ABINGDON, Va. — Washington County Board of Supervisors met for more than two hours in closed session on Tuesday with County Attorney Lucy Phillips to discuss zoning matters in regards to a possible relocation of the county courthouse to 300 Towne Centre Drive, the former location of Kmart.

In weeks prior to Tuesday’s meeting, Abingdon Town Council has passed a resolution against the relocation of the court functions from the downtown district of Abingdon, saying the Kmart is not zoned for a courthouse and that a courthouse can only be located in Abingdon’s Old and Historic District.

A referendum is slated for Nov. 5 for Washington County voters to decide if the court should be moved.

At 10:31 p.m. on Tuesday, County Administrator Jason Berry issued a statement from the Board of Supervisors:

“After examination of the zoning determinations and Town Council position on the relocation of courthouse operations to the former K-Mart building at Towne Centre, the Board affirms its position that the option should be presented to the citizens of Washington County for referendum election.

“The Board regrets that the Town is using its zoning ordinance to obstruct implementation of the citizen’s choice if the majority vote from the referendum favors removal. The Board of Supervisors supports the citizen’s opportunity to participate in this important decision and will vigorously support the citizen’s choice as determined by the referendum vote.”

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jtennis@bristolnews.com | 276-791-0709 | @BHC_Tennis

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