By. Bryan Rothamel, Field Officer
PALMYRA — Debate swirls about the proposed Walker’s Ridge development at the old Rivanna Resort, the alternative is to keep what the Rivanna Resort had planned and approved.
At the May 22 Planning Commission meeting, Justin Shimp, representing the developer, did not add many new specifics of the Walker’s Ridge proposal. In addition, he did not fully answer some of the questions by the chairman Barry Bibb. Shimp did provide concepts, but no actuals.
The exchange brought a lot of emotion to the second public comment section.
“You are looking for a disaster,” said resident James Gibson.
Gibson wasn’t alone in those feelings. None of the residents in attendance spoke in support of the Walker’s Ridge plan after the informative meeting.
The development is a proposed rezoning of 232 acres from R-3 to Plan Urban Development. The current zoning allows over 230 units. The proposed zoning change would allow 1,180 residential units with 180,000 square feet of commercial space.
The proposed development would use a series of localized central water and sewer systems. The water would come from a well system with storage tanks, similar design to Fork Union Sanitary District. The sewer system would consist of a drip system to filtrate the used water back into the ground water supply.
“What we propose is to take the water out of the ground and put it back into the ground,” said Shimp, who serves as the civil engineer for the project.
The current zoning status was approved in 2009 for the once proposed ‘The Point at The Rivanna Resort’. The proffers included as a part of that rezoning include:
- traffic improvements to the road as designated in the 2009 study
- $50,000 for construction of traffic light at the main entrance if required by VDOT within five years of successful site plan approval
- restriction of the golf course as a public golf course
- $5,000 cash proffer per residential unit to be used for the new high school or development of the then-proposed Pleasant Grove Community Center
- $1,000 cash proffer to the Fluvanna/Louisa Housing Foundation for emergency repairs to low income county residents’ houses
- provision to provide water and sewer connection for the Palmyra Fire Station
- provision to provide water and sewer connection for expansion of sewer services in the Fluvanna area
- various exterior architectural guidelines for both residential and commercial buildings
The water and sewer connection provisions are nearly void because the Palmyra water system could only provide enough water for less than 75 more residential units, per a report by the public works director in the Walker’s Ridge planning documents.
Walker’s Ridge will not use the golf course but have building throughout the property. The plans call for fairways and golf cart paths to be used in calculating trail and open space in the PUD.
The PUD proposals divides the land into 47 percent open space, 35 percent residential and just six percent commercial. The proposed commercial space would be 180,000 square feet.
The proposed residential unit break down is 560 multifamily units, 318 townhomes, 205 single family detached homes and 97 single family attached homes. Proposed amenities include ponds, trails, playground, athletic facilities and possible swimming and fitness facilities.
If Walker’s Ridge does not get approval, the current zoning for what was the Point at The Rivanna Resort would still apply.
Walker’s Ridge could have the Planning Commission public hearing at the next meeting, June 26.
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