By. Brent Wilson, Field Officer
At the May 21st meeting of the Greene County Planning Commission a request was heard to include in the business districts, B-1, food banks and food pantries. Feeding Greene, Inc. http://feedinggreene.org/ brought the request to the commission but the revision would apply countywide in all B-1 districts, not just the location of Feeding Greene, Inc.
Bart Svoboda, Greene’s Zoning Administrator/Planning Director, reviewed the application for the commission. A food bank or pantry is a retail location similar to a grocery store. However, the hours of operation are significantly reduced down to one or two days per week. There is nothing specifically in the Comprehensive Plan concerning food banks or pantries. Staff recommended approval to add the definition of allowed businesses in Article 22.
The only speaker for the public hearing was Carroll Lawson from Feeding Greene, Inc. who stated that in April, 525 people were served at their Stanardsville location with a majority of them being children. A large portion of the population served do not have transportation available to them and having Feeding Greene in a B-1 area make it very accessible to residents. Feeding Greene is open only 20 hours per month but demand is growing.
The Commissioners next spoke on the issue. Chairman Jay Willer clarified that the Feeding Greene is not relocating but asking that their current location in Stanardsville be approved. Commissioner John McCloskey asked if this was the only pantry in Greene and Mr. Lawson stated that there are several smaller operations such at the Women’s Club and Grace but that Feeding Greene is the only USDA certified organization.
The Planning Commission voted 5-0 to approve the rezoning application and forwarded it on to the Board of Supervisors for their action.
Brent Wilson is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.
The Free Enterprise Forum’s coverage of Greene County is provided by a grant from the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS® and by the support of readers like you.