Redevelopment Planning Project Kicks Off in Waynesboro
Waynesboro is determined
to build up its downtown - from the South River Greenway to streetscape efforts
and façade renovations to downtown buildings. Now the city is working on an
overall master plan.
Some of Waynesboro's older
buildings have an important unanswered question: could they be contaminated? Or
maybe that's just what people think.
"Hopefully many of
the properties is just a perceived contamination. They may not actually be
contaminated," said Michael Barnes, Waynesboro city planner.
But what people think
matters. "The perception itself is a barrier to redevelopment," Barnes
A $400,000 grant from the Environmental
Protection Agency aims to address this issue. It's called the Brownfields Redevelopment
Planning Project. City planners will use two-thirds of the grant to look at
potential contamination on sites.
asbestos to something that was a former use there - petroleum or something
else," Barnes said.
And there's more to it.
"I can find and
remove environmental issues with the property. But if that's the end of the
thought process, then it just sits there," said Phillip McKalips, of
Environmental Standards, Inc.
So the other third of the
grant money will create revitalization plans for individual properties.
"How to get these
projects moving forward and really get them to be vital stimulant to that
redevelopment of the downtown," McKalips said.
City planners say these
revitalization plans create a sense of assurance.
"They help people who
want to invest in the downtown have confidence that the city and other people
who want to invest have a shared vision," Barnes said.
The properties haven't
been chosen yet and participation is voluntary.
Click here to learn more about Waynesboro's downtown revitalization efforts.
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