Lynchburg Officials Speak Out on Cornerstone's Vue Apartments

Lynchburg, VA - Lynchburg City officials are talking about the students-only housing being built in the Cornerstone community in Lynchburg.

Wednesday night, we told you many residents there are upset that the buildings are more dormitories than apartments. The Vice President of The Vue is also talking.

She says the complex they're building is in fact, student-only housing - and says they'll be ready for renters come July.

We did some digging and found, despite the complaints, this project may be completely legal.

Construction on The Vue apartments in Cornerstone is now into its final stretch.

And in a statement, The Vue's Vice President, Missy Millner says it'll only continue, "The Vue is building and leasing Purpose Built Student Apartments. The Vue at Cornerstone will be complete by mid-July for August move-in and is almost pre-leased for next year."

No comment on accusations from Cornerstone residents that the apartments are in violation of the city zoning code and federal housing laws.

"A single family cannot rent these units" said Cornerstone resident, Ben Rosenthal.

But they may not be in violation of either. City officials say the property is zoned as a multi-family dwelling; that would include apartments.

"These are dormitories or rooming houses, they're not apartments. That is our objection" said Rosenthal.

But City Attorney Walter Erwin says dormitories are not specifically defined in the code. Also, nothing in the city zoning ordinances discusses leasing requirements.

The Vue is offering individual leases to students only.

"It does not fit in the Cornerstone development that was approved by city council" said Rosenthal.

"I said let's get to the bottom of it, and I'm glad the rest of council agreed" said Ward III City Councilman, Jeff Helgeson.

The Vue is in Helgeson's ward. At Tuesday's council meeting his constituents voiced their concerns.

"To actually have something that's intentionally as similar to a dormitory is what they were concerned about and that's just what we need to get to the bottom of" he said.

And that's what the city plans to do. Officials are meeting next week to determine if The Vue violates any city code or ordinance. Helgeson says if found in violation, the conditional use permit for the property could be revoked.

Federal housing laws do however allow for marketing to students only.