Building boom: Three housing developments in the works in Forest area

Rezoning sign on Perrowville Rd. (WSET)

BEDFORD Co., Va. (WSET) -- A building boom is taking off in Bedford County. Another housing development was just added to the growing list in the county.

The development will be off of Forest Rd. on Cottontown Rd. It's the third development to be in the works in just the past month:

  1. Perrowville across from Jefferson Forest High School
  2. 221 towards Goode
  3. Cottontown Rd. apartment complex.

Just Tuesday night, the planning commission voted in favor of 200 single-family homes to be placed off of 221 between Goode and Forest.

One local business says it is feeling the boost. Kabuto Hibachi Express in Forest has only been open a year, but business is thriving. "I virtually had to do no advertising when I first opened," said restaurant owner, Chad Ross.

Instead, Ross says all he did was hang an "open" sign outside his restaurant. "I paid 25 bucks for it used and the customers came in and it's been wonderful ever since."

Ross feels like what he predicted would happen to the area is playing out. "I think a lot of investments counted on this growth," explained Ross.

The proposed breakdown of the Perrowville Rd. location includes:

  • Apartments – 224 units on 9.91 Acres, 22.6 units per acre;
  • Townhouses – 141 lots on 13.10 Acres, or 10.76 units per acre;
  • Single Family Development (SFD) – 53 lots on 12.96 Acres, or 4.09 units per acre.

So what's causing the recent growth in the Bedford County community?

Bedford County Economic Development Director Traci Blido says the growth might be because of... well, the growth. "To have growth means you've got something good you're doing right," said Blido. "There's a low cost of doing business here so we have more amenities, and residents are finding it an attractive place to live."

Residents like Barbara Morgan, who just moved to Forest. "You don't have to drive all the way to Lynchburg to do your shopping and stuff, you save a little gas," said Morgan.

Morgan said she did have one concern: traffic. "People driving crazy, wanting to get home and stuff."

It may not be great for traffic, but back at Kabuto Hibachi Express, Ross says the growth is great for business.

So far, only two of the housing developments - the one off of Perrowville Rd. and 221 towards Goode - have received the planning commission's approval and still need to be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

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