While the Blacksburg election may have grabbed local headlines in 2017, the Town Council continued its work throughout the year. I wanted to update you on a few of our accomplishments over the past 12 months:
- Legalized new accessory apartments through a permit program, which encourages owner occupancy and provides an avenue for affordable home ownership
- Established a council-appointed Business Relations Committee, which provides a forum for businesses to discuss development issues, make recommendations to improve the business climate, and provide input on the town’s economic development initiatives
- Participated in preliminary discussions about the Old Blacksburg Middle School redevelopment, which will be one of the biggest land use issues facing Blacksburg in 2018
- Voted to issue general obligation capital improvement bonds to finance almost $4.8 million in town infrastructure projects, ranging from roof replacements and sidewalk projects, to the golf course renovation and a feasibility study for a new police station
- Voted for an ordinance to make street parking permits cheaper and improve the operation and enforcement of the permit parking system, along with a separate ordinance to create limited residential permit parking zones
- Updated the apartment recycling ordinance to make recycling more convenient for residents
- Accepted a donation of park land from the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors
- Continued to advocate for our fair share of transportation funding as a town representative on the Metropolitan Planning Organization (I was also appointed to the SmartWay Advisory Committee)
This list is not comprehensive, but it does give a peek into the many issues under consideration in 2017. As Virginia Tech moves forward with anticipated growth and the Town of Blacksburg continues to face development pressures in 2018, we must remain committed to smart, sustainable growth and public input. I am excited to continue this work with a new mayor and the newly seated council.
As always, I welcome your questions and comments. Please do not hesitate to contact me at (540) 257-4951 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or reach out to me on social media.