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Planners consider zoning change

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Ordinance would impact former site of Avtex complex

By Ben Orcutt - borcutt@nvdaily.com

FRONT ROYAL -- The town Planning Commission will review a proposed ordinance that would develop and adopt a mixed-used zoning district for the former Avtex Superfund site, now known as Royal Phoenix.

The Town Council voted unanimously Monday to refer the mixed-use zoning district ordinance, which would include certain by-right uses that are currently found in the town's commercial and industrial zoning districts, to the planners.

The ordinance would allow redevelopment of the former Superfund site to include such entities as professional offices, research and development businesses, low- to medium-intensity retail establishments, health and fitness clubs, and more.

According to a town document, the land to be developed would be roughly 161 acres that consists of the former parking lots of Avtex Fibers on the northeast side of Kendrick Lane and the land between the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks, Kendrick Lane, Randolph-Macon Academy land and the Skyline Soccerplex.

In other Monday business, the Town Council:

• Voted 4-3 to deny a request from Kathleen M. Walsh and Touraji Khalepari for a special-use permit to convert a single-family structure at 102 W. Prospect St. into a structure with four one-bedroom apartments. Councilman Thomas E. Conkey was joined in the majority by Councilmen N. Shae Parker and Hollis L. Tharpe, as well as Mayor Timothy W. Darr, who cast the tie-breaking vote. One of the primary concerns for the panel members who voted against the request was they felt there was not adequate parking available.

• Voted 5-1, with Conkey casting the only dissenting vote, to approve an amendment to reduce the fiscal 2011 budget by $630,000 and thereby eliminate the loan from the Electric Department to balance this year's budget.

• Voted unanimously to appoint the following people to Virginia Municipal League policy committees: Conkey and Finance Director Kim Gilkey-Breeden to the finance committee; Vice Mayor Chris W. Holloway and Tharpe to the transportation committee; Parker and Councilman Thomas H. Sayre to the community and economic development committee; interim Town Manager Steven M. Burke to the environmental quality committee; and Town Attorney Thomas R. Robinett to the general laws committee.

• Voted unanimously to approve the following items for the April 21 Liaison Committee agenda: Update on the town and county's long-range transportation plans; update on McKay property; update on urban development areas; the state of government access channel equipment; consideration of scheduling a quarterly or biannual joint meeting; a field review of municipal operations; and an update on the U.S. 340-522 corridor.

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