Project Status: Underway
Magisterial District: Varina
Henrico County’s 2026 Comprehensive Plan identified both Route 5 (New Market Road) and Marion Hill as Special Focus Areas that warrant further study because of certain characteristics, challenges or opportunities.
In Henrico, Route 5 is a state-maintained road approximately 14 miles in length that runs from the eastern boundary of the City of Richmond through the Varina Magisterial District to Charles City County. The Marion Hill neighborhood shares a boundary with Route 5 and, due to its close proximity, will be studied in conjunction with the Route 5 corridor. Development adjacent to Route 5 has historically been rural in nature but has evolved in large part to more suburban style single-family developments amidst small farms and large-acreage homes. On March 14, 2017, the Board of Supervisors directed the Planning Department to initiate a study for the Planning Commission’s review and recommendation to the Board regarding possible Comprehensive Plan amendments.
The corridor study area extends 500 feet on either side of the centerline of Route 5. This includes 878 parcels and 1,409 acres. It will be the longest corridor plan undertaken in Henrico County.
The purpose of the study is to evaluate the existing character of both focus areas and offer recommended guidelines for use in future review of development proposals, while integrating and respecting the existing agricultural, residential and commercial development currently present along the corridor. Data was compiled on previous studies, existing conditions, and visual conditions. That information can be found below in the document entitled Draft Route 5 Corridor Study.
Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill Public Engagement Portal
The goal of the Public Engagement portal is to provide additional opportunities for citizens and stakeholders to participate in the study and to provide a platform for your comments. It includes a short community survey and a new feature – a public input map where you can pinpoint and comment on opportunities/strengths and challenges along the Route 5 Corridor. These suggestions will be labeled directly on the Corridor Study Map. The portal also includes a virtual tour to help you get started and reacquainted with the corridor.
To get started, just click through the tabs at the top of the portal. Please take a few moments to answer the survey and provide any suggestions by using the public input map. Your input is a vital part of the process, so please share your thoughts!
The Henrico County Planning Department will hold a Community Workshop Thursday, August 3 for residents and other members of the public to provide input on the Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill Study.
The community workshop will be held from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at John Rolfe Middle School, 6901 Messer Road. The workshop will begin with an overview of the Draft Route 5 Corridor/ Marion Hill Study document, followed by an interactive, facilitated exercise. Attendees will be divided into small break-out groups and asked to collaborate on identifying their top 5 goals for the area and how they envision those goals could be achieved. They will also be requested to identify strong and weak places along the corridor through a mapping exercise.
The feedback from the exercises will be used by staff to develop goals, objectives and strategies to assist in preserving and enhancing the character of the Route 5 corridor and the Marion Hill neighborhood.
For further information regarding this study, please contact Rosemary Deemer at (804) 501-4488 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The draft document can be reviewed by scrolling to the bottom of this page and clicking on the link for the Draft Route 5 Corridor Study.
If you need a special accommodation in order to participate in this workshop, please contact Rosemary Deemer by July 24, 2017.
Thank you for visiting the Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill Public Engagement website and portal. Please plan on attending one of the upcoming community meetings in which citizens, stakeholders and representatives of local community organizations will be able to provide further input on the Route 5 Corridor Study, and check our site often for updates. To join our email list to receive notices of meetings, please complete the information below:
Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill Study Mailing List
Progress to Date
- On Thursday, May 11, 2017 Planning staff kicked-off the project with a presentation to the Henrico County Planning Commission. Approximately 25 residents, stakeholders and representatives from local community organizations attended the meeting to heard a brief overview of existing conditions and the proposed framework for the study. Following the presentation, several individuals shared their thoughts about the corridor, and surrounding neighborhoods, with the Planning Commission.
- Also on Thursday, May 11, 2017 the Planning Department introduced a project-specific website and public engagement portal.
The Henrico County Planning Department hosted an Open House at the Varina Library from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on June 8, 2017. Varina residents and other members of the public were welcomed to view background information compiled by staff for the Route 5/Marion Hill Study. Over 110 people attended, asked questions, shared their thoughts, and made comments via an exit survey.
There were a variety of maps and graphics displayed throughout the room and staff were available at 10 stations to discuss the information. Segment maps showing aerial photography, zoning and Future Land Use designations were provided to orient participants. Other maps depicted recreation/park facilities, historic markers and conservation properties, the Major Thoroughfare Plan, parcels falling within the 500-foot study boundary and existing views and vistas. Graphics of various cross-sections throughout the corridor and suggested sub-areas based on differing character and land uses along the 14-mile long corridor were also provided.
Laptops were also set up where attendees could visit the Route 5/Marion Hill Public Engagement Portal on the county’s website and actually leave comments on an interactive map, as well as fill out a more extensive survey (which is ongoing).
Based on the 41 surveys returned, most respondents found the information on Future Land Use and the Major Thoroughfare Plan of most interest (followed by views & vistas, rec/park facilities and zoning). When asked if there were any questions that were not answered, 70% responded “No”.
