Windsor Planning Commission OKs public hearing on rezoning to allow for 60 residential lots

Published 3:03 pm Wednesday, March 2, 2022

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The Windsor Planning Commission agreed at its Feb. 23 meeting to hold a public hearing at its March 23 meeting to give opportunity for input on a rezoning request that would allow the creation of 60 single-family residential lots on property located on Shiloh Drive and connecting to the existing Holland Meadows subdivision.

The request from First Dominion Land Inc., property owners, is to rezone 40.028 acres from A-1 to R1/MHP in order to create the residential lots. The property is identified as Tax Map Number 51-01-094B.

Brian Layne, land surveyor with Parrish Layne Design Group, was at the commission’s Feb. 23 meeting as an agent on behalf of the applicant for the tax parcel in question, Ashdon Builders Inc. Layne also was an agent on behalf of the developer and the owner.

“What we’re trying to do tonight is have a presentation so everyone has a good understanding of what we’re bringing forward to you,” Layne said.

To that end, he shared with commission members a “Narrative of Proposed Use” document that gave details on this Windsor Station project.

The document states that the parcel fronts Shiloh Drive and is bounded on the west by Holland Meadows, a single-family development; on the east by Carolwood, a single-family development; and on the south by the city of Norfolk. 

Layne said 60 lots are being proposed for the project.

The access points for the subdivision will be Shiloh Drive and Savannah Street, the narrative states. The owner/developer will develop the existing stub street known as Savannah Street, providing inner-connectivity to meet Virginia Department of Transportation requirements.

The narrative continued by noting that the parcel is wooded and contains open fields generally sloping towards the south, served by ditches and ravines along the west and east boundary lines. The site contains wetlands mainly located on the southern end of the property and is subject to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act. 

Wetland limits and a CBPA buffer are referenced in the document, which continued by stating that the surrounding uses are single-family residential, and the Comprehensive Land Use Plan designates the property as High Density Residential. Savannah Street is “stubbed out” to the western property line and will be continued to allow for inner-connectivity of the residential traffic.

“The owner/applicant requests to rezone the property to R1/MHP Conditional and has submitted proffers to continue the aesthetics and character of the recently developed Holland Meadows subdivision while complementing the town environment,” the narrative stated. “This development will add variety of housing types and styles, improve sidewalk connectivity along Shiloh Drive, create inner-connectivity for traffic flows and provide a traditional neighborhood concept while screening the development from Shiloh Drive.”

The development will be served by public utilities and will address stormwater design criteria that meets the state criteria.

“We’ll be tied into the county sewer and the town water,” Layne said. “As far as we know, everything’s adequate. We haven’t heard Isle of Wight tell us anything on that yet, but there was a pump station, if you all are familiar with Holland Meadows, that was developed for this purpose of serving this area.”

The narrative concluded by stating, “We believe this subdivision meets the consistency of the Town Land Use Plan and will be a benefit to the town by offering an option for new housing in a traditional neighborhood environment.”

Speaking of the project as a whole, Layne told commission members, “We do feel like that it will add appeal to the neighborhood and provide an inner-connectivity within the subdivision, and also we think it will help complement with what the town has over there while adding value to the existing homes of Carolwood, which is an older community, and Holland Meadows, which is a newer community.

“We do think that the proffers that we’ve put in front of you are necessary to keep the appeal and also to keep the values and the homes where they need to be to where the neighbors don’t feel like something is really downgrading them,” he continued. 

Layne highlighted some of the proffers, or proposals.

He said the developer has agreed and will proffer to extend the existing sidewalk down Shiloh Road to get more pedestrian connectivity along the frontage of this subdivision.

“He has also agreed to keep the colonial-style lights that you see in Holland Meadows now, not the cobra head (street lights) that you typically see in some subdivisions,” Layne said. “He’s agreed to also keep some of the same aesthetics with the homes, such as at least (a) one-car garage with an all-surface driveway, discouraging any kind of long-term parking in the front yard.”

Layne said the developer was asking — as a proffer that, if accepted, would include a financial contribution to the town — to be allowed to reduce the front building line from a 40-foot requirement, which is typically 50 feet off the curb, to a 30-foot requirement, which would be 40 feet off of the curb, for the purpose of giving homeowners an option of having more backyard instead of more front yard.

Donnie Cross, vice president of Ashdon Builders, later noted that he has found clients often like having large backyards, and the developer’s request of moving from a 40- to 30-foot requirement seeks to accommodate that preference.

A commission member asked Cross if reducing the front building line to 30 feet — 40 feet off the curb — would still give people enough room to avoid having to park on the street.

“I believe so because we do 40 feet in quite a few subdivisions that we have, and you can still get two cars back-to-back,” he said. “Even like a Chevy Suburban or a Silverado or something like that that’s 16 to 18 feet long, you still have enough room to park back-to-back without getting into the street parking,” he said.

He later confirmed this parking arrangement also would not block the five-foot sidewalks.

Layne said that as far as aesthetics from the neighborhood, “if you drive down Shiloh Drive now, you see a landscape berm. We will continue that landscape berm to keep the shielding from the view of the cars as they pass by. We think that’s also beneficial, and that is a developer-paid-for proffer also.”

Cross spoke about the design of the houses that will exist on the lots for the project. He said they will range from about 2,000 to 3,000 square feet, and they will be architectural shingles.

“We are going to target a price range of $350,000 and up, and it’ll be a mix of ranch and two-story models,” he said.

The square footage of the smallest lot is 7,500, and most of the lots are bigger than that, set up with a lot of depth.