City Council discusses PUD changes, Hollowell Park projects

By Sarah Richardson

The Lewisburg City Council met last Tuesday via ZOOM to discuss changes to the Planned Unit Development (PUD) ordinance, announced the Black History Month Proclamation for the month of February, and discussed possible upgrades to Hollowell Park.

The meeting opened with the continued discussion of PUD zoning changes in what was supposed to be a second first reading of the ordinance. Due to a number of changes applied after the first reading at last month’s council meeting, the council recommended hosting a secondary first reading with the variety of changes applied. However, after much discussion, it was decided to table the secondary first reading for next month’s council meeting.

Planned Unit Developments are when land uses can be mixed at the same site, rather than being separated into residential and commercial uses. Multi-use subdivisions take advantage of zoning such as this to increase walkability and provide greater housing variety and density.

In the proposed changes it specifies that residences can be mixed with a variety of retail spaces including banks, certain restaurants, childcare facilities, and more.

Mayor Beverly White read the 2021 Black History Month Proclamation to the council, which states February 2021 is to be recognized as Black History Month by the City of Lewisburg by encouraging all residents to honor Black history and culture. The proclamation states, “We commend the heroes, pioneers, and common Americans who tirelessly fought for and firmly believed in the promise of racial equality, enshrined in our Constitution, and enacted into our laws.  We pledge to continue to stand against the evils of bigotry, intolerance, and hatred.”

Councilmember Sarah Elkins reported that at the latest Parks Commission meeting the group discussed the comprehensive plan and overall vision for the future of Hollowell Park. At last month’s council meeting, John Lynch and Brian Griffith approached the council on behalf of the Central Greenbrier Little League to ask if upgrades can be made to the ball fields at the park. Specifically, the League proposed that the senior league field be updated to artificial turf in the center, instead of sand as it is currently, to reduce long-term maintenance costs and to make it playable in rainy weather.

It was determined that Arts & Recreation funds could not be used on this category of project, and it must go out for public bid to any interested contractors. The City also recommended the solicitation of an engineer to further examine the schematics of such an upgrade.

The Census Bureau also recognized the City of Lewisburg for their participation efforts in the 2020 Census count.

Public Works Director Roger Pence noted the Public Works crews continue to prepare for inclement weather and the subsequent clearing of city roadways and intersections. Progress is continuing on the move to the new Public Works building on Feamster Road with administrative employees hopefully transferring over within the next week or two.

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