For those who responded “Yes”, most comments fell into 4 general categories: planning process, character of the area, transportation, and land use. A complete list all the comments received can be found below:
- Purpose of the meeting
- What exactly are the proposed options for the corridor?
- How will this affect Osborne Turnpike?
- When will we be informed on voting on the different changes (rezoning for future change of land use.)
- Item 4 of the other handout (showing the Planning Process) is “Finalize the Plan”. Thought this study was a fact collection effort. What is envisioned as a “Final Plan”?
- Why must you destroy what is?
- How to make sure our rural lifestyle is not interrupted by over-housing and business development
- What is the plan to keep the rural aspect to the area as it is allowed to develop?
- How can we improve existing conditions without commercializing the area?
- What are the plans to further develop the bike path?
- Plans for widening Route 5 between S. Laburnum and Rocketts Landing.
- Status of VDOT property located on Route 5 near Rocketts
- How are you going to take care of the people of Henrico and not the big bucks developers?
- What are the connectivity plans to go along with the residential development? Currently there is only Comcast in the area and adding thousands of homes without competitive internet services would not be in the best interest of the existing or new residents of Varina.
Finally, attendees were asked if there was anything else they’d like to share related to Route 5 or Marion Hill. Again, most responses fell into the same 4 general categories. In this instance, comments about the character (rural/scenic, etc.) of the area, as well as transportation issues were far more prevalent. A complete list of all comments received is below:
- Need a traffic light at BP station and 7-11 store.
- Consideration for a traffic light on Route 5 near Antioch Baptist Church
- Increased population in an already congested area is only going to increase civil dangers.
- There should be shoulders along Kingsland Road.
- The completed bike trail was just wasting money.
- We love the Cap Trail.
- I’m a fan of the bike lanes and the new lights at the Route 5 crossings but many cyclists don’t follow cycling rule or use the lights. A sign indicating cycling rules may help prevent accidents between motorists and cyclists.
- We need a flashing light on Doran Road to signal the bike path and for bikers to cross. Cars can’t see bikers on the western side of the path heading north on Doran because there is a blind curve just prior to the bike path.
- I would like a bike trail in the Darbytown and Elko Road area due to the high volume of bikers using the area.
- As traffic grows, parallel roads should be improved to handle it; connectivity of roads in the study area and throughout Varina should be emphasized.
- Reduce the speed limit to 45 mph starting at Marion Hill to Laburnum Avenue.
- Traffic and speed limit concerns.
- Watch out for the bike trail; what an amazing asset.
- We need shoulders along Route 5 and a guardrail near Capital Trail from Marion Hill up past McCoul Street.
- Need a guardrail opposite Marion Hill.
- Need to preserve historic areas
- We would like to preserve the rural feel of the area not create another area with lots of shopping and character.
- Want to keep rural nature and historic community.
- Preserving the rural look and feel of Route 5 is very important.
- Route 5 is a great asset for tourism, recreation, history, a relaxing drive in the country and farm-to-table agriculture.
- Do not change this area; we need open areas and farm land.
- Preserve the rural character of Varina and promote its rich agricultural history.
- We love the ruralness of the Route 5 area and the Capital Trail; we want it to remain as is.
- Keep Varina beautiful
- Best location. Preserve country feel.
- Leave the Marion Hill neighborhood alone; it’s fine the way it is.
- Route 5 past Strath should be preserved.
- Marion Hill to remain as it is; it’s a wonderful neighborhood.
- Varina to remain rural and keep the view a country view.
- Growth is inevitable but we can strive to do it in such a way as to honor the rural integrity of the county.
- Don’t destroy the beauty/country.
- Keep the scenic atmosphere
- Leave Varina alone.
- Consult local residents before development plans are made and/or finalized.
- Please keep the residents in mind with implementing future plans.
- A study of the Varina Village area should be done after this study.
- Good job providing the maps. Will there be more meetings after this one to address more questions?
- Don’t make exceptions for county regulations on signs.
- Commercial uses along Route 5 should be local; regional commercial uses should be on the other roads like Route 60.
- Like to see appropriate businesses come to this area that keep with the historic charm (Example: Sycamore Square and Merchant’s Square)
- The area should be preserved from development.
- Encourage mom and pop shops and keep big commercial development around Laburnum.
- My concerns focus on unfettered development in the form of single-family subdivisions and the widening of Route 5.
- Don’t want this area to look like Short Pump in 20 years; would prefer any development to move at a snail’s pace.
- Know change is inevitable but would urge the Planning Department to let these changes occur as naturally and as indirectly as possible.
- Do not allow housing developments on less than one-acre; this will also add time consideration for traffic and decrease congestion.
- Top marks for the bike path and also for new library and landscape plantings.
- The Rec/Park land next to the Dairy Queen should not house a community college; it is better suited to Route 60/Technology Blvd due to the fact the land is a battlefield – it should not be developed. However, if it must it should be a science and environmental center for county schools.