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People discuss HopeTree rezoning during a public meeting held by the city council



Salem, Virginia – Concerns regarding the development of the HopeTree site are still being voiced by Salem locals.

There has been much discussion about rezoning the HopeTree property ever since it began in early December of last year.

A number of Salem locals spoke up on Monday about their thoughts regarding the updated plans for the HopeTree Property.

“It could be really example that a lot of folks, a lot of new families young families will look forward to building in this area. People who have come in not only from Salem but throughout the valley throughout the region and new business and new people coming into the valley.” said resident, Earl Petrie.

The proposal has undergone significant modifications, which include restricting the number of hotel rooms, restaurant and retail space, and residential units to 340.

“There are no sidewalks on the road that surround my family’s home, which adds another danger. The property values of homes in this area will almost certainly fall. Many citizens have raised logical concerns about the detrimental impact of runoff and sewage issues that will come from this.” said resident Rose Hart.

Nonetheless, the public requested that the council assess the effects of the development’s increasing traffic.

“Members of this council will be directly affected by the astronomical influx of traffic that approaches up to this size will most certainly bring an estimated 4000 additional vehicles daily traveling on our neighborhood roads, what will be the impacts of this traffic on our roadways?” questioned Hart. “Salem city’s infrastructure simply cannot support a project in this area of this stature.”

According to planning and zoning administrator Mary Ellen Wines, the issues raised by the preliminary traffic study have been resolved.

“Traffic Generation calculations for the actual new residential and nonresidential uses shall be provided during the development review process and shall not exceed 4037 trips per day. That does not include high tree operations. This means that new uses on the hip tree property cannot exceed 4037 trips per day as determined by the methodology of the Institute of Transportation Engineers.”

On the rezoning, the city council has not cast a vote.

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