Proposal For Tall Condominiums Nixed

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Last Wednesday the Bedford County Board of Supervisors met to discuss two potential Smith Mountain Lake condominiums, proposed by Waterway Properties (the developer), to be roughly 81ft. high.

The Board of Supervisors voted 4-2 to reject allowing the two proposed Smith Mountain Lake condominiums to exceed a 45-foot height limit required by zoning ordinance.

Many area lake residents came to the meeting to speak against the developer’s project. They said the tall condominiums would ruin views of the lake for neighboring residents and draw further requests for similar types of developments. Other concerns mentioned were that the Moneta Volunteer Fire Department lacks a firetruck with ladders high enough to reach a six story building’s upper levels.

If the Waterwheel Condominiums were built, contended the Waterway Properties representatives (headed by T.D. Thornton), they could be slimmer from front to back and thus fit farther down the sloped shoreline (blocking less view).They would be more aesthetically pleasing than 4 story buildings due to architectural styles such as gabled roofs and balconies.

However, the Waterway representatives did not convince a majority of the Board of Supervisors to vote in their favor. The Board of Supervisors Chairman Roger Cheek was quoted as saying, “My definition of a beautiful county is open land, trees and green grass. It’s not tall buildings.”

There are several zoning types known as “planned districts” which come with 45-foot limits on building heights, a rule set last year. To exceed that limit, a developer now must seek a special permit from the Board of Supervisors.

Several proposed projects at Smith Mountain Lake call for 60-foot-tall buildings but will not require special permits because developers submitted plans before the height limit rule took effect.

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