Proposed zoning changes could make it easier for developers to build in Roanoke

ROANOKE, Va. – Changes could be coming to the way property is developed in the Star City.

A proposed change to Roanoke’s zoning ordinances would be to change “Single-Family District” to “Residential District.”

This change in words would allow for different types of homes to be built in the neighborhoods typically reserved for single-family homes, like townhomes, cottage courts and apartment complexes.

“They will in effect open up our neighborhoods to more development and remove some of the barriers to housing development,” said Roanoke’s Executive Director of Community Development and Placemaking, Chris Chittum. “Somebody might be more inclined to fix up a house if they were able to create two units or three units within it. We think it’s a possible barrier … make those into neighborhood assets.”

But not everyone is on board. Some people are concerned about the number of people this would bring into already crowded neighborhoods.

“You might bring some more affordable housing for two or three people but suppose they bring two or three more cars. Where are they going to park,” said Duane Howard, who lives in southeast Roanoke.

The proposed change has been in the works for years and is phase two of zoning adjustments.

The first phase allowed commercial districts to be used as multi-family developments.

This change allowed hotels like the Days Inn to be converted to an apartment complex.

These new set of changes will go before the Planning Commission on Monday, March 11 at 1:30 p.m. where there will be a public hearing.

The Planning Commission will make a recommendation, then the changes will go to the city council for final approval.

About the Author

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.

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