CHRISTIANSBURG – A real estate tax increase of $0.14 for the FY 2023-24 was discussed by Christiansburg Town Council in their regular meeting on May 9, 2023.
“We’re proposing the tax rate to be $0.14; that’s a decrease from the current $0.16 tax rate, although because of the reassessment, it is an effective increase,” said Christiansburg Town Manager Randy Wingfield, opening the discussion with the council during the public hearing portion of the agenda. “So, we do have to advertise it as such and that is the reason we’ve advertised it as a tax increase, although we are proposing to actual lower the rate by two cents.”
A water and sewer rate increase for FY 2023-24, of one dollar per thousand gallons, has been proposed. Out of town rates for water and sewer have also been proposed for an increase, with the first 0 to 1,000 gallons increasing from $13.50 to $20.
Also in public hearing, Jones Real Estate Investment and Recycling Company, Inc., requested to rezone a 1.1-acre portion of a 2.002-acre parcel located between the south side of Scott Street, NE and the north side of Roanoke Street; and approximately 1.21 acres located at 1413 Scott St. NE, and approximately 0.26 acres located adjacent to the east side of 1413 Scott St. NE. The purpose of this rezoning is for a planned housing development of 47 townhomes.
Paul Henegar, Lumson Associates Civil Engineers of Roanoke, addressed the council on the proposed rezoning request. Henegar explained the property is currently split-zoned, but the owner, Jared Jones, wishes to have the property zoned R-3, multi-family residential, to accommodate the proposed plans for housing.
“This property exists in a whole bunch of different parcels so, one of the things we would do if we get the approval today, would be at some point in time, we would vacate all those exterior, or interior lot lines to create one parcel of property” Henegar said.
Jones Company, Inc. also requested a conditional use permit for the same proposed housing development. Henegar spoke in response to some public concern and comments previously heard by the company during planning commission meetings, particularly focusing on plans for setbacks, stormwater drainage, parking, and sidewalks.
“We are meeting the front 30-foot setback right here on the units on Scott Street,” said Henegar. “We are actually keeping the 20-foot rear setback along Scott Street here and we’re also honoring the by-right setback of 20-feet along this edge of the property line.”
A total of 112 residential parking spaces will also be provided, along with a pedestrian and bike lane.
“The idea with the development is to create a courtyard-type of a development,” he said.
The project proposes to create a diversion for stormwater runoff that will potentially benefit area residences.
Brian Bush, Christiansburg resident living in the area and impacted by the proposed housing development said, “based on the exhibits I have presented in the past planning commission meetings, there’s three or four townhouse units in the area; Cornerstone townhouses, White Oak townhouses, they all have varying degrees of acreage, but they all meet the 10 units per acre which I think is in the R3 category.”
“I think this is overly dense for this area based on all three of those townhouse communities,” he added.
“We’re going to remove 28 percent of the drainage area that’s running through his property right now which is the extent of what we can do to help him with the drainage,” Henegar responded to Bush.
On May 1, 2023, Planning Commission voted 5 to 2 to recommended to approval of the request, according to the town council’s agenda located at their website at www.christiansburg.org.
Sharon Scott presented an update on Montgomery Museum of Art and History in downtown Christiansburg. Several citizens spoke as well in support of the museum in continued financial support from the town council.
“I am here to request that the town continue funding the museum at the level of $10,000,” said Clifford Hughes of Christiansburg. “I understand that Blacksburg is now onboard with including money for the museum in their budget and the county as well.”
“If it gets around that Christiansburg won’t even fund its own museum, or the county museum in the county seat, then Blacksburg would probably want to withdraw their funding in the future,” he added.
In another point of discussion during the council’s meeting, The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors has agreed to meet with the Christiansburg Town Council for the primary discussion of discussing the employment of School Resource Officers (SROs), via a letter from Craig Meadows, County Administrator. The board has included funding for three additional SROs and will deploy them in the elementary schools if the town agrees to provide SROs at the town’s middle and high schools.
The Christiansburg Town Council has proposed a time of 6 p.m. for a May 15 meeting with the Board of Supervisors.