Saturday, June 15, 2024

Williamsburg City Council Tackles Zoning Decisions, Budget, Schools at May Meeting

(WYDaily file)

WILLIAMSBURG — Williamsburg City Council voted on several issues at its May 9 meeting concerning rezoning, budget, and the next steps in a possible WJCC Schools split.

Historic Triangle Recreational Facilities Authority

The council unanimously passed a Zoning Text Amendment that would allow for public buildings owned or operated by the Historic Triangle Recreational Facilities Authority as permitted use in the Museum Support (MS) Zoning District.

High Street Shops

A request by Crescent Acquisitions LLC on behalf of High Street Shops LLC to rezone two vacant parcels located at 1430 High Street for two apartment buildings and 5,000 square feet of commercial space was denied.

The plan was originally sent back to the Planning Commission after it was revealed the developer had made changes to the request.

“I think there’s lots of reasons to support this and certainly appreciate the value of the businesses that are in that place, some that are for and some that are against it,” said Mayor Doug Pons. “I look forward to hearing from my colleagues, but this is something that I could support.”

“I too, I’ve said this before, would like to see us have a plan as a council what we’re going to do with [this money.] There’s been various things suggested from people in the community from various developers but I’ve also read in my research that some of the best ways to address affordable housing is built product,” said Vice Mayor M. Pat Dent.

“If we don’t have any land left we’re certainly not going to have built product for affordable housing. So for those reasons, I’m not inclined to support this proposal, but I, too, would like to hear what the rest of my colleagues have to say,” Dent continued.

A motion was put forward to deny the request. The vote was split three to two with Dent, Stacy Kern-Scheerer, and Barbara L. Ramsey voting for the denial and Pons and Caleb T. Rogers against.

Fiscal Year 2025 budget

City council moved to adopt the fiscal year 2025 budget, which passed unanimously.

Schools

Regarding the feasibility of separating Williamsburg and James City County School districts into separate divisions, a motion was brought forward for the city council to direct the city manager to extend its relationship with any necessary members of the study team to draft a letter to the school board and superintendent of WJCC school division requesting that a proposal to improve student outcome be brought to city council by the end of July. This would include an outline with the timelines required for action and results. An estimate of additional resources that may be required was also requested.

The motion passed unanimously.

The next city council meeting will be on June 13, at the Stryker building at 2 p.m.

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