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South Hill Council takes steps to boost renovation project forward / June 12, 2019
With work progressing on the South Hill Elementary School project — converting the former school building into residences — South Hill Town Council took the next step moving the project forward by amending the town code to allow the use of condominium and multi-family dwellings in a central business district zone.

Council members held a hearing Monday night to receive public comment on whether to approve the change, ahead of their regular monthly meeting. No one spoke at the hearing.

In other business, members of the South Hill Revitalization Committee asked for permission to create a mural on the side of a building located at 123 South Mecklenburg Avenue in downtown South Hill. The rendering will be printed on a screen and attached to a metal frame approximately 10 feet tall by 20 feet wide.

Members of the committee expressed concern that people see this artwork as a sign instead of a mural and pointed out that it violates the town’s sign ordinance.

Karen Lambert, director of human resources, announced that all town employees would participate in active shooter training. Lambert said the need for the training was prompted by the recent mass shooting tragedy in Virginia Beach.

Lambert said this training will be facilitated by Town Police Chief Stuart Bowen and will last for about 30 minutes.

Asphalt overlay and traffic marking work has been completed on Main Street, West Atlantic Street, Windsor Street and the alley behind the fire station, according to public works director Bill Wilson.

Additionally, milling and repaving work has been completed on Franklin Street.

Construction of approximately 900 feet of sewer line is currently taking place near the Groom School project.

The galvanized metal culvert located under Pleasant Street between Windsor and Lombardy Streets has deteriorated to the point that is causing the road to collapse. The street has been closed to through traffic until repairs take place.

Wilson explained, “We looked into the possibility of using cured-in-pace pipe to avoid full road construction, but that was turned out not to be a viable option. We will be replacing the pipe and are looking into design options.”

Council approved the town’s $12,320,295 general fund and $9,515,426 sewer fund budgets for FY 2020 which starts July 1.

As part of the town’s continuing efforts to rehabilitate and redevelop vacant, underutilized and dilapidated downtown buildings into useful purposes, Town Manager Kim Callis recommended a change to the town code that would eliminate the requirement for off-street parking for residential properties located within a central business district. Callis noted, “without this amendment there is little possibility that several buildings in the central business district will ever be put to good use.

“In conjunction with an ordinance amendment to allow first floor residential development by special exception in zone C-3, the off-street parking amendment will further encourage residential development and increase traffic in our downtown area,” said Callis.

Council agreed to hold a public hearing on the proposed change on July 8 prior to the regular town council meeting.

Tomas G. Zincone was reappointed to the town’s board of zoning appeals, Dean Marion and Leroy Sasser were reappointed to the Community Development Association board of directors, and Glenn Allen, Tammy Manning and Stuart Taylor were reappointed to the parks and recreation committee.

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