Greauxing Resilience at Home — Town of Washington, Virginia: Rush River Commons Mixed-Use Development

The Town of Washington, Virginia is a small rural town that largely benefits from the service and tourism industries. Initially funded by private citizen Chuck Akre, Rush River Commons is a project of the Sherwood Fund, the Akre family’s operating foundation. Rush River Commons is a proposed mixed-use development project for the Town of Washington. The project prioritizes the historic character of the Washington community and respects the surrounding natural environment. The proposed plan includes building a community center, office space for nonprofits, and affordable rental housing on a nine-acre property located in the town. The project also includes a plan for restoring the land’s natural wetlands and amenities. Construction of Rush River Commons is set to begin in early 2022. 

The Rush River Commons project shows how mixed-use development can be designed in a way that is compatible with rural communities. It is also a good example of how local policymakers can help create comprehensive plans and ordinances that support both public and private affordable housing ventures.

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This case study is one of 24 case studies featured in a report written by the Georgetown Climate Center, Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Collection of Lessons and Case Studies from Louisiana and Beyond. These case studies describe best and emerging practices, tools, and examples from Louisiana and other U.S. jurisdictions to make progress on the complex and interrelated challenges of housing, flooding, and resilience. These case studies are intended to provide transferable lessons and ideas for regional and local governments addressing housing and mitigating flood risk as integrated parts of comprehensive community resilience strategies. Collectively, these case studies present a suite, although not an exhaustive list of tools and approaches that can be used to facilitate any of these efforts.

For additional case studies and more information about this work, also see Greauxing Resilience at Home: A Regional Vision.

Publication Date: June 16, 2022

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