzchel.  

Albemarle County Supervisor Rodney Thomas is skeptical of the complaints. "It improves the site, and that road - there's a road that comes right around through there. It's probably to improve that road and to improve the banks," said Thomas.

But he says the board will take recommendations from engineers and the public into account. "If it is a problem, through engineers - especially our engineers, the county's - we'll try to make some adjustments," said Thomas.  

Meintzschel hopes the Board will take its time.

"I think we're all really busy, and a lot of times we don't have time to look at our environment, so I'd hate to think 20 years from now that we look back and say, God we should have done something different," said Meintzschel.

The Albemarle County Planning Commission has already approved the plans to fill in this land. Now it's up to the Board of Supervisors, who will look at the plans on March 6.

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