By Joe Beck
Plans for Mount Jackson's new fire station inched toward groundbreaking this week after the town council unanimously approved the Rescue and Fire Department's rezoning application.
The department must still resolve some architecture-related details before the planning commission and the Town Council approve an application for a special use permit.
Although the commission and the council held off approving the special use permit at their meetings earlier this week, town officials said Wednesday they are confident that the station will receive final approval in May.
David Brinegar, president of the Rescue and Fire Department, said most of the remaining issues involve making sure the building's design fits with the town's comprehensive plan. He still expects groundbreaking within two months.
"We're just getting over some bumps that need to be taken care of," Brinegar said, adding, "I think we're definitely on track for early summer."
Kevin Fauber, the town manager, said the planning commission has agreed to form a three-member subcommittee to work with the Rescue and Fire Department in clearing up the project's final details.
"I sensed a willingness on the part of the commission members to get a plan that can be approved by the full planning commission and ultimately the Town Council," Fauber said.
Many of the lingering items are linked to a guidelines created in the early 2000s to encourage aesthetic improvements on properties lining Main Street.
Fauber said changes need to be made to plans for the front of the building, along with some landscaping in the front and buffering in the rear.
Brinegar said a variance will also be needed to allow the building to be set back 150 feet from the road instead of the maximum of 25 feet currently specified for Main Street structures.
Brinegar said the extra space is needed to allow fire trucks and ambulances to turn around and back into their bays.
"If we don't have that setback, we'll be turning around on Route 11 and backing into the bay," Brinegar said.
The planning commission is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. May 5 and Town Council at 7:30 p.m. May 13.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or email@example.com