Residents protest ahead of public hearing on Edgebrook Road rezoning petition

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 12:14 AM EDT
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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Since February, ABoone Real Estate Inc. has been working to get approval for a rezoning project off Edgebrook Road in Roanoke County. The petition was revised in July 2022 to rezone 3.46 acres to C-2 for a four story hotel and 28.86 acres to R-3 for 80 townhouses.

In early September, the Roanoke County Planning Commission unanimously approved the project to head to the Board of Supervisors for second public hearing.

Ahead of Wednesday night’s meeting, a group of around 50 residents in the surrounding communities got out to protest the petition.

“The main concern is the hotel, the commercial aspects and what that can bring to our area,” said Lynne Bledsoe, a member of a Homeowners Association in section 2 of The Fairways at Hanging Rock.

For residents the concern has always been a hotel will bring increased traffic and crime to the area, along with the belief that there’s just no need for a hotel.

“The whole rezoning to commercial is such a radical move and so antithetical to what these communities here are about,” said Stas Mavrides, a resident of The Fairways at Hanging Rock.

Alexander Boone, the developer of the petition, disagrees.

“Ask Virginia’s Blue Ridge, ask Roanoke County, Roanoke City, Botetourt County, City of Salem, Montgomery County, we need additional hotel rooms. We’ve had tremendous response to this hotel site.”

The most recent concern from residents is that the petition doesn’t align with Roanoke County’s Comprehensive Plan.

“At the planning commission meeting, we were misled, along with the commissioners, and actually part of the hotel property will still be on neighborhood conservation and that should not be allowed,” said Bledsoe.

“I respect the opportunity for them to share their perspective. I mean, they are trying to find anything they can find to stop this project. I’ve spoken with the county at length about this issue; this site absolutely meets the core designation determinant,” said Boone.

Boone said he’s done his best to work with residents throughout the entirety of this project and believes it will be a positive for the area.

“Not only is it right next to the interstate, it’s adjacent to Roanoke College, City of Salem. Salem’s done some great things with their downtown, they’re working on the Moyer Sports complex, this hotel can support it. The County’s doing a great service by offering bus service up to McAfee’s Knob and Dragons Tooth, so our hotel will be able to support McAfee’s Knob and Dragons Tooth,” said Boone.

Residents are still holding onto hope that the Board of Supervisors will vote no on the rezoning for the hotel.

“We just feel determined to be able to voice our concerns, bring forth the findings we have, they understand we’re on the same page of what’s being proposed and go from there,” said Mavrides.

The board is set to have a public hearing on it all Wednesday night at 7. it’s not clear whether they will vote on the project, though. WDBJ7 will be at the meeting and continue to keep our viewers informed on the outcome.