Last month, a sign was posted on the property at 5010 Boonsboro Road indicating a petition had been filed with Lynchburg City Hall by FNB Property Corporation to rezone the property from R-1 Single Family Residential to B-1C Conditional Limited Business for the purpose of constructing a bank.

The property is located on the north side of Boonsboro Road across from The Westbury Apartments. Rezoning this property from residential to business could set a precedent that may well affect the entire Boonsboro Road corridor.

When the Northwest Expressway, now known as the Desmond Doss Expressway, was completed in the early 1990s, the city conducted a detailed study of the area in order to update the City General Plan to establish the future land use for this area. At this time, the Boonsboro Road corridor from the city limit at Coffee Road to the Village Courts Shopping Center was recognized as the only remaining scenic gateway into the city. The land use plan was designed to preserve this scenic gateway by continuing the residential integrity of this corridor. Commercial development was reserved for three commercial clusters: one at the vicinity of the intersection of Boonsboro Road and Coffee Road, Boonsboro Shopping Center and Village Courts Shopping Center. Multiple updates to the General Plan over the past 25-plus years have continued to support this land use several rezoning requests have been denied.

The purpose of this letter is to make the residents of the Boonsboro-Peakland neighborhood aware of the rezoning petition and process and to encourage them to oppose this commercial intrusion into our residential neighborhood.

Since the rezoning partition has been filed with City Hall, the review process is generally as follows: The planning division in the department of community development receives and evaluates the request based on the City General Plan and the development goals for the affected area. The planning division will accept comments from the public and discuss any questions or concerns during their evaluation. They can be reached by phone at 455-3900.

Once the planning division has completed its evaluation, it will be forwarded to the planning commission with a recommendation to approve or not approve. The planning commission will then review the request and the planning division’s report at its scheduled meeting on Nov. 13 and receive comments from the public at that time. Based on the planning division’s report, input from the public and the planning commissioners’ evaluations, they will vote to recommend approval or disapproval and send the recommendation forward to City Council.

City Council will review and act on the request at its scheduled meeting on Dec. 10. Council will review the planning division report, the planning commission report and recommendation and receive public comment at this meeting. Councilmembers will then discuss and clarify any questions or concerns they may have and then vote to approve or not approve. This is the final action on the rezoning request.

Citizens can have input in the process by contacting the planning division at 455-3900 and attending the planning commission meeting on Nov. 13 and the City Council meeting on Dec. 19 to express their concerns during the public input sessions.

Jones is a resident of Lynchburg. He wrote this column for The News & Advance.

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