Supervisors approve applicant’s withdrawal from 448-acre Slate Run Farm LLC for commercial/industrial rezoning – no more than one year

Supervisors approve applicant’s withdrawal from 448-acre Slate Run Farm LLC for commercial/industrial rezoning – no more than one year

(Author’s note: The list of churches cited by public comment speaker Kate Henneberry has been corrected to exclude the Lutheran church originally mentioned. The churches she mentioned in her remarks are the Royal Presbyterian Front, St. John the Baptist Catholic, the Royal United Methodist Front, and First Baptist. The Royal Examiner regrets For any confusion caused by the error.)

The Front Royal Town Planning Commission met on Wednesday, November 15, and, in the absence of Regular Clerk Connie Potter, immediately voted unanimously to appoint Zoning Administrator John Ware as interim Clerk.

Kate Henneberry, who lives on Luray Street, was the only speaker during the citizen comment portion of the meeting. She addressed the committee to express her concern about the growing regulatory uses in that area, which include schools, churches and, in particular, private schools located in single-family buildings or churches, resulting in a shortage of on-street parking and a “significant decrease in the number of cars.” In the flow of traffic.” One reason for this is the increased volume of traffic at peak student boarding and alighting. In the case of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Ms. Heneberry emphasized that the church, unlike the neighboring Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist churches, “apparently does not have sufficient parking For parishioners and students.” However, it was not clear from satellite images that the Catholic Church’s off-street parking lots are smaller than other churches.

City Planning Commission Chairman Daniel Wells hears citizen comments during the commission’s regular meeting on Wednesday. Below, during public comment, Kate Henneberry addressed the commission to make it aware of the City Planning Department of parking and traffic issues on Luray Street as a result of “regulatory uses” — particularly churches or home schools — on properties in that neighborhood.

Ms. Heneberry also expressed concern that some of these regulatory uses may not meet health and safety standards, as single-family residences may not have the public safety infrastructure to accommodate a student body. She also pointed out the problems faced by students who use Bowman Park for recess, lunch and sometimes outdoor learning. She added that the damage to the land led to the loss of grass and trees. She urged the city to address these impacts while reviewing and approving applications for regulatory uses in residential areas.

There were three items on the consent agenda to approve the announcement of the upcoming public hearings:

The Warren Coalition has applied for a special use permit for a home located at 501 S. Royal Avenue in the Community Business District. It is a designated Community Business District (C-1) and is also located in the entrance corridor.

Skyline Realty Investments, LLC has filed a rezoning application requesting the rezoning of 29 W. Duck Street from C-1, Community Business District to R-3, Residential District.

Cook Realty, LLC has filed a rezoning application requesting the rezoning of 1121, 1125 and 1135 John Marshall Highway, from R-1, Residential District to C-1, Community Business District.

At the suggestion of Vice Chair Connie Marschner, and supported by Commissioner Wood, the Commission voted unanimously to approve the consent agenda items, allowing the upcoming public hearings to be announced. These hearings should be held at the next scheduled meeting of the Committee.

The committee then turned its attention to the two items scheduled for public hearings.

Magdalen Capital, LLLP, filed an application to amend the existing zoning ordinance sections 175-37.3.C, 175-37.4.A and 175-37.17. As previously reported by the Royal Examiner, the minimum space requirements for the Planned Neighborhood Development (PND) area are moving from the current 20- and 50-acre minimum lot requirements to the 2-acre minimum lot requirement. This is the minimum overall development size, not the individual lot size. Under the city’s zoning code, the maximum residential density allowed is six residential units per acre — and only at the discretion of the City Council, making a theoretically planned two-acre development under the revised code only capable of 12 residential units. Otherwise, the parcel is still subject to parcel density restrictions prior to rezoning.

Planning Director Lauren Kupischke told the committee that Planning Department staff had consulted with its contractor to help rewrite the zoning code and concluded that the two-acre minimum would not fit the current open space requirement but that staff would recommend 5 acres. Minimum instead.

Commissioner Glen Wood asked how long this ordinance would be in effect. Answer: Since 2011. Commissioner Brian Mathiai asked if this proposed change is consistent with the new comprehensive plan the City Council just approved. “The comprehensive plan sets goals to increase mixed use and provide affordable housing, so I think this opens the door to that,” Planning Director Kubischke said. However, she went on to say, “Staff supports the change to reduce the minimum footprint, but I think 5 acres is the right minimum.”

Vice President Marschner asked about the PND approval process if the property owner has such a lot. “They’ll need to submit a rezoning application, and we’ll review it to see if it’s consistent with the comprehensive plan,” Planning Director Kubiske responded. “If so, usually at that point, it will go before the Planning Commission to determine if it’s appropriate, and if so, The committee will refer it to the city council with a recommendation for approval.

