By Matt de Simone
Fincastle Town Council met last Thursday night at the Fincastle Volunteer Fire Department Training Room for the monthly meeting where council approved authorizing an advertisement for an upcoming public hearing about a recommendation from the town’s Planning Commission for text amendments to the town’s zoning ordinance. A joint public hearing on this matter will take place at council’s January meeting.
Planning Commission representative Scott Critzer has continued to work with the town on updating Fincastle’s zoning ordinances. Last Thursday, Critzer presented a recommendation to hold a hearing about a proposed text amendment to the Commercial/Trade zoning classifications in the Mixed Use expansion district. This proposed amendment would allow for a ground floor residence as a use by Special Exception. Critzer explained that this would be enacted on a case-by-case basis based on individual circumstances, if approved in January. This amendment would not in any way change anyone’s zoning classification or any allowable uses within that classification.
“There may be situations where this use may be the best available option,” Critzer explained to council. “In order for it to be considered, it must be included in the ‘use by special exception’ before a property owner can apply for it by use.”
Critzer noted that the town has several property owners who have property that could be affected by this text amendment. Currently in the Mixed-Use district, the town allows for residences above and below ground-level, only. This amendment, if approved next month, could allow for property owners to have a ground-level residence.
In other town news, council gave an update on Big Spring Park. The town is currently in the process of building new gates that will be constructed by a local Boy Scout troop. Town Manager Melanie McFadyen updated the ongoing CDBG planning grant process noting that the town recently contacted the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) on who the town should bring in as a consultant.
Mayor Mary Bess Smith read a resolution for a new town credit card which was approved by council. Treasurer Bill Gaul was named as program coordinator with Smith acting as record-keeper for the card.
Additionally, the town has received the “welcome” banners to be placed around town. The town is currently working out scheduling when they will place the signs.
For more from Town Council, visit townoffincastle.org.