WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) Washington County Virginia leaders have proposed a referendum to be placed on the November 5 ballot.
On the ballot, Washington County residents will have the option of voting to have the Washington County Courthouse move to the old K-Mart building which will permit the board of supervisors to spend $30 million to purchase it and renovate it.
However, some in Abingdon including the town council oppose this.
In November, the question to be decided among Washington residents is whether or not they want the Washington County Courthouse to move to a new location.
Mayor Wayne Craig said, “It’s in a commerical zone and the town’s code of ordinances does not allow the courthouse use in a commercial zone because a comprehensive plan shows that it belongs in the olden historic district, where it’s currently located.”
Mayor Craig is not a fan of this referendum. He said the town council is prepared to approve a resolution against the proposed move.
“To move all those people to the other location will affect the economic viability in the area and deteriorate in our opinion that general area,” Mayor Craig said.
If voters approve the move, the new courthouse location will be on 300 Towne Centre Drive in the Town of Abingdon.
“The tourism industry here generates a lot of tax revenue not only for the town but also the citizens of the county and the vast majority of business people all adementaly oppose to taking the courthouse in that area,” Mayor Craig said.
If the referendum is approved by the voters and county officials decide to proceed with construction, an approval will be required by the town.
“The town planning commission will have to approve that zoning change and recommend it to the town council. The town council will then have to approve the rezoning,” Mayor Craig said.
Washington County administrator Jason Berry has previously said that there are three options: the county can appeal the decision, they can request a zoning amendment, or they can meet with developers of the property for further discussion.
Tuesday, September 3 at 6:30 p.m., the Town of Abingdon Council will hold a meeting in the Council Chambers room to talk about the proposed resolution from the town. The two-page resolution can be found here.