Roanoke City Council paved the way for the old Huff Lane school to become two new hotels and a restaurant on Tuesday night.
Neighbors in Dorchester Court packed chambers tonight but left in defeat.
More than 20 of them spoke to council pleading with them to vote against rezoning the property to commercial, which would then lead to the likely sale of the property to developers.
They feel the area would see more crime, more traffic and a decrease in property values.
Neighbors held signs saying no and 7 - zero, highlighting the unanimous decision by the planning commission to deny rezoning.
By a 4-3 vote, city council disagreed.
"As a Roanoke native, I can attest that the city is traveling a progressive road in recent years that has made it a model that other small cities aspire to be. It is my hope that council will not sacrifice that vision with this project," said Christina Koomen.
"All in all weighting it being willing to make tough decisions and take the brunt for making a decision; y'all are good people. I'm gonna have to vote for it," said David Trinkle.
All funds from the sale and partial revenue from the eventual businesses will go to improvements at Round Hill Elementary.
But council must vote a second time to confirm the decision at the next meeting on March 4th.