By Matt de Simone
The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors last week approved the removal of the application submitted by TPB Enterprises LLC (Thomas Builders of Virginia). TPB Enterprises LLC (Thomas Builders of Virginia) submitted an application to the county for two special exception permits to construct the project, recommended by the Botetourt County Planning Commission by a 3-2 vote last February. Consideration of the project was then tabled by the Board of Supervisors on Feb. 28 at the request of Thomas Builders to allow the company time to consider improvements to the project.
The initial Special Exemptions Permit (SEP) application requested increasing the number of multi-family dwelling units allowed per acre and to increase the maximum building height above 45 feet for the apartments development located along the frontage of U.S. 220, College Drive, and Old Estates Lane in Daleville.
The county sent out a press release on the Friday prior to the March 28 meeting, explaining the developer’s decision to remove the request explaining that the company will focus on other projects currently underway in Daleville.
Board Chair Dr. Mac Scothorn then sent out a statement on Saturday, March 23, encouraging residents who wanted to comment on the developer’s SEP request, unable to speak due to the initial hearing’s postponement at the Feb. 28 meeting, to come forward last Tuesday during a public comment period held prior to the public hearing scheduled for 6 p.m.
During the comment period, a Troutville resident expressed appreciation for the board giving local individuals the opportunity to speak out. The speaker then asked for attendees who opposed the SEP to raise their hands in agreement.
A Troutville resident noted that there isn’t a Daleville Fire & EMS, which she believes necessary when adding an apartment complex the scale of the proposed development. She said adding additional apartments would cause the need for a localized fire and rescue department. She noted that at a March 2019 board meeting a consultant spoke of Daleville needing an emergency rescue station.
A Blue Ridge resident, who works in the affordable housing industry, claimed the county board broke state laws when saying that the proposed development wouldn’t contain Section 8 housing. He shared thoughts that individuals who claim Section 8 will move into these apartments. The man said the investors “won’t fill the apartments” and “will find people who will.” He claimed that people on Section 8 are “fantastic” but are of “low skill and will not boost our (Botetourt’s) income.” He made further claims to the board that the developers who own the current site will potentially end up selling it in a couple of years.
A Buchanan resident claimed the board was “turning Botetourt County into Roanoke City” (low-income housing) and shared concerns about over-populated schools and major transportation issues.
A Cloverdale resident recalled the Sept. 2022 meeting where the Gateway Crossing Overlay was approved by the board. He claimed their decision was rushed without enough vetting. The Cloverdale man noted Exit 150 (the old truck stop exit) hasn’t improved. He referred to the county-wide apartment analysis in Feb. and stated that more work needs to be done with the overlay. The man then referred to the county-wide apartment analysis in Feb. and stated that more work needs to be done with the overlay and to resend and review all ongoing projects in the county.
Another Botetourt resident spoke of concern about the graveyard located next to the proposed apartment development. She claimed the gravestones could disintegrate due to the vibrations from construction and is worried some of the more historic properties in Daleville would be damaged. She suggested more thought about what goes in the development site so Daleville’s historic aspects are not “graded down.”
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