A farm store with fresh meats and local produce planned for a Bent Mountain site is now on hold.
The Roanoke County Board of Supervisors this week followed the planning commission’s recommendation from earlier this month to remove the existing proffered conditions on approximately 15 acres of land on Bent Mountain Road and Tinsley Lane that were keeping Terio and Lisa Comerose from building two single-family homes on a portion of the property.
In 2011, the subject properties were rezoned from Agricultural/Village Center District with conditions, according to county Director of Planning Philip Thompson.
Additionally, he said a special use permit was also granted in 2011 for a convenience store, because previous owner Glenn Reed planned to build one with gas pumps, an office building and a private school on the site.
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This concept was never developed and the properties remain vacant, Thompson told supervisors.
The Roanoke Times reported in March the Comeroses purchased the property with the intent to build a food store in addition to the two homes.
The retail shop would have emulated Tom Leonard’s Farmer’s Market in Glen Allen, Terio Comerose said in March, describing it as “a farm store with fresh meats and fresh product, local produce.”
However, local attorney Andrew Stover — who is representing the Comeroses on the matter — told the planning commission the only current plans were to build the two single-family homes.
“He [Stover] stated the applicant is not asking for the existing special use permit for the convenience store to be rescinded so they may keep this open as an option in the future,” according to a report submitted by Thompson. “There are no concrete plans to develop a convenience store and the applicant does not want to pursue that without more feedback from the community.”
Nobody spoke out at Tuesday’s public hearing, but three citizens did speak at the planning commission meeting to express their concerns regarding the potential store.
Concerns raised regarding a store included wanting limited development on Bent Mountain, speeding, whether turn lanes would be required, the lack of demand for a grocery/convenience store due to existing businesses and concerns over staffing at the Bent Mountain Fire and Rescue Station if a convenience store were constructed, according to Thompson’s report.
The supervisors voted unanimously to allow the building of the two homes, while also keeping the special use permit for a store on the property if the Comeroses do eventually decide to build it.
Thompson’s report stated the planning commission clarified a grocery store would be classified as retail sales and would require another special use permit in the Agricultural/Village Center District and that a convenience store is limited to a size of 3,000 square feet in that district.
The Comeroses did not speak at Tuesday’s hearing.