The Blacksburg Town Council voted 7-0 in approval of the FY 2023-24 budget during their regular meeting, April 25.
Ordinance 2019 amending Blacksburg Town Code 22-900 was approved by council to increase the cigarette tax to $0.02 per cigarette prior to sale in the town limits, effective July 1, 2023. The real estate property tax will be $.26 per $100 assessed value for the calendar year 2023, according to Ordinance 2020. Additional appropriations to local organizations and other funding approved by council are also listed per ordinance 2020 on the town’s website.
Ordinance 2021 was approved by the council to increase water and sewer services, meter fees, and solid waste and recycling fees.
Frustrated local citizens were also heard by Blacksburg Town Council during the meeting, in relation to a proposal for a low-density development of 44.85 acres of rural residential land at 1006 Glade Spring Road.
Meredith Jones, P.E. Eden & Associates, P.C has submitted a district rezoning application on behalf of the owner, Cary Hopper of Blacksburg, for the property to be changed to planned residential, and for the use of mixed-income residential housing. Comments during the meeting addressed concerns relating to environmental, safety, and traffic issues that the housing project would potentially present to the locality.
“Town code states that the purpose of the planned residential district is encouraging ingenuity, imagination, and high-quality design to create a superior living environment,” said Casey Hodges. “It states that variations can be made provided that no such action shall prejudice or diminish the protection of the health and safety of the citizens and the development shall provide meaningful benefit such as reduced erosion, protection of health and safety of forested areas for the preservation of scenic use. Many citizens believe this development does not meet this criterion.”
Resident Amy Burton has asked that the town “hire a third-party independent firm to complete a thorough assessment of all traffic conditions to include actual speeds on Glade Road and not the posted 25 miles per hour.”
Another resident suggested the town council should deny the proposal as it stands and send it back to the planning commission. Voting in approval would force residents to begin an appeal process causing further conflict between the town and citizens, said Guy Acciai.
“Bottom line, we can work together now, or we can work as adversaries in front of the Board of Zoning Appeals,” said Acciai.
According to the www.blacksburg.gov website, the planning commission voted 5-2 in denial of the application’s proposed change in land use on March 7, 2023. A revised proffer statement was submitted on April 24 and is now available on the town’s website. The town council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and take final action on the proposal during their May 9 meeting.