Council approves Triplett rezoning

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

MOUNT JACKSON – Town Council voted to clear the first hurdle in turning part of the old Triplett School property into a duplex neighborhood during its regular meeting on Tuesday.

Council granted a request from Todd Holtzman and Dexter Mumaw to rezone 4.2 acres at 6044 S. Main St. from central business to medium-density residential.

The pair agreed to purchase the school and 5 acres of surrounding property for $250,000 in August 2016 to build homes and turn the school into commercial space.

The town still owns the property and will transfer ownership once all of the required permits and paperwork are approved, according to former Town Manager Charles Moore, who facilitated the sale.

The planned neighborhood is modeled after the Camelot Estates subdivision in Woodstock, Mayor J.G. “Bucky” Miller said. Mumaw and Holtzman hope to turn part of the building into a craft brewery, Moore said.

The school was built in 1925. It closed in 1992 and became the headquarters for Mount Jackson Rescue and Fire two years later.

The company moved to a new facility a half-mile south of the school in March 2016.

Council’s next step is to consider a subdivision application that would allow Holtzman and Mumaw to divide the property into lots for eight buildings, each containing two units. Council scheduled a joint public hearing with the planning commission on that topic for Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. at the town offices.

The original plan was to build 16 two-unit homes, but the size of the property required that number to decrease, Miller said.

Council and the advisory panel held a public hearing on the rezoning request on Monday, during which some homeowners on Shannon Avenue near the school complained about the development plans, according to Miller.

“There was some opposition because they would lose the access road that they have been able to use,” Miller said on Tuesday. “They’re saying, ‘We can’t get out of our backyards.’”

The Virginia Department of Transportation has approved construction of a new road to go around the duplexes, Miller said.

Holtzman and Mumaw’s plan will provide the benefits that town residents named as top priorities in a survey sent out earlier this year, he said.

“They want jobs, senior housing and commercial development,” he said. “This will have housing and businesses.”

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