Council to vote on proposed apartments in Petersburg

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) - There are many sides to this debate. Opponents are worried about the impact the apartments would have on their neighborhood. Proponents say the move will financially benefit the city. We spoke with a resident who was on one side of the issue -- but is now leaning toward the other side:

Ed Taylor is one of 500 people who signed a petition saying "No Hinton Street rezoning". It's a proposal to turn an industrial space into an apartment space.

"My fear is that they won't be able to fill it and they'll be a lot of vacancies over there," said Taylor.

Taylor says he's done more research on the issue and is now riding the fence. There are many others lining up against the plan.

"The biggest problem I think we have is the density being proposed," said Terry Ammons who opposes the proposal.

106 units would be inside the building. It would be one or two bedroom apartments.

"There's no real work to try and ID the impact of project in neighborhoods," Ammons said.

An attorney for the developer says the 15 million dollar project would benefit the city as a whole by attracting business and people to the area.

"There's a market study that's been done  that shows there will be over 2,000 units that are needed in Petersburg area with things like Rolls Royce and BRAC there's always a good use for market rate apartments," said Chip Dicks, attorney for developer.

Some opponents have voiced concern over possible traffic trouble and parking problems. Chip Dicks says, those issues have been resolved.

"We've created a one way pattern in and out of the project. We've also developed most parking off site across the street," he said.

The city will vote on the rezoning proposal tonight.

"The staff on the planning Department recommended approval. The planning commission then voted to recommend proposal not be rezoned," Joanne Williams said.

If the measure wins approval construction on the project would get underway in 2011. That city council meeting will get underway at Union Train Station in Petersburg at 7:30. Council can vote to pass the measure, table it, or even vote it down.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.