WHAT IS GOING WITH THE VIRGINIAN?
On April 25, 2023, the Town and County governing bodies announced that the Housing Department was under contract to purchase the 5 acre Virginian RV Park. Since then, the Town Council and County Commission have been considering different financing options to fund the $28 million purchase and starting to conduct community outreach to gather feedback on the project before they release a Request for Proposals (RFP) to finalize a developer(s) for the project.
WHY SHOULD WE CARE?
The Virginian RV Park parcel is a ready-to-build project in the town of Jackson where dense housing belongs. The site is located near numerous community amenities including bike paths, transit connections, the library, and grocery stores. Unlike other pending developments like Northern South Park, the Virginian RV Park also has infrastructure already established, which means that the redevelopment of this parcel has the potential to house locals very soon. Governing bodies predict that this site could host up to 250 homes for community members.
We are thrilled that our work on the 2022 SPET campaign has led to the purchase of this parcel (see the history section below). We are also proud that the candidates that we endorsed and elected into office made this decision to dedicate millions of dollars to securing this property for the benefit of our local workers and families who need homes most, regardless of where they work.
As electeds consider development plans, we are eager to see an integrated, diverse neighborhood serving the spectrum of community members who are facing housing insecurity. We would especially love to see a mix of rental and ownership units, along with homes accessible for people living with disabilities.
In fall 2022, ShelterJH ran a grassroots campaign to support SPET #12. Although there were five housing measures on the ballot, SPET #12 was especially vital because it was the only measure that would fund housing for locals regardless of where they worked. We knocked on over 1,000 doors and made 2,000 phone calls explaining the significance of this measure and urging voters to support it at the ballot box. Our hard work paid off—SPET #12 passed with flying colors!
The Request for Proposals (RFP) was approved for release on November 6 at the Joint Information Meeting with Town and County officials. Key changes to the RFP included eliminating the potential for commercial development on the site and adding key sustainability objectives. Developers will now have the opportunity to submit responses for review in 2024.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
Tell your Councilors and Commissioners today that you support developing 90 Virginian Way as soon as possible! Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Last updated 11/7/23