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2008 News Releases

Longwood withdraws request for zoning change

September 12, 2008

The Longwood Real Estate Foundation has withdrawn its request for zoning changes to 605 and 611 High Street, the site of the proposed Alumni and Conference Center. The request for rezoning was submitted in an attempt to be good citizens of the Town of Farmville and to invite community participation in the process.

Over the past 18 months, the Longwood Real Estate Foundation has had extensive conversations and public meetings with Town officials in order to encourage collaboration in the facility planning process. A scale model was built and rezoning applications filed. However, since the property is exempt, Longwood officials have determined that the delays, costs, and use of resources associated with pursuing the zoning changes are ineffective and inefficient for both the Town and the Longwood Real Estate Foundation.   

Under controlling Virginia law, agencies of the Commonwealth of Virginia, which includes Longwood University, are not subject to local land use controls and are exempt from zoning regulations. Longwood will now consider other alternatives to develop the planned Alumni and Conference Center as an agency of the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Longwood University is the only senior public institution of higher learning in Virginia without an alumni center. The planned facility, a renovation and expansion of the existing Tudor house on High Street, is owned by the Longwood Real Estate Foundation and will be leased to Longwood University.

In addition to housing the university's alumni and development offices the new facility will include a community conference center with seating capacity of approximately 170 for dinner, 200 for conferences, banquet facilities, a library, outdoor event space, and a memorial garden. The planned center will provide excellent meeting and conference facilities that can be used by both the Town of Farmville and the greater Prince Edward community. 

According to Otis Brown, president of the Longwood University Real Estate Foundation, "We expect that 40 percent of the time, this facility will be used by the public for meetings, seminars, banquets and other public functions. That will generate additional revenue for the Farmville community, and this new center will be a great place for all to enjoy." A recent economic impact study by the Longwood University Small Business Development Center indicates that Longwood contributes over $135 million per year to the local economy.