Harrisonburg is making way for James Madison University's growth. In a first reading Tuesday night, the city council approved a rezoning that would allow new development on some property along Port Republic Road to build a new housing complex different from other student housing that already exists.
The proposed development is six stories high and could house up to 300 students, but a unique feature is that the bottom of the development would be 16,000 square feet of commercial space reserved for restaurants and businesses. Traffic congestion was an issue for city residents.
"Especially at Port Road and Devon Lane, right there where this is going to be built, is horrendous at this point. You can't even get through at certain times of the day, and with a new hospital going in, it's just going to be an increasing concern," said area resident Ray Atkinson.
The council will take a final vote on this development at its next meeting after the new year.