Concerns grow over proposal to build 400+ units near schools in Forest

Jefferson Manor, LLC said the lot they want to build units on is vacant and currently unused (Photo: WSET)

FOREST, Va. (WSET) -- Bedford County's Planning Commission is holding a public meeting Tuesday concerning a proposal to build more than 400 units on Perrowville Road.

Jefferson Manor, LLC is asking for rezoning to build 224 apartments, 141 townhomes, and 53 houses on a lot across from Jefferson Forest High School and adjacent to Forest Elementary School and Forest Middle School, that's abut 40 acres.

They said the lot is currently vacant and not being used.

Jefferson Manor said that open spaces will be maintained as grassed community areas that could have park benches, playgrounds, picnic tables, etc. to provide benefit to home owners and tenants, they said there will also be sidewalks installed in front of the apartment buildings.

They want to install a community center, capable of having community events and a swimming pool.

There would also be a dumpster area enclosed by a three-sided brick enclosure.

The Chief Operating Officer for Bedford County Public Schools expressed concern about the already full capacity at the area schools.

"Any increases in enrollment would likely require us to address attendance policy, redistrict students into other school zones, or add classroom space through building additions," said COO, Mac Duis. Within the last 3 years, we have redrawn the elementary school district lines to relieve Forest Elementary's enrollment. As a result, more neighborhoods have shifted to the Thomas Jefferson and Boonsboro Elementary zones."

Duis also said that the sidewalks would be unsafe for students to walk across Route 221 to Forest Middle School.

"We want all traffic patterns to be well planned and safe," Duis said.

If you are concerned about the plans, you can attend the public hearing Tuesday at the County Administration Building at 7 p.m.

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