By: Jennifer Britt
The Parsons Advocate
Pete Johnson from the Davis Riverwalk property updated the Davis Town Council on the happenings going on with the project. To date the Riverwalk has several properties sold and recorded. The Heritage Distillery and Highland Market building are up and running. As well as Blackwater Bikes with a large addition added to the east side of the building. Six home sites have been surveyed, sold and recorded. One multi-use building has also been added.
The Riverfront area will house planning and collaboration opportunities such as the Davis Riverwalk tract that will include residential, commercial and green spaces. The Riverwalk will possibly entertain public use possibilities including a new roadway, boat ramp access to the river, park land donated and a foot bridge to Blackwater Falls State Park with handicap parking.
The pedestrian bridge will connect an access road in Davis and a trail connection to the Blackwater River Loop Connector Trail. The trail will begin at the bridge in Davis, continue through Blackwater Falls before moving on to the Pase Point overlook. From there trail blazers will continue their journey to the proposed suspension bridge before continuing to the Douglas Falls. The trail will wind its way to the Company Store before finishing at Front Street in Thomas.
The Homeowners Association (HOA) portion will have a historical marker area, an upper pavilion with parking, and public pedestrian egress routes to the trail and river.
Mayor Alan Tomson said the Town of Davis was currently holding the building permits for the houses in the Riverwalk properties until all utilities have been ran and road ways were completed. The reason for this is the avoidance of past instances where properties meaning to be subdivisions did not go as planned.
Tomson said, “We also have some building permits that were submitted for the Riverwalk Park to build houses that Pete Johnson was talking about. The town’s position is that all the utilities must be built to town specifications, approved by the town engineer, accepted or approved by the town and installed before we will let any building permits be issued for those houses. We do not want another Tuscan Ridge. We want all the utilities and the roads put in before construction starts on the houses.”
In other business of the Town Council, council member Charlotte Wales presented an update on the Comprehensive Plan proposed for Davis. Wales said the Planning Commission has received the findings from the survey sent out to residents of the town. All the comments and survey results were approved at the Planning Commission’s meeting. The Planning Commission plans to meet again on July 11, 2022, and plan to make any revisions and complete the next draft before being presenting it to the Town Council at their second meeting in July.
Tomson said, “The Planning Commission has been working on this for about five years. It is a very slow and detailed process. The first four years we worked hand in hand with Thomas because the Town and the City have similar issues, as well as they look and feel very much the same. So, once that was done the two municipalities separated to work on the uniqueness of each of their perspective municipalities.
That is where they (Planning Commission) have gotten to this final point now, but I wanted you to understand that we have worked in partnership initially with Thomas because we do that with a lot of things. We have refined it now to reflect Davis. That is what the final document looks like.
It is a precursor to a lot of things. Probably the biggest change is the Planning Commission, and the Comprehensive Plan are leaning towards is zoning. Zoning is to protect all our property rights from encroachment from businesses and by other things. So, the residential areas can stay residential.”
The council discussed the need for the residents to be able to clean up brush and limbs from their properties. The council voted to rent a chipper for week of July 11. There is a choice to either place the debris on the curb by the side of the road or haul to the big lot at the end of town.
The town council members approved the purchase of a digital speed sign. The sign will alert drivers to their traveling speeds. The data collected from the software will allow Davis officials to recognize trouble areas concerning speeding. The sign does not report to the police your personal information just the date, time and speed will register.
The council finished the meeting in executive session. Agendas and approved minutes can be found on the Town of Davis Facebook page and their website at https://daviswv.us. Follow the link for meetings and agendas.