By Alex Bridges
MOUNT JACKSON -- Town Council cleared the way Tuesday to expand Mount Jackson by 62 acres and make utilities available to prospective builders of the new area.
Members voted 4-0 at their regular meeting to adopt an ordinance that allows Mount Jackson to extend its corporate limits by annexing parcels of land known as the Ambrose and Southard-Sundance properties. The land, made up of three parcels with two separate owners, lies southeast of the current town limits, across U.S. 11.
Annexation takes effect at midnight Dec. 31, Town Attorney Doug Arthur said.
The Planning Commission held a joint public hearing on the ordinance with council last week where officials responded to a few questions from the audience. Council members made no comments at their meeting Tuesday regarding the ordinance.
Assistant Town Manager Charles "Charlie" Moore briefly explained the ordinance before council, having given more information at previous meetings. The parcels, currently zoned for high-density residential development such as townhomes and apartments, would come into town as agricultural property. Any developer seeking to build more than what the town's zoning ordinance allows by right would need to go through the process to seek a rezoning of the property.
Town officials said at the public hearing that they knew of no plans or proposals to build on the site. The property had been eyed for the construction of an age-restricted community but movement on the proposal stalled because the development required either on-site water and sewer facilities or connection to the town's utilities. Mount Jackson does not provide municipal water and sewer outside town limits as some jurisdictions do.
The annexation agreement between the town and Shenandoah County established in 2001 identifies areas around Mount Jackson it could add at the request of a property owner or developer.
Also at the meeting, council:
- Scheduled a public hearing for 7 p.m. Dec. 2 on a special-use permit request by Hammond Real Estate on behalf of Family Dollar needed to build a new retail store and related parking, landscaping and screening at 5450 Main St.
- Scheduled a public hearing for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 10 on an ordinance to add a new section to town code pertaining to drought and low-water supply response
- Met in closed session to discuss prospective business for the town
- Appointed Town Manager Kevin Fauber as zoning administrator
- Appointed Sharon Fadely as assistant town treasurer
- Adopted a resolution to allow the town manager to live outside Mount Jackson corporate limits
- Appointed Charlie Dodge to the Board of Zoning Appeals effective March 1, 2014 to June 30, 2019
- Adopted an ordinance to amend sections of the town code pertaining to the purchase and acquisition of supplies, and bids and contracts. The action increases the limits on purchases the town manager can make for Mount Jackson without approval by council from $3,000 to $5,000, and with consent of the mayor from $6,500 to $10,000. No one spoke at a public hearing held before the regular meeting on the proposed changes. The action also added language to the town's procedures for accepting bids and awarding contracts.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or firstname.lastname@example.org