FRONT ROYAL – The Town Council at its regular Monday meeting approved Councilman Chris Holloway’s request to vacate a portion of Carter Street so that he can build townhouses.
The council, with Holloway abstaining, unanimously approved the vacation of a 5,443-square-foot area on Carter Street between Beeden Lane and Steele Avenue.
Holloway, according to a council agenda item, plans to construct five townhouses facing Steel Avenue.
Also at the meeting, the council approved as part of its consent agenda a $422,140 bid from Bushong Contracting for waterline upgrades on Steele Avenue, Highview Street and Parkview Drive.
Several council members made it clear that Holloway did not receive any special treatment because he is on the council.
Interim Mayor Matt Tederick said that he wants to make sure “there’s no misperceptions out there that infrastructure is being put into place because Chris Holloway.”
Town Manager Joe Waltz noted that the town will replace all of the water lines on the three streets, which is a project that has been in the town’s plans for five years. Since the town will have to repave the streets after the water line repairs, he said the town will also “take a look at the water runoff on Steel Avenue.”
Councilwoman Letasha Thompson said that she has seen social media posts in which citizens claim Holloway is receiving special treatment because he is a councilman but that “is not correct.”
“He was not involved in any of our closed sessions when we discussed this and he was treated like everybody else that comes by with these sorts of requests,” she said.
Councilman Jacob Meza agreed, noting that the council has seen about three similar requests over the last year.
“We worked with every applicant to make sure that we understood the opportunity and that we would make it as easy as possible for the continual development of these properties,” he said.
Tederick echoed their comments and said that while it is true that Holloway is a councilman, he is also a citizen.
“And he was treated as a citizen of our community. There was no special treatment by anyone on staff or anyone on council, and I just wanted the public to know he’s been treated exactly the way we would treat any of you,” he said.
Holloway said: “it’s a long process and no special treatment, believe me.”
“Hopefully when it’s done it will be a big improvement to the area and hopefully it will be sooner than later,” he said.