Damascus a small town located in the southeast section of Washington County, Virginia. Over the past decade the town fostered and developed a primary engine to its economy – tourism/recreation, travel, and lodging. Damascus is a destination point for people who want to leave behind the traffic, smoke, and hectic pace of city life. The town is at the crossing of seven significant trail systems for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
Damascus continues to be a desirable destination for thousands of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, converging on the town during Appalachian Trail Days, and Fourth of July Celebrations and concerts. The tourist ‘generators’ create demands in hiking, biking, horseback riding, lodging, and personal service industry.
CDAC received a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Assessment grant to assess and help communities develop conceptual redevelopment plans for potentially contaminated sites in southwest Virginia communities. The purpose of this project is to work with the Damascus community in identifying a new use for the former Chevron site at the corner of East Laurel Avenue and South Legion Street and then develop a conceptual design for the parcel.
The general process involves testing the site for contaminants (carried out by Cardno, an environmental services company and CDAC’s contractor for the EPA grant) and developing a concept for improving the site. The grant does not require cleanup, but rather is an opportunity to work with the community to develop conceptual designs to help create a vision for the future.
The Community Design Assistance Center and Cardno worked with the town of Damascus and the local community to elaborate and further refine the ideas put forth in the Hill Studio plan (2014-15) for the reuse of the Chevron station site. The CDAC team developed two alternative conceptual designs for the site, presented the concepts to the community for feedback, revised the concepts into a final concept, then present the final conceptual designs to the community.
The conceptual designs are providing a vision for the site and a crucial first step toward raising funds for future redevelopment.
Project Team: Elizabeth Gilboy, Nick Proctor, Kevin Jones, Divya Nautiyal, Lantian Zhang, Joe Morici (Cardno), and Brent Scott (Cardno)
Sponsor: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Assessment Grant