NIMBY Because It’s Student Housing?

Glade Heights LLC, the land-owner looking to change Blacksburg’s Comprehensive Plan in order to build a student housing complex, has withdrawn their application.

From the Tom’s Creek Responsible Development site:

According to the developer, “The Retreat” will consist of approximately 192 units with 784 individually-rented bedrooms, and 850 open-air parking spaces. The project is intended to promote “resort style” living for its student occupants.

The project encountered resistance almost from the beginning, as residents in adjoining neighborhoods immediately sprang into action, stating that the project didn’t conform to the Comprehensive Plan, and that development on that scale would jeopardize the Tom’s Creek Basin (see Documents page).

There’s probably some truth to those arguments, although there’s probably some Not In My Back Yard going on, as well.  (Full disclosure, I used to live in The Village at Toms Creek, which is directly adjacent to the proposed project).  I probably wouldn’t have wanted the project there, either, although some of the properties identified by the Town as possible Urban Development Areas don’t work, either. It’s not like there is lots of vacant land just laying around – all of this is very complicated, as it involves finding property owners who want to sell, buying up existing properties, doing demo and site work, then starting over.

Tough issues to sort through. Here’s one thing that doesn’t need to be sorted through, however – if I were a student in college, *I* would want to live in a place like this.

What if this project weren’t designated as “student housing”? What if it were aimed at affordable housing – for graduate/professionals, for fire/EMS/Police? What if it were designed as quality new construction within Town limits below $250000, which we know is a need within Town?  Would it have received the same push back?

2 thoughts on “NIMBY Because It’s Student Housing?

  1. Burger

    It’s tough – particularly since every single person living in every single one of the homes that protested this development live in homes that are themselves ruining the view shed west of 460. ALL of those home were NOT there 10 or 15 years ago…they developed the same way this project would have developed. That’s rather lousy if you ask me.

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