Project Study Area
–Brownfields Redevelopment Planning Project
The Brownfiels Project kickoff meeting will be held on June 18th, 2013 at 7:00 pm at the Charles T. Yancey Municipal Bldg., 503 West Main Street.
– EPA Grant Aids Waynesboro Downtown Redevleopment
PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 1, 2012) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced $400,000 in funding to the City of Waynesboro, Va. to help assess the clean up needed for contaminated properties that will lead to potential redevelopment.
Brownfields Redevelopment Planning Project
** Upcoming Event ** Brownfield Charrette, September 23rd to 26th
Redeveloping a downtown can be difficult and tricky. Besides dealing with aging infrastructure, blighted buildings, and competition from undeveloped suburban sites, downtown properties have to deal with a commercial and industrial environmental legacy which presents a costly burden to investigate and potentially remediate. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created a series of environmental site assessments and clean up grants which are geared towards overcoming the environmental legacies facing localities.
On October 1, 2012, the City of Waynesboro officially received two brownfields assessment grants from the EPA totaling $400,000. Roughly two-thirds of these funds will go towards Environmental Site Assessments of individual properties within the Downtown and East Main Street Corridor. These site assessments will look into the land use history of sites within this area for potential hazardous substance or petroleum contaminants. In a few cases, more intensive site investigations may be necessary if the initial research determines that contaminants may be present. The goals of this process are: (A) providing a property with a “clean bill of health”/ figuring out how the property can be redeveloped with relatively few restrictions; or (B) If the property is severely contaminated, determining the best course to get it cleaned up and redevelopable. In the end, the product of these investigations can make properties more valuable because a purchaser’s “fear of the unknown” will be overcome and these properties will compete more favorably with undeveloped, suburban properties.
The other one-third of the grant funds will go towards Reuse, Redevelopment, Revitalization Plans. Community involvement in this part of the process is important. If the community is involved in planning how the Downtown and East Main Street Corridor can and should be redeveloped, then there will be significant community buy-in when a developer proposes a new project. This is critical because if a developer knows that the community supports their project, then it significantly reduces risks to the developer and increases their willingness to invest in a community.