NEWPORT NEWS—In 2019, the City of Newport News created a new Denbigh-Warwick Area Plan to revitalize the Warwick Boulevard corridor. The Sherwood Site Master Plan is the first major part of the implementation of the Denbigh-Warwick Area Plan. The city envisions a civic hub at Sherwood, anchored by the new Grissom Library and other services.
Since the Sherwood Master Plan is still under development, there isn’t much to share about it yet. However, the plan is to make it a potential village center or civic hub as part of the One City, One Future Comprehensive Plan 2040.
Considering the length and scope of the One City, One Future Comprehensive Plan 2040 plan boundary, the Plan has been broken into three sectors: North Sector runs from the northern part of the plan area at Oakland Industrial Park south to Atkinson Boulevard. The Core Sector runs from Atkinson Boulevard south to Bland Boulevard and Lucas Creek. The South Sector extends from Bland Boulevard and Lucas Creek south to Oyster Point Road and Deep Creek.
The One City, One Future Comprehensive Plan 2040 takes a thematic approach to realize the vision of becoming “economically strong, culturally diverse, and environmentally responsible with an exceptional quality of life.”
The One City, One Future Comprehensive Plan 2040 also serves as a policy document and the primary tool that the city will use to guide decisions regarding land use, development, and redevelopment in order to realize the vision. While it presents a “big picture” for the city’s future development, it recognizes the need to study specific areas in greater detail to provide more focused direction regarding urban form and design, economic development, public services, community facilities, health and safety, transportation, and/or education and welfare development.
Nine district Planning Opportunity Areas have been identified in the comprehensive plan, each of which has experienced disinvestment, has pockets of blight, and is at risk of further deterioration. The areas also have specific potential to advance the goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan. One of these areas is Denbigh. An area plan will be developed for all of the Planning Opportunity Areas and the plans will become amendments to the City’s comprehensive plan. The Denbigh-Warwick Area Plan is the first area plan that will be completed.
There are five major themes to the Denbigh-Warwick Area Plan:
– Establish a series of pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use village centers along Warwick Boulevard so the majority of neighborhoods are within a mile or less of a village center.
– Determine and enhance character area throughout Denbigh-Warwick so they can celebrate and showcase the area’s history, culture, and waterfront location.
– Identify major entrances to and with Denbigh-Warwick and create a consistent set of welcoming gateways, including entries to Fort Monroe and Oakland Industrial Park
Health and Safety
– Improve overall appearance and sense of safety for all who live, work, and visit Denbigh-Warwick by eliminating blight and vacancies.
– Establish a modern police, fire, emergency, and community service facility in an accessible and visible location that fosters a close relationship with the community, allows efficient response times, and strengthens connections to other related uses.
– Foster a healthy environment for residents of all ages with access to quality healthcare and wellness services, programs, and providers, as well as opportunities to be physically active.
– Build on the area’s agricultural history and improve local access to affordable and nutritious food.
– Reduce traffic congestion, improve connectivity, and create transit choices for people who live and work in the area and enjoy visiting.
– Enhance the safety and character throughout the Denbigh-Warwick area and improve pedestrian and bike connections for residents between neighborhoods and community amenities such as schools, parks, the waterfront, and Warwick Boulevard corridor.
– Ensure that all neighborhoods are within a 10-minute walk to a park or green space.
– Support local small business growth and encourage expansion of existing home-based businesses through programs, incentives, and development of affordable flex-space and small business incubators.
– Create opportunities for new job creation, education, and training that allows community interaction and development (e.g., open-air or indoor market, restaurant incubator, art/craft showcase, or market).
– Ensure a wide range of housing options by encouraging new types of housing that are currently limited (e.g., attached townhomes, duplexes, senior housing) in locations accessible to jobs, transit, services, parks, open spaces, and other community amenities.
– Preserve green corridors and a natural buffer along the waterfront with integrated, multi-purpose trails or paths where feasible to protect natural resources, air, and water quality.
– Encourage new development and significant redevelopment to incorporate resilient design, green building, practices, dedication of public open space, and manage stormwater runoff onsite.
The public is invited to a Community Visioning Workshop on Wednesday, November 17 from 6 to 7:30pm at the Denbigh Community Center located at 15198 Warwick Blvd. in Newport News. The city is looking for public input on vision for the Sherwood Site, including types of activities and amenities that would entice residents and visitors.
The city’s Planning Department has also launched an online survey to gain additional input on the site.