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Non-vote on rezoning near Creeper Trail talk of the town in Abingdon

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Abingdon's town manager answered questions Tuesday after a surprise turn at Monday night's council meeting.

The second reading on the rezoning of land near the Virginia Creeper Trail was postponed at the last minute.

The land in question would be re-zoned commercial, making way for a new Food City and other stores.

News 5 WCYB spoke with Abingdon Town Manager Greg Kelly, Tuesday afternoon. He said the reason for the delay in the vote was that the owner of the land, Cema Corporation, and the developer, Marathon Realty, want to provide more information to the town and the public about the traffic impact analysis and the environmental studies.

"It means that we take the environment very seriously," said Kelly. "We are dealing with a historical piece of property that goes way back in Abingdon's history and we want to make sure if there are any archaeological relics of any historical significance that those things get identified and proper measures taken to preserve these."

However, Kelly said the delayed second reading is not an indication this project is not moving forward.

"My understanding is the developer is very much interested in still moving forward they're still working very diligently to make this project go," said Kelly. "The town certainly takes all comments into consideration and they will likewise take all the developer's comments into consideration and certainly the economic impact that this project might have upon the town and I believe that the town council has made it clear, as has the town staff, that we're going to do everything in our power to protect the viewshed of the Virginia Creeper Trail throughout this process and we want to make it something that everybody will be proud of at the end of the day and nobody will be harmed from."

News 5 reached out to Food City CEO Steve Smith, but he is out of town.

We also left a message for Food City's realtor, Stephen Spangler, but did not hear back.

The meeting for the second reading has been moved to Dec. 7.

However, the venue has still not been determined.

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