What will happen to the City Farm land?

13News Now Niko Clemmons has the story

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- The future of an old prison facility in Newport News is up in the air.

City council voted to close the City Farm in 2015.

Now they're trying to figure what to do with the property.

The city received an unsolicited proposal back in November to buy the property to build homes, however nothing has been done.

Now city council is considering bringing in the American Planning Association to help with the process.

While council is also discussing how much it would cost to bring that team in, several residents who are trying to save the property from development have their concerns.

Adrian Whitcomb and the 'Citizens for Riverview Farm Park' have been speaking up at city council meetings over the last several months trying to prevent any sort of development on the property.

Whitcomb says they want the property to be a public park.

“We need to keep coming out in numbers,” Whitcomb says. “You’re not sure what that group will advise, they'll only be here a few days and they're not familiar with the area.”

For a while, Whitcomb says he and many other Newport News residents felt left out by city council, and that council members weren't being transparent.

Newport News Vice Mayor Tina Vick says that's not the case.

“I think with the citizens and the leadership of our city it will help us get the best bang for our buck for that property,” Vick says. “I really want to bring in an expert because even though I’m interested in housing or a restaurant, we need to see if that property feasible to have these things.”

Vick also address concerns about bringing in outside help.

“That’s going to be a part of the discussion,” Vick says. “The cost to bring in outside help because there’s also costs involved using our own planning department.”

Planning staff will come back to Council with options on how to go about deciding what to do with the property.

It will be council, not staff that will choose the process.

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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