Council schedules public hearing for new industrial zone

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

MOUNT JACKSON — On Tuesday, Mount Jackson Town Council scheduled a joint public hearing with the Planning Commission for a proposed amendment that would create a new zoning district in town.

The hearing will be held at the town offices on March 6 at 7 p.m. The proposed general industrial, or I-2, district would allow 18 kinds of industrial and commercial enterprises by right, and an additional four uses by special use permit.

The amendment would also adjust the town’s existing limited industrial, or I-1, district to allow 18 uses by right and six by special use permit. Currently, 28 uses require a special use permit and none are allowed by right.

Council members and commissioners started discussing the amendment in January as a way to make it easier for companies to open, expand or relocate to the area.

The fate of the amendment will affect the feasibility of a solar farm project that Commissioner Robert Whitehurst announced on Tuesday.

According to Town Manager Kevin Fauber, the project would involve building solar panels on 160 acres Whitehurst owns between Georgetown and Turkey Knob roads.

The land is part of the 576 acres that council annexed into the town limits in August 2015. It is zoned agricultural.

Whitehurst hopes to turn 712 acres of his land into an industrial site. Calls to his cell phone were not returned on Wednesday.

Small-scale solar energy facilities would be allowed by right in an I-2 site if the zoning amendment passes.

Council scheduled a public hearing on the proposed solar farm for its next regular meeting on March 14.

Also on Tuesday, council scheduled a second March 6 public hearing for comments on a rezoning request made by Todd Holtzman, owner of Holtzman Propane and a former councilman.

Holtzman asked the Planning Commission on Feb. 6 to rezone a house he owns at 5907 Gospel St. from low-density residential to medium-density residential so that he can turn the 2,300-square-foot house into a duplex.

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