Rockwood Special Focus Area
What is a Special Focus Area?
In 2020, Chesterfield County initiated a Special Focus Area (SFA) study for the Rockwood community. A Special Focus Area is a long-range plan providing detailed development guidance to areas undergoing or having a high potential for change. The Special Focus Area serves as a guide for future growth, land development and redevelopment decisions, programs, ordinances and policies; and relies more heavily on strategies for the redevelopment of key properties through detailed design guidelines and placemaking. This Special Focus Area is a component of the countywide Comprehensive Plan (PDF) and replaces the current Land Use Plan designations (Northern Courthouse Road Community Plan (PDF) and the Route 360 Corridor Plan (PDF)) which lie within the focus area boundary.
Rockwood Special Focus Area Summary
Where is Rockwood?
- Centrally located in Chesterfield County
- Centered around the intersection of Hull Street Road (U.S. Route 360) and Courthouse Road and 1.7 miles from the Powhite Parkway (State Route 76).
- Bounded by Falling Creek to north, Gregory's Pond, the Amberleigh and Falling Creek Farms subdivisions to the east, Horner's Run to south, and Price Club Blvd and the Genito Woods subdivision to west (see map below). A core area consisting of four (4) quadrants surrounding the intersection of Hull Street and Courthouse Roads is designated as the main focal point for redevelopment efforts within Rockwood.
- Situated within a short distance from Chesterfield Towne Center, Midlothian, Chesterfield County Airport, Chesterfield County Government Complex, Centerpointe, Commonwealth Center, Stonebridge and Brandermill.
- In 2017, the Planning Department recognized Rockwood as a “place” with great potential.
- The area is anchored by the county’s first, largest, and most visited public park (Rockwood Park), which attracted 586,000 visitors in 2019.
- Major commercial centers of Oxbridge Square, Rockwood Plaza, and Rockwood Square occupy three of the four quadrants at the intersection of Hull Street and Courthouse Roads. These centers are ageing and have current vacancies, which may provide opportunities for change.
- Proximity to established residential neighborhoods
County leaders view Rockwood as a major activity hub with the potential for growth. This Special Focus Area intends to promote Rockwood as a unique place to live, work and play, and provides a vision for creating greater opportunities for citizens and visitors of all ages and lifestyles through thoughtful development and redevelopment.
- Predominantly developed with commercial/retail uses
- Rockwood Square, Rockwood Plaza and Oxbridge Square Shopping Centers contain a large percentage of such uses
- Multiple vacancies in these shopping centers currently
- Minimal office, industrial/employment uses
- Minimal residential development
- Established residential communities lie just outside of the Special Focus Area boundaries
- Large proportion of vacant/undeveloped land
- Large proportion of public land (Rockwood Park)
- Environmentally sensitive lands in the Plan area
- Provides a long-range plan for the redevelopment of the Core Area/Four Quadrants
- Phased development beginning with larger interior parcels/shopping center properties
- Redevelopment of outparcels along Route 360 and Courthouse Road in the long-term
- Promotes the redevelopment of older commercial properties with a mix of higher-density residential, commercial and entertainment uses and new infill development of vacant and underutilized lands
- Promotes a safe and comfortable environment for pedestrians and cyclists by providing sidewalks, bike trails and other pedestrian corridors to better connect different land uses
- Recommends additional connections between Rockwood Park and surrounding communities
- Encourages additional opportunities for commercial, employment, residential and entertainment uses
Design Guidelines for New Development:
- Streetscaping standards including sidewalks, street trees, landscaping beds, streetlamps and street furniture
- Smaller setbacks allowing buildings and uses to frame pedestrian-oriented streetscapes
- Buildings and open spaces as the main visual features along roads as opposed to parking lots
- Encouraging high-quality building design and exterior materials
- Landscaping, open space and stormwater management design standards
- Promoting a sense of “place” through branding and signage
Recommended Strategies for the Core Area/Four Quadrants:
- County initiated rezoning requests
- Aggregation of multiple smaller parcels into larger development projects
- Assistance with lowering cost of redevelopment:
- Demolition assistance for redevelopment of the three major shopping centers
- Deletion of cash proffers for high-density residential redevelopment
- Ordinance amendments regarding densities, building heights, setbacks, lot area and parking requirements
- Expansion of current county programs to assist with redevelopment projects
- North/South Thoroughfare Road providing new full access to Rockwood Park from Hull Street Road at existing traffic signal at Oxbridge Road
- New greenway/trail along Horner's Run between Courthouse Road and Oxbridge Road
- Gateway signs at entrance to Rockwood Plan area, along Courthouse Road and Route 360