Tom R. asked about our discussion dealing with the Old Blacksburg Middle School at our recent Quarterly Work Session. It was briefly reported in the Roanoke Times and I will recap here.

Our zoning on that site calls for low density residential.

The future land use in our Comprehensive Plan calls for that property to be mixed use which means higher density residential with some commercial and office.

The question revolves around what that means. This has also been a question raised by the Board of Supervisors.

Our Comp plan is pretty clear on this meaning.

To help the Board of Supervisors in their discussions, I will work with another council member and planning Commission member to take that section of the comp plan, review the notes from our earlier community meetings regarding the old middle school site, and tighten the view of mixed use on that site.

This working group will pass that vision onto Council for its review and then it will be turned over to the B.O.S. to help them understand our vision for that property.

Since the comp plan wording and public input are already there, this initial process should not take long. Let’s be clear, this is not a recommendation for rezoning. It is a view that the Board of Supervisors and the community can work with to find the best use of that site for the land and where it sits in relation to other development.

The discussions of council will be in open session and any proposals for a rezoning will be subject to public input. This property is too important to treat in any other way.

We all must be realists. We are in an economic market that does not encourage new development. An example is Sam’s pulling out of Christiansburg. This site is no magic bullet to solve all the county’s economic crunch.

We look forward to working with the county to find the best use for this property.

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