BOTETOURT COUNTY (WSLS 10) – In 2016, more than 800 new jobs were announced in Botetourt County.
Jobs in beer-brewing with Ballast Point, auto-manufacturing with the Eldor Corporation, and education with the Virginia Community College System.
But one thing lacking is enough affordable housing.
Economic Development Director Ken McFaddyen says the county is already working on a solution.
“We’re completing a housing study right now that is identifying the number of units of additional housing that we need to provide in the short term over the next say 12 to 18 months,” said McFaddyen.
Those additional units will have to be affordable.
Seeing the problem, pharmacist Tim Lucas says he approached the county with an idea.
“A lot of my colleagues in the world of pharmacy have apartments for their interns above their locations, and I thought boy that would be a really neat idea, but was kind of surprised that we couldn’t do that around here,” said Lucas.
Lucas worked with county staff, and on December 22nd, a change was made to the county zoning code that will allow for homes to exist above businesses.
McFaddyen says that type of housing may be the focus of the county’s newest development area.
“The exit 150 study that has been done really emphasized mixed-use development of housing, commercial and retail being combined,” said McFaddyen.
The Daleville Town Center also says it may soon have new affordable units to offer.
“I think you’ll see us moving forward with additional multi-family in the next year or two and bringing some single-family product that might be a little more affordable than our previous product in the near future,” said Andy Kelderhouse, President of Fralin & Waldron, the real estate firm managing the Town Center.
McFaddyen says the county is also already in talks with developers to identify other possible areas for new housing.
The county says housing construction could begin as early as March of 2017.