Monterey Town Council Approves Sullenbarger Rezoning Request
Monterey, VA – The Town Council approved the rezoning of Sherry Sullenberger’s property from R5 to B2 at their meeting Thursday evening. Ms. Sullenberger describes her plans for the property.
“What I propose to do is to build a complete line full scale grocery store, hopefully with a drugstore and a small laudramat as a first phase” says Sullenbarger.
Ms. Sullenberger goes on to lay out the three phases of this project.
“The first stage in planning this endeavor was zoning” she says. “And once we can make the zoning change, then we will go to civil engineering, take a look at the site with regard to drainage, building pad, etc; then go into architectural design.”
The rezoning request is for the northern 8 acre section of a 10.9 acre tract located along the eastern boundary of the Town of Monterey just west of the intersection of Route 250 and Meyers Moon Road. The remaining 2.9 acres will be left as R5. Following a public hearing that did not include any comments from the public, Zoning Administrator Jim Whitelaw reported to the Council that he has received no letters from the public on this rezoning matter.
He also noted that there were no public comments against the rezoning at the Planning Commission’s public hearing on April 28. He went on to say that the Planning Commission has recommended to the Board of Supervisors and the Town Council that this rezoning request be approved. Town Attorney Melissa Dowd reminded the Council members about the criteria that can be used as justification for a rezoning.
“Under the zoning ordinance, what you’re required to do is find one or more of four reasons to rezone” says Dowd. “Those reasons are public necessity, convenience, general welfare, or good zoning practice. Those four elements, you have to find one or more of those before you vote to rezone a piece of property.”
Mayor Janice Warner noted that previous drafts of the comprehensive plan have included recommendations that this property be considered as a site for future development. She goes on to comment on the rezoning.
“We have got to have some growth” says Warner. “You all know that; I don’t have to sit here and tell you. And if an area doesn’t grow, it’s going to die. And sometimes there’s things that we may not really like, but if it helps the community I think we need to look at it. When you talk about a grocery store, it certainly light everyone up because we have to go out of the county to really get fresh things.”
Councilman Dale Hammer then spoke in support of the rezoning request.
“I agree with Janice” he says, “I think it ought to be voted on tonight in favor. I think that Highland County needs to look at these things a little more and get things into this county and quit rejecting everything that is proposed.”
Following further comments by Councilman Don Dowdy in support of the rezoning request, the Town Council voted unanimously to approve the rezoning.
The next meeting of the Monterey Town Council will be Thursday, June 30 for the public hearing on the Town Budget.