The Roanoke Natural Foods Co-op withdrew a proposal Monday for a 12-acre urban farm with up to 400 chickens near the former Countryside Golf Course property, citing neighborhood opposition.
Roanoke Natural Foods General Manager Bruce Phlegar told the Roanoke City Council and a chamber packed full of farm opponents that although the co-op still wishes to pursue an urban farm to produce vegetables, eggs and other products, “we are not interested in creating an entity that is a significant point of conflict with the surrounding neighborhood.”
“Out of respect for those who oppose this project, and in the hope that the city will continue to work with our group, we respectfully withdrew our proposal,” Phlegar said.
The co-op had proposed growing about 70 varieties of fruits and vegetables, as well as building several high-tunnel hoop houses to grow produce during the off-season; a pump house; a storage shed; and a building that would be used for office space, packing and storage, classrooms and retail space to sell the farm’s products on-site.
What drew the most attention from residents in the nearby Miller Court and Countryside neighborhoods, however, was the inclusion of up to 400 chickens on a nearly 2-acre portion of the property.