BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL)- Residents along Long Crescent Road in Bristol, Virginia spoke out against proposed zoning request changes during Tuesday night’s city council meeting.
The request is coming from Long Crescent, LLC to change the R-1 residential zone to a B-3 business zone.
Developers want to bring a recreational development that would accommodate tent camping, recreational vehicles, and overnight cabins.
“We own, maintain and pay a hell of a lot of property tax…probably more than anywhere in the city of Bristol” says Long Crescent Road neighbor Julie Thomas at a packed public hearing in Bristol, Virginia’s city hall.
Residents turned out over a zoning request to change about 19 acres of undeveloped residential land on Long Crescent Road into a business zone to eventually build a campground.
“Its just inconceivable to me that this would would be considered for safety,” says resident Pam Kerr.
Nearby property owners worry about the increase in traffic.
“I don’t care how many signs you put up, ‘No trucks come up this way,’ they’re going to ignore it…that’s all I have to say…please vote no,” pleads Jeff Wilson, a long-time Long Crescent Road resident.
Long Crescent, LLC is the wife, children and son in laws of Councilman Kevin Wingard.
“My wife, my daughters and my son in laws are the members of Long Crescent, LLC…I have abstained from any and all action through this city process,” said Councilman Kevin Wingard.
But Thomas says that’s not her main concern.
She’s worried about her family’s land near Long Crescent Road.
“That property is not going to be sold, it has been in my husband’s family,” says Thomas.
She’s worried about the impact of putting an RV Park next door.
“Our property values would decrease, that would then therefore decrease the tax base in the city of Bristol, Virginia,” said Thomas.
This public hearing did not include a vote, standard procedure for a proposed zoning change.
After the public hearing – City Manager Randy Eads said his team still has work to do.
“We’ll look at the concerns, see if we can address any of those concerns to alleviate those concerns. And if we can’t alleviate those concerns, we’ll let that be known to the council and planning commission as well,” said Eads.
The city planning committee is set to have a workshop Wednesday, September 11th at 11 a.m. to discuss the rezoning request. The planning commission will then receive a recommendation from the city planner on September 16th where a vote will be taken. If the request passes, it will go to city council on September 24th.