In one of Blacksburg Town Council's longest recent sessions, council members chose not to approve changes necessary for the 'Retreat in Blacksburg' project to move forward.
Town Council voted down a change to the comprehensive plan, needed as step one for the project to proceed. Council then voted down a rezoning ordinance that would have been necessary as well.
Open fields and farmland along Prices Fork Road in Blacksburg, could soon be turned into student apartments for Virginia Tech. It's all depending on a vote Blacksburg's town council is slated to make tonight.
Cecile Newcomb is a member of the town council, she says the Retreat in Blacksburg has been a highly contested project. It's something she and other council members have gotten a lot of feedback on.
"There is very little support for it," says Newcomb. "Most people are very opposed to it."
Tonight's vote will come in two parts. Members of the council would have to pass both in order for this project to move forward.
"One would be to change the comprehensive future land use to show high density residential housing," says Newcomb. "Then there's a rezoning we would vote on. And if that passes they'd have the right to build the student housing that they want to build."
If passed, work would begin right away. Landmark Property's plans show the community will include more than 850 new single bedroom apartments. It's something Newcomb says could lead to issues for the apartments and student housing projects that already exist.
"I think it would mean students would move out of student housing into those because they'd be brand new. I think it could lead to some problems for existing apartment complexes," says Newcomb.
With several new student housing projects already in the works, council members say it's a vote that could go either way.
WSLS tried to get in touch with Landmark Property, the company who is developing the project. We haven't heard back from them, but company leaders will get the opportunity to speak to the town council before tonight's vote.
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