Town committee studies park plan and pedestrian improvements

The town council Public Safety, Public Works and Community Development Committee received a briefing on a park concept plan for the Waugh Property along Madison Road and a pedestrian improvement plan for Sperryville Pike from near the Riverdale subdivision to the bridge between North Blue Ridge Avenue and Gardner Street at its Tuesday meeting.

Planning and Community Development Director Charles Rapp walked the committee through both conceptual plans.

The 31-acre Waugh property was purchased for $1.1 million to drill deep wells as a supplemental water source for other deep wells in town and the surface water reservoirs at Lake Pelham and Mountain Run Lake.
Working with the townâ??s Parks and Recreation Commission for the last five to six months, the planning staff developed a concept plan approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission earlier this month that could cost about $1 million to complete.

â??We want to apply for grants,â? said Rapp about some of the funding for the project.

The townâ??s water fund is financing the wells, pump house and a parking lot.

The plan calls for a .75-mile multi-use trail integrated into the townâ??s trail system. Other amenities include pavilions, picnic tables, outdoor amphitheater, disc golf and Splash Park.

â??Itâ??s a great way for a locality to offer outside recreation,â? said Rapp about the splash park. â??Itâ??s also very safe.â?

Rapp said that disc golf has become increasingly popular, with more than 4,000 in the United States. The Frisbee-like game is easy to install, said Rapp.

The town hopes to acquire grants to improve the entrance off Madison Road. Future plans also allow for another entrance off Saunders Street and parking at that end of the park.

The town hopes to work with nearby neighbors and buffer the property so that noise from the park isnâ??t an issue.

â??Blue Ridge Avenue is a very quiet street and they would like to keep it that way,â? said Town Manager Chris Hively.

Hively indicated that the concept plan will be discussed at next monthâ??s retreat in Richmond in the hope that it will be on the October regular town council meeting. The goal is to have a plan approved to allow for grant applications.

The committee passed the plan 4-0.

With reduced traffic on Sperryville Pike due to the opening of Col. Jameson Boulevard and the roundabouts, Rapp unveiled a grant-funded project that would provide for sidewalks from near Riverdale Circle into town.

The new sidewalks on Sperryville Pike would tie into the multi-use trail along Col. Jameson Boulevard and multi-use trails with the planned Route 229 widening.

A portion of Sperryville Pike near the bridge would be converted from a four-lane road to two 12-foot wide lanes, raised 12-foot wide median and turn lanes. That section would also have the same 5-foot wide sidewalk and new 10-foot wide multi-use trail on the opposite side.

Councilman Pranas Rimeikis expressed concern about access to commercial businesses in the area. Rapp assured him that businesses would be taken into account.

The committee approved the concept plan.

Wally Bunker is a freelance contributor with the Culpeper Times. You may reach him at wallybunker@outlook.com