VINTON–Members of the Roanoke County Board of Supervisors heard the first reading of an ordinance which will authorize leasing of space in the new Vinton Library to Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee Company for the operation of a coffee shop on the mezzanine level.
Assistant County Administrator Richard Caywood presented the proposal to the board at their meeting on September 22.
The project was put out for competitive bids by the county. Caywood told the supervisors in response to a question from Supervisor Al Bedrosian that the staff selected Land of a Thousand Hills as the only viable choice among those considered. Mill Mountain had passed on taking on the project.
The coffee company is owned by Scott and Penny Felts who operate another location at the Daleville Town Center in Botetourt County. If the supervisors approve the ordinance at the second reading, the lease will be signed for a term of five years, with potential renewals after that.
During public planning meetings on the new library before design and construction got underway, a coffee shop was one of the most mentioned amenities requested by citizens.
The Feltses will be charged five percent of the gross receipts as rent with the first six months abated as it takes a significant investment to get started due to the expense of equipment for the operation.
The coffee shop at the Vinton Library will be somewhat unusual as they will serve not only patrons in the library, but will also have the opportunity to serve visitors outside the library attending festivals and special events held in the town.
Caywood said that they were happy to have someone interested in taking on the business. He told Bedrosian when questioned that the county had not done a market survey but that the coffee shop located in the South County library appears to be “reasonably busy,” with rent increasing based on increasing gross receipts. He also commented that a coffee shop business can be a risky venture for the owners.
The proposal was approved for a second reading and public hearing in October.
In other business related to the Vinton area supervisors considered restricting truck traffic on Carson Road which winds behind the Bonsack Kroger through a primarily residential area, and is used as a shortcut by motorists trying to avoid the intersection of Route 460/Challenger Avenue and King Street. While the condition of the road itself falls under the auspices of VDOT, supervisors do have the authority to restrict the truck traffic which makes the road more hazardous to travel.
Carson Road crosses from the county into Roanoke City, and becomes Belle Avenue until the intersection with King Street. A VDOT traffic engineering review found that the City of Roanoke already restricts through truck traffic on Belle Avenue, as well as King Street. In order to be consistent and support the existing through truck restriction, VDOT suggests that the Board of Supervisors approve a through truck restriction on Carson Road.
The process to restrict through trucks on a secondary street requires that the local governing body hold a public hearing and adopt a resolution formally requesting that VDOT place this restriction on a given section of roadway with several more steps in the process after that.
Local truck traffic making deliveries is not affected by the designation.
The through truck restriction is proposed for Route 758 (Carson Road) beginning at the intersection of US Route 221 / 460 (Challenger Avenue) and ending at the City of Roanoke corporate limits at Belle Avenue for approximately 1.07 miles.
The alternate truck route proposed is US Route 221/ 460 (Challenger Avenue) beginning at the intersection of Route 758 (Carson Road), then traveling west on US Route 221/460 to Gus W. Nicks Boulevard, then traveling east on Gus W. Nicks Boulevard, and ending at the intersection of King Street in the City of Roanoke for approximately 2.95 miles.
The board also moved along to a second reading an ordinance authorizing the purchase of approximately 5.25 acres of land located at the corner of Rutrough Road and Chestnut Ridge Road adjacent to the entrance to Explore Park. The funds ($159,900) are already available and authorized within the budget of the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.
Supervisor Bedrosian questioned Doug Blount, department director, on why the funds were not to be spent on improvements to other county sports venues instead of to Explore Park. He did not support advancing the proposal to a second reading.
The other supervisors expressed support for the proposed purchase especially considering the fact that community meetings on the Explore Park Master Plan will begin within the next week. Several commented that the purchase may be significant in making the park more viable for private businesses which have shown an interest in bringing camping, cabins, and retail operations to the park. The parcel would also create a buffer between neighbors and the park.