Windsor Planning Commission supports Bank Street Duplex

The Windsor Planning Commission voted 4-0 on June 26 to recommend that the Windsor Town Council approve an application, subject to conditions, that is requesting a conditional use permit for a property on Bank Street in order to allow for the development of a two-unit, multi-family building.

Windsor Planning and Zoning Administrator James “Jay” Randolph noted that the conditions recommended by the Planning Commission included the following:

  • The project must conform substantially to the site plan and corresponding renderings/elevations submitted with the application; and 
  • Prior to the issuance of certificate of occupancy or in a reasonable time and manner associated with the conclusion of construction, the parcel must be subdivided into two lots, each with a minimum state road frontage of 50 feet.

Randolph stated that he shared those notes regarding the conditions in a letter to the applicant following the June 26 commission meeting.

“The second condition listed was expanded in the letter to address the timing of when the subdivision of the parcel would occur,” Randolph stated. “Commissioner (Dale) Scott’s motion included a general condition that the parcel be subdivided prior to the sale of the units.”

There were only four votes on Scott’s motion because three commissioners were absent from the June 26 meeting: Chairman Leonard L. Marshall, G. Devon Hewitt and LaTara Harris.

The commission’s vote followed a public hearing in which one individual spoke — Cody Hastings, a representative of the applicant.

Hastings provided comments on the project he has planned and then answered questions from commissioners.

The agenda for the meeting noted that Hastings and Sons LLC submitted an application requesting a conditional use permit for property identified as Map Parcel 53-01-103. The meeting agenda further noted that the parcel is 0.5 acres, zoned R1 – Residential and is located on Bank Street (Route 1810) about 400 feet east of the intersection of U.S. Route 258.

The planning and zoning report that was included in the commission meeting packet stated that this conditional use permit application requests a use that is not a permitted or by-right use in the R1 – Residential zoning district. The report noted that Section 160-47 C(7) provides for townhouse and multi-family dwellings as a “conditional use,” and while the zoning ordinance defines what is and what is not permitted in each zoning district, the conditional use process allows for consideration of uses on a site-by-site basis.

The report stated that Windsor’s Comprehensive Plan designates the property in question as low density residential.

General information in the report also noted that the undeveloped property in question is adjacent to a single-family residence at 10184 Bank St., a multi-family apartment building across the street at 10198 E. Blackwater Road, and a wooded parcel to the west.

Hastings introduced himself at the June 26 meeting by stating that he is a small builder who typically does a lot of work in Suffolk.

“My most recent project in Windsor was right at 102 Maple Lane,” he said, alluding to a depiction of this building project. “On that project, I had the opportunity to build whatever I wanted. I made sure I had a plan designed to specifically fit that street, so if you notice that’s a ranch house, it fits the rest of the neighborhood there. We take pride in that. I’m a hands-on guy. 

“So the same thing would take place with this project,” he continued. “I’ve spoken to Jay multiple times about it and tried to get feedback and whatnot before I submitted the application.”

He said his intention is to produce a one-structure, townhouse-style project.

“It would have a property line in the middle,” he said. “I’ve separated the units by a shed to kind of give it a single-family feel. Jay had recommended trying to offset some of the lines to make it easier for maintenance issues when the time does arise for siding repairs or roofing repairs, so it’s very obvious what unit would own what.”

Hastings said he has spoken to Randolph about the water service on the property.

“There I think y’all have got an eight-inch main across the street, so water availability is not an issue,” Hastings said. “Dominion (Energy) has got service, we’ve got cable across the street. 

“The sewer I know is a big deal here in the town,” he continued. “I’ve spoken to Tory Rowland at the county, and I was obviously worried about capacity. So before I even purchased the lot, we spoke. He informed me that that lot has already been allocated for the capacity of the town based off of that lot already being existing.”

Addressing other aspects of the project later, Hastings noted that his intention is to build two units on the property in question, and he said he thought the 25-mile-per-hour street there is situated well, located within the town limits.

“I see what I’ll build,” he said. “I’m going to build a ranch there. I think I’m going to fit the homes on the left side of it there to kind of fit the neighborhood.

“Lot-wise, we are at a half-acre lot, but by the time we add this line, we’ll have a quarter-acre lot per unit, which will be comparable to what you’ll see on Maple Lane there, which is where I built before,” he continued. “So lot size kind of fits in that area over there.”

He noted that he is going to try to group the driveways of the two units together.

“You’ll see both driveways are in the center to kind of limit the entrance there to Bank Street,” he said.

He explained that the price point he was estimating for the units would appeal to a lot of first-time home buyers and perhaps empty-nesters looking to downsize.

“I looked over y’all’s Comp Plan, and I saw that I think y’all estimated needing 500 or some units before 2030,” he said. “I think this is a good project to help get you all toward that goal. I don’t think 500’s really going to be realistic for you all to get here in the town with the sewer and whatnot. But on this project, like I said, luckily the sewer hasn’t been an issue.”

Hastings then welcomed questions from commissioners.

Scott asked him, “Just to clarify — the home is going to be attached or detached?”

“It’s going to be attached through the shed,” Hastings said, alluding to a visual depiction of the project. “So what you’re looking at in the middle there is two five-foot sheds. So the homeowners will be able to access them from the rear to put lawn mowers or bikes in. It’ll have a couple of different goals, and they’re going to be staggered, so it’ll be able to create a separate roofline for each unit. And then as well, I don’t know how many noise complaints y’all get here in the town, but these units are going to be separated by 10 feet, so it’s not like you’re going to have a shared partition wall where you can have issues with noise.”

Commissioner David Adams said, “Since this is one tax parcel, this is all one single owner, or how does that work?”

Hastings indicated that he had spoken with Randolph about this.

“Since the conditional use will allow for townhomes, I think the town would prefer us add a boundary line in the middle and create a townhome-style environment where we’ll have two tax parcel numbers,” Hastings said. “It’ll make it cleaner in the books, and then my intent is to sell each unit, so there’ll be two separate owners and two separate tax ID numbers and two separate addresses.”

Randolph noted that the Windsor Town Council will hold its public hearing on Hastings and Sons LLC’s conditional use permit application on Tuesday, Aug. 13, and consider the recommendation of the Planning Commission and any other comments received at the hearing.

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