By Pauline Hovey, Greene County Field Officer
Despite the Greene County Planning Commission’s unanimous decision in December to recommend approval of Ted Corp, Inc./Greenecroft LLC’s request to amend proffers for their nearly 24-acre tract Planned Unit Development (PUD), the new Board of Supervisors voted against the amendment at its meeting on February 14. Once again the argument for and against more rooftops in Greene took over at a public hearing, ending with tough news for the developer, who was hoping for greater flexibility in the use and design of a commercial property located on Route 33 West.
The proffers the Board had approved in July 2004 required the development to consist of a maximum of 21, one-acre commercial parcels. Rob Lynch, manager of Ted Corp, Inc./Greenecroft LLC, argued that, because of the amount of commercial space now available, this requirement has created a hindrance by not allowing the market to dictate the size of the parcels. “I would love to do more commercial, but there’s already a lot of unused commercial space in Ruckersville,” Lynch said, as he explained his request for more flexibility in being able to reduce the size of the lots and build townhomes as well while maintaining 30-percent commercial use. Although the planning commissioners had agreed that the mixed-use PUD was a good model for Greene, a majority of supervisors and some residents saw it differently.
Residents who were not in favor of this change expressed concerns about future water shortages, the impact that additional homes would have on the schools and fire and rescue services, and the amount of cash proffers being offered. However, most residents of Greenecroft and the Four Seasons subdivisions spoke very favorably of Ted Corp, Inc., as a conscientious and trustworthy developer. “This developer has been a class act in the three years I’ve been here,” said Greenecroft resident Mark Sanford, who saw this as an “attractive proposal. I believe we can trust what the developer will do.”
Greene business owners like Vic Shaff, who also resides in Greene, spoke in favor of the amendment, noting, “We need these rooftops,” and with townhomes shown to bring in “40 percent fewer kids, changing proffers makes sense.”
Supervisors Jim Frydl (Midway) and Eddie Deane (at-large) agreed and favored the amendment. “The whole point of a PUD is to meet the market,” Frydl said, adding that flexibility is needed in areas that the county’s comprehensive plan has determined to be growth areas. From the standpoint of calculating cash proffers for townhomes, Frydl said the calculation made sense, and noted there is a lack of this type of housing in Greene – an indication that townhomes would be a favorable addition.
But Chairman Buggs Peyton (Stanardsville) and new supervisors Davis Lamb (Ruckersville) and David Cox (Monroe) voted against the request for various reasons, including concerns residents had addressed, such as a perceived increased need for sheriff, fire, and rescue services and a potential water shortage. Peyton seemed particularly concerned about changing the amount of cash proffers. “I don’t agree we should reduce proffers under any circumstances,” he told the board. As a result, they denied the developer’s request 3-2.
Pauline Hovey is the Greene County Field Officer for the Free Enterprise Forum a privately funded public policy organization.
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