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213-home subdivision on the horizon for Waynesboro's north end

213-home subdivision on the horizon for Waynesboro's north end

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Waynesboro’s City Council will decide at its next meeting if a 213-lot residential subdivision to be constructed on the north end of the city meets all of the city’s current ordinances.

The request for the subdivision is a by-right request, meaning the applicant has the right to develop the property as long as they follow the city’s ordinances — leaving council to decide only if the applicant meets the standards or not.

“Really all that we’re able to evaluate and vote on is whether they’ve met the standards of the city ordinance. Unfortunately, we can’t decide in this case whether we like the subdivision or not. We’re deciding if they’ve met the standards in our ordinances of what a subdivision should be,” Waynesboro’s Director of Planning Luke Juday said.

The subdivision would create 213 new homes on a more than 66-acre lot located on Ivy Street in Waynesboro toward Hermitage and north of Claybrook Drive. The area is currently largely wooded and vacant, and Waynesboro’s comprehensive plan calls for low-density residential in that area, meaning single-family homes only at a maximum density of 3.5 units per acre.

However, the city has a cluster development ordinance that the applicants are using in this case to cluster homes together on smaller lots and reserve the remainder of the property as open space without exceeding 3.5 units per acre.

The applicant, Q, LLC — Milestone Partners of Charlottesville, is currently planning for 27.75 acres of wooded land and 15 acres of common area space, as well as a wooded buffer around the edge of the development. In the first phase, the common space would include a pocket park with a pavilion and playground. In the future, the applicant hopes to construct pedestrian greenways and crushed stone trails. The homeowner’s association would be responsible for maintenance of the common areas.

The applicant hopes to construct phase one “as soon as possible.” Phase two of the subdivision would require a new gravity sewer, which is contingent on an easement granted by a current property owner. If the easement is not granted, a pump station would be needed.

The planning commission recommended approval of the major subdivision preliminary plat on a 7-0 vote, and the city manager recommends approval. Juday said Monday evening that staff “feels the applicant has met the minimum standards of subdivision and zoning ordinances.”

Dave Sheldon, president of the Claybrook Homeowners Association, submitted written comments against the proposed subdivision. The Claybrook subdivision is located immediately south of the planned subdivision.

Sheldon said the Claybrook HOA has “great concerns” over homeowners’ property values, traffic and pedestrian safety, and polluted water run off. Claybrook HOA also expressed concerns over a proposed wet pond near Claybrook’s private pond that may overflow polluted water runoff “if not properly designed and maintained.”

“Claybrook phase one is now bordered on two sides with lots, homes and streets of much smaller value. It now faces a third subdivision with 213 homes with even smaller lots, houses and streets,” Sheldon’s written comment said. “Too many homeowners have left this neighborhood in the past year. These moves are influenced by the ever expanding and poorly matched developments and the minimizing of natural boundaries.”

One other resident of Claybrook submitted written comments against the subdivision, noting that they oppose the roadway that would connect into the Claybrook development near the Route 254 entrance.

In the application, the subdivision will have access points from a connection to Ivy Street from the west and two connections to the Claybrook subdivision on the south. The preliminary plat will reserve inter-parcel connections to the Hats Land Development, LLC property to the north and to the property to the east.

The applicant projects a total of 2,032 total daily trips from the development, a majority of which would exit from the subdivision onto Route 254. In addition, the application states that “until further development creates additional entrances,” an estimated 1,626 cars per day will exit via “road C” onto Ivy Street. The connection to Claybrook via “road B” and the extension of Lilly Lane are estimated to bring an additional 203 trips per day each.

“I very much appreciate and respect the comments that were shared this evening,” L.J. Lopez, representing the applicant, said. “While I understand the statements that were shared, I believe some of those are opinions and can politely agree to disagree on some of those. As Mr. Juday mentioned, it is a development plan that is by-right meeting the current standards and ordinances.”

Reporter

Logan Bogert is a reporter for The News Virginian in Waynesboro, Virginia. She can be reached at lbogert@newsvirginian.com or (540) 932-3562. Follow Logan on Twitter at @Logan_Bogert.

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