Blacksburg Town Council voted 5-0 in approval, with Michael Sutphin and Jerry Ford abstaining from the vote, to approve a 33-bedroom residential property with Habitat for Humanity for an affordable housing development.
During a public hearing, a request was discussed and voted on in approval to rezone 1.10± acres of land at the 1200-block of Airport Road in the Town of Blacksburg on behalf of Blacksburg Fire Safety Foundation, the designated owner.
The Future Land Use designation for medium-density residential is 20 bedrooms per acre, or 10 dwelling units, whichever is less. The project includes 33 bedrooms on approximately 1.10 acres of land, creating a higher density of bedrooms per acre than typically specified for the low-density residential R-4 zone in the Comprehensive Plan.
The townhomes would be made available for purchase by individuals with an income not higher than 80% of the area median income (AMI) and, according to the requirements of Habitat for Humanity, this property would not be permitted for residence by undergraduate students.
The rezoning request was accompanied by an additional vacation of the public right-of-way, Ordinance 2033, on Airport Road. All staff recommendations must be met, including public utility easements for sewage systems and other private utilities for the residential property. The Council voted 6-0 with Sutphin abstaining from the vote.
The Planning Commission previously recommended approval of the rezoning request and vacation of property with a 7-0 vote. Two voting members were absent.
Steve Semones with Balzer and Associates updated council on additional information concerning the neighboring communities’ feedback and specific details of the property.
“When we started the process, it was really important for Habitat to have conversation with the neighborhood very early,” Semones said. “So, Habitat, along with the town, set up two neighborhood meetings; one in September of ’22, and one in April of this year.”
According to Semones, this is the second Habitat for Humanity property they have built in Blacksburg with the previous one established on Church Street. Semones said this property will be very similar in architecture to that housing development.
The Habitat for Humanity Development Agreement was additionally voted on as another public hearing item agenda.