FINCASTLE – Sidewalk seating at the town’s 1772 Rooftop on Main was extended to the end of June or until the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, whichever comes first, Town Council members unanimously voted at their Jan. 12 meeting.
However, during the discussion to extend the seating some members expressed concern about customers parking in the handicapped spot. Council member Paige Ware expressed displeasure that even when asked to move vehicles from the handicap spot, customers just ignore the request.
Council member Ed Bordett asked if Botetourt County Sheriff’s Deputies could enforce penalties for parking in a handicapped spot.
“I would prefer to chat with the owner first,” said Town Manager David Tickner.
Besides the parking issue, council agreed the arrangement has worked. Tickner reported there hasn’t been any complaints about trash and appears to be clear of any liter.
The Virginia Department of Transportation must also agree to the extension, as the sidewalk is public property, controlled by VDOT.
In September 2020, council voted to allow the restaurant and bar to sell alcohol in front of its property. The extension was made by the owner in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in order to allow them to serve more customers in a limited space. Tickner said the Health Department has allowed this type of arrangement for eating establishments around Virginia.
The difference with this extension is sidewalks aren’t owned by the eatery. “Other restaurants have used yards and parking lots, but these are private properties,” he said.
Council also heard there are now two vacancies on its Board of Zoning Appeals. The second vacancy was when John Thomas was elected to Town Council, and Virginia law doesn’t allow a someone to hold another public office in the locality for which he serves.
Currently there are only four members, Scott Critzer, Mitchell Bowman, Karen Willis and Brett LaGue.
The BZA is a quasi-judicial board made up of Fincastle residents. It primarily hears case where a property owner feels there is a unique circumstance for their individual property that would warrant offering a variance to the requirements of the town’s Zoning Ordinance, explained Tickner.
The board meets on an “as-needed” basis and times between meetings can vary greatly, he said.
Critzer’s term expires in March, but he has expressed a willingness to continue.
Interested residents should contact town office for more information.
Signs, signs, everywhere signs. Well, not in this town.
Council estimated between eight and nine of the signs need replaced.
Fincastle’s next meeting is Feb. 11 at 7 p.m.