Trail Waiver# 214-WTL-001-1:
Buckman Road Apartments

3426 Buckman Road

  Article Prepared By Robert Michie
Sidewalk and Trails Committee, Lee District
Last Reviewed: 14 March 2010
Revision 1.0


Buckman Road Apartments is an affordable-income 204-unit rental community of one to three bedroom homes. It is located near Hybla Valley and just off of Richmond Highway (Route 1). Mt. Vernon Memorial Highway is nearby. Buckman Road is considering renovation work along part of its considerable frontage. An approximately 135-foot section of frontage along Buckman Road from the apartments to Route One has triggered the requirement for an 8-foot Type I trail. Applicant's Request: waive the trail requirement because:

  1. No 8-foot trail exists on nearby parcels.

  2. Trail work now could interfere with possible County or State future improvements to Buckman Road or Route 1.

  3. A 5-foot trail already exists in the area.

  4. An existing bridge in the area cannot support an 8-foot trail.

Buckman Road Apartments offers an Escrow payment for trail improvements in the future.

 [ Buckman Road Apts. Trail Area shown in Red ]

Map 1: Map of Subject Area. Trail area shown in Red.


Buckman Road Apartments has a frontage that extends approximately 2000 feet. Buckman Apartments has provided a 5-foot sidewalk across the entire frontage. Sidewalks provided by other property owners vary in width from only 3 feet six inches wide to four feet six inches wide. The sidewalk is about twenty years old, but still in good condition.

During the Field Check, it became clear that the sidewalk segment under discussion is heavily used, and residents of Buckman Road Apartments rely on it. The sidewalk has grading issues that allow water intrusion on its surface. This is not desirable at any time of the year, but it becomes a real obstacle in icy weather.

Lot 22 is an undeveloped parcel and Lot 25 is a privately owned trailer park. Both are likely to be redeveloped in turn. In the meantime, the sidewalk on Buckman Road is clearly being used by the residents of the area to reach shopping and  bus stops on which they rely. The bridge across the creek shown in Map 1 is a bottleneck, but a dry,  8-foot trail will be a significant mitigation.

Field Check  27 February 2010

[ Buckman Road Sidewalk Area ] Photo 1: Buckman Road facing southeast. Route One is ahead. The bridge across the creek at Route One is on the left, just out of sight.
[ Buckman Road Bridge ] Photo 2: Route One at Buckman Road. The man is walking towards the bridge. The wet pavement is from melting snow, but note that the ground is sloping into the sidewalk.



Deny the Waiver for the following reasons:

  1. There are no obstacles in the vicinity to preclude building a sidewalk.
  2. The sidewalk is heavily used.

Alternative Recommendation:

Other sidewalk advocates pointed out that the principal issue raised here is water intrusion on the sidewalk surface.  Otherwise, the existing sidewalk is serviceable and in good condition. The sidewalk area need grading and under drains to keep it dry.

  1. If the applicant will offer specific improvements to the existing sidewalk, then the conclusion stated above will be reconsidered.




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