Roanoke City Council adopts resolution to reconsider zoning amendments

The changes were proposed to better enable the creation of affordable housing in the city

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke City Council voted to reconsider a set of major zoning changes after a group of neighbors filed a lawsuit against the city.

The proposed changes were first presented to the public back in February during a set of open house-style meetings. Months later, the lawsuit was filed.

One intent of the zoning changes is to better enable the creation of affordable housing, city planners said. Most of the city’s land is zoned for single-family housing, creating challenges in the types of available dwellings.

City Council voted 4-1 to reconsider the zoning reforms on Monday, with Councilwoman Stephanie Moon Reynolds casting the lone vote against. Councilwoman Vivian Sanchez-Jones and Councilman Luke Priddy were absent.

Zoning reform will be sent back to the planning commission for reconsideration. Thus, the months-long process of public notices and comments restart.

One of the neighbors on the lawsuit was Anthony Stavola. 10 News asked if the lawsuit is worth it, even though city council can come back and vote the same way.

“No, no, no. Not at all. We’ve gotten the city’s attention. We’ve gotten some positive signs. There are comments being made by members of the city.”

Each member of council present at Monday’s meetings gave remarks on the matter.

“I think that 13 open houses is pretty robust in providing information. I welcome the opportunity for citizens to participate in the second round of meetings,” Vice-Mayor Joe Cobb said.

Stephanie Moon Reynolds who voted no at the March meeting gave remarks on her concerns.

“If staff returns with an ordinance that simply replicates the March 18 amendments without any substantial changes, I will be compelled to vote ‘no’ again,” Moon Reynolds said.

Stavola and several neighborhood groups are getting together to come up with a consensus on what they want to see changed in the proposal.

“Not completely destroy them but change the proposals to make them be able to meet the objectives the city has but also not destabilize neighborhoods,” he said.

Along with council members Trish White-Boyd and Peter Volosin, Mayor Sherman Lea encouraged more people to make their voices known.

About the Author

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.

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