Roanoke County Board of Supervisors approves petition for hotel and townhomes

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 1:22 AM EDT
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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - ABoone Real Estate Inc. got the go ahead from the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Wednesday to rezone 3.46 acres to C-2 for a four story hotel and 28.86 acres to R-3 for 80 townhouses in the 1300 and 1400 blocks of Edgebrook Road. This comes after the Planning Commission voted unanimously in favor of sending it to the Board of Supervisors in early September.

“This project, once built out, will generate in excess of $350,000 a year in property taxes and lodging taxes. That pays for a lot of school assets, it helps with parks, it helps with raises, it does a lot of things. It is a lot of money, but at the end of the day, the reason we’re here is certainly you have to have a viable business plan but this is a community that we know can be very successful,” said Alexander Boone, the developer of the area.

After a more-than-three-hour back and forth public hearing about the project, the Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 in favor of it. Supervisor Martha Hooker, who represents the area where the project will be built, voted no.

“While Mr. Boone does very good work, I would not want a hotel in my backyard and that’s really where I’m standing firm. I think we’ve got 85% approximately of the people in this community are retired, they’ve put a large investment in their homes and I think it’s our responsibility to be protecting those homes and their value,” said Hooker.

The public hearing was filled with residents who continued to voice their disapproval of the project during the public comment portion. Their reasoning was the potential for increased traffic, crime, lowering the value of their homes and the lack of need of another hotel in the area. Some residents went as far as to disrupt Boone while he was presenting to the Board of Supervisors.

“I am asking you all to keep our neighborhoods the way they should be, residential. And if we lose this battle, I am very proud that we went down with a fight,” said one Hanging Rock area resident.

But the concerns weren’t enough to sway the Board of Supervisors as a whole.

”I will tell you what I told people in Hunt Ridge area, with developments going on there. Everything’s gonna be alright, it’s not going to result in anything detrimental. In the long run, it’s gonna be good and it’s gonna help the community and Roanoke County,” said Supervisor Phil North.

The most recent concern from residents was that the hotel plan was not in line with Roanoke County’s Comprehensive Plan. Planning director Philip Thompson spent the beginning of the public hearing outlining those concerns.

“If you want to look at the determinants, in my opinion, it meets four of the five. The one it doesn’t meet is the consistent zoning because it’s not zoned for commercial. There also is no guidance on determinants, you know, how many do you need to meet? These were the things that were considered when people made decisions about what the future land use should be. So in this case, the board in 2005 decided that this property or this portion of the property should be core.”

“I was particularly impressed by Lynne Bledsoe’s information that she provided us. With respect to the determination by the county in the past, with respect to designating this area, this core, that’s not mandatory in my mind. It is a guide, but that guide leads us to certain conclusions. If you sit back and look at a map it kind of makes sense from a planning perspective that you would have some kind of commercial use along a park and ride, near the interstate,” said Chairman Paul Mahoney.

It’s not clear right now when construction on the project will begin, but WDBJ7 will continue to follow developments as they become available.

ABoone Real Estate Inc.’s petition to rezone the 1300 and 1400 blocks of Edgebrook Road began in February 2022. The original petition was to rezone 7.3 acres for a hotel and medical/professional offices, and rezone 25.01 acres for townhomes. Following a community meeting in March 2022, ABoone Real Estate Inc. revised the petition to its current form in July 2022.