At the public hearing, there were two speakers. Nearby resident Linda Turner, whose property adjoins the area under consideration for rezoning for PND, opposed the law change. She emphasized that the current zoning code minimum of 20 to 50 acres is a safeguard for the community, and allowing a 2- or 5-acre minimum would open the door to “pop-up areas of development,” which could turn Front Royal into a “mini-Manassas.” Turner told the commission that the property’s current zoning would allow for 22-27 homes to be built, and that number alone would add significantly to the increasingly heavy traffic along the Happy Creek corridor.

The second speaker, Megan Marrazzo, spoke about her experience with new construction and urban infill to drive home the point that a 2-acre minimum for PNDs is “unheard of” and cited the experiences of places like Leesburg and Ashburn, which have seen dramatic changes due to similar development proposals. She urged the city to identify all potential parcels of land that could be “ripe for the picking” if this zoning change is approved.

Linda Turner was the first of two speakers at the public hearings to urge caution about reducing the minimum lot sizes in a planned development (PND) district — from 20 to 50 acres to 2 acres. Below, Alex Stieb, a partner at Magdalen Capital, explains the reasons behind PND’s zoning size reductions and development of a parcel off Happy Creek Road, ranging from up to 27 homes to a mixed-use development of single and multifamily homes and small commercial facilities. Uses. The commission voted to recommend approval of the code change with the 5-acre minimum and the required rezoning.

Representing Magdalen Capital LLLP, Alex Stieb addressed the committee and said the 20 or 50 acre minimum prevents small builders from doing development work. The proposed 2- or 5-acre developments will allow quality local builders to develop smaller enclaves. He noted that large developments of between 20 and 50 acres also have a heavy regulatory and environmental burden that small local developers cannot handle.

Following a motion by Vice Chairman Marschner, seconded by Commissioner Michael Williams, to recommend approval of a 5-acre minimum, the commission discussed the proposed change. Commissioner Wood asked Zoning Administrator and Interim Clerk John Weir if an inventory had been taken of available city lots of 20 acres or more. Answer: There are 16 city parcels that meet the current code’s 20-acre threshold, but Planning Department staff have not conducted an inventory of how many parcels would exist if a 2- or 5-acre change was made.

The commission then voted unanimously to recommend a minimum of 5 acres, rather than the required 2 acres, in the ordinance. The text of the amended law will be referred to the city council for a final decision.

Magdalene Capital, LLLP also I applied to rezone a lot at 311 Leach Streetdesignated by Tax Map No. 20A9-1-3, from RS, Suburban Residential District to PND (Planned Neighborhood Development District), And neighboring properties From R-1, Residential District to PND as well. This rezoning will only be possible if an amendment to the text of the zoning ordinance is approved.

In the applicant’s presentation, Magdalen Capital partner Stieb told the commission that the immediate development on that parcel (not requiring rezoning) would primarily be a residential site with 26 to 27 single-family homes with no commercial infrastructure. “There’s not a lot of added value to the city,” Stepp told the committee. Studies nationwide show that single-family developments are quite negative. A mixed-use PND could attract a traditional “corner store” as part of the commercial component. Stepp said the commercial component would generate revenue. Tax to offset public infrastructure costs. To date, the applicant has developed only conceptual versions of the PND that would allow for high-density multifamily units and site plans must be submitted before actual development can begin.

At that public hearing, local resident Tanya Jones reiterated previous speakers’ opposition to changing the zoning code and told the commission she would prefer the developer pursue the right-of-side option rather than the PND option because of the impact on the land and traffic on Happy Creek Road.

At the end of the public hearing, the Committee discussed the points raised in the public hearing. Planning Director Kubischke reminded the commission that regardless of which option the applicant ultimately pursues, the Planning Department and commission will have to issue and approve a site plan, which will also require city, county and state approval before permits can be issued and construction can take place. Begins. After further discussion, based on a motion made by Commissioner Williams, and supported by Commissioner Wood, the Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the rezoning under the new changes to the zoning code, which, again, have not yet been implemented by the City. The application will now move to the City Council for final action. The Council will announce when the reorganization will be included on its agenda.

Planning Director Kubischke announced that the department issued 28 zoning permits in October, 18 new zoning enforcement cases, making a total of 320 cases for the year, four new land use applications, eight registration permit applications, and 12 business licenses. The department has met with its counsel and expects to release a draft zoning and subdivision ordinance in January or February for the Planning Commission to review.

Click here to watch the Foreshore Royal Planning Committee meeting on 15 November 2023.

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