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Oct 28

Board Meeting Notes 10-25-22

Posted on October 28, 2022 at 3:17 PM by Gray Craig

Megan Baker, Economic Development DirectorAt its October 25 meeting, the Board of Supervisors received a formal introduction to Megan Baker, Roanoke County’s new Director of Economic Development. Baker comes to Roanoke County from Peachtree City, Georgia where she served as President of the Fayette County Development Authority (FCDA), where she led the business attraction and retention programs for Fayette County and spearheaded the development of a 600-acre business park. 

Baker also served as Policy Director at the Georgia Chamber of Commerce where she led economic and demographic research and analysis for Georgia 2030, the Chamber’s strategic initiative. Her experience also includes strategic and budget planning roles at Clayton State University, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, and the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. Baker’s experience in business attraction and retention, marketing, and budget, policy, and data analysis will strengthen Roanoke County’s economic development portfolio.

In July, Jill Loope announced plans to retire in July 2023. After serving as Roanoke County’s Economic Director for 22 years, Loope will be assisting with the transition to a new director while also working to enhance the tourism division of the Parks, Recreation and Tourism department.

Board Actions

The Board of Supervisors approved the first reading of a request by Neil Aneja for a special use permit to operate a short-term rental at 2776 White Pelican Lane. The applicant has asked that the residence be rented for less than 50 days throughout the year, only on weekends. This request will be reviewed by the Planning Commission at its November 1 meeting. A public hearing, second reading, and vote by the Board of Supervisors on this request is scheduled for November 9, 2022.

The Board also heard the first reading of a request by Barnett Properties, LLC, to rezone approximately 9.38 acres to C-2, High Intensity Commercial District, for retail sales located in the 4400 block of Brambleton Avenue including 4449 and 4457 Brambleton Avenue, and the 4500 and 4600 blocks of Old Cave Spring Road. The proposed grocery store development would be situated across from the Kroger gas station on Old Cave Spring Road. This request will be reviewed by the Planning Commission at its November 1 meeting. A public hearing, second reading, and vote by the Board of Supervisors on this request is scheduled for November 9, 2022.

The Board of Supervisors also approved an action to streamline its meeting process by moving first reading requests for rezoning matters to the Board’s consent agenda. Routinely, the first readings of rezoning requests are a formality to forward the request to the Planning Commission for review. Going forward, these first readings will appear under the board’s consent agenda with other matters. It’s important to note that any Board member can request that items be pulled from the consent agenda for questions, separate deliberation, and action if they choose to do so.

In a move to offer more housing options in Roanoke County, the Board approved a petition for the development of a new apartment complex in the 5000 block of The Peaks Drive. This development will add 260 apartment units to Roanoke County’s mix of residential offerings in the area.

The Board also approved an ordinance to accept $241,531 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Mitigation Assistance Program and authorized the use of the funds to acquire property located at 915 Clearwater Avenue. The property owner expressed an interest in voluntarily participating in this FEMA-funded program to purchase the property to demolish and remove the existing flood-prone structure. After demolition, the County must maintain the property as an undeveloped green space in perpetuity. The FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program provides one hundred percent (100%) funding and no local matching funds are required for the grant.

Board of Supervisors Work Session

After the meeting, the Board of Supervisors moved to a joint work session with the Roanoke County Public School Board and the County of Roanoke Career and Technical Education (CTE) Advisory Committee. Both boards reviewed the committee’s recommendations for a new Career and Technical Education Center at 6251 Peters Creek Road to replace the outdated and undersized Burton Center for Arts and Technology. The Burton Center was built in 1962, and student demand for its programs has increased every year. Last year alone, 900 students attended the Burton Center but an additional 300 students were not accepted into the school due to space and program limitations.

Roanoke County Public Schools staff also shared comments received from local businesses about their needs for employees trained in the technical fields of biomedical and health sciences, and needs for students trained in skilled trades such as construction, electrical service, plumbing, and automotive services. 

An executive summary by Balzer & Associations and RRMM Architects outlines a plan for a 150,000 – 200,00 square foot building with parking 250 vehicles or more. Initial cost estimates for the center in 2022 dollars are just over $90 million, with an additional $6.5 million to add optional specialized spaces for collision repair, dental and medical assistance programs, and veterinary technician training. While local businesses, students, and both boards recognize the need for a new Career and Technical Education Center, no decisions have been made on how to fund the project. The County’s finance staff will be exploring funding options in the coming months on how to best move the project forward.

More information on each of these items, along with the meeting video can be found under the Past Meetings section of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Meetings and Videos page.