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January 21, 2009
Planning Commission rejects rezoning request for Fairview Beach
KING GEORGE, Virginia (STPNS) -- The Planning Commission recommended denying a rezoning request by Fairview Beach, LLC, represented by Bob Moesle.
The action took place at last week?s meeting on January 13 with seven of the current nine Commissioners present at the meeting. The vote was 6-1 to recommend denial.
A public hearing on the matter took place the previous month in December 2008, but action was postponed until this month.
The Board of Supervisors has the final say in rezoning matters and will hold another public hearing on the request prior to a decision. (Watch our paper for the advertisement to verify the date.)
The request is to rezone 9.33664 acres, with proffers, from Retail Commercial (C-1) to Multi-Family Dwelling District (R-3).
The property is located in Fairview Beach on Pavilion Drive, identified as Tax Map 14, Parcel 1. Access to the property is provided by Fairview Drive (Route 696).
The purpose of the rezoning is to create a town house development with a maximum dwelling count of 74 units. The current land use is as a mobile home park and a campground.
The recommendation by the Planning Commission echoed the one provided by county staff, also for denial of the request.
Green told Commissioners last week there was one change by the applicant to its original application package.
That change was to amend a proffer to indicate there would be a maximum of two entrances. The change brought the proffers in line with the applicant?s general development plan.
But that adjustment did not change Green?s recommendation to deny the rezoning.
Green noted that if the rezoning is approved, the Comprehensive Plan would need to be reworked to address what would be a change in density for that part of Fairview Beach.
Some Commissioners commented prior to voting on the request.
Planning Commissioner Gary Kendrick said, ?We worked long and hard on that Comp Plan and I don?t want us to keep chipping away at it.?
He added, ?The other thing, when we were doing the Comp Plan, was the desire to have a wide range of different types of housing. This would displace some housing that is already there.?
Planning Commissioner Bill Robie said, ?There are times when we have to chip away at the Comprehensive Plan, when we see an overall benefit to the county. But I don?t see that here.?
Planning Commissioner Tom Poland, who was in favor of the requested rezoning, asked Green, ?What would they have to do to gain your approval??
Green said the request would have to comply with the Comprehensive Plan. To do that, he said, ?They would have to reduce the density.?
The staff report notes that the requested density is inconsistent with recommendations of King George County Comprehensive Plan, which is for future density to be ?low to moderate? with one dwelling unit suggested per each 2 to 10 acres.
In addition, Green pointed out another problem.
The applicant owns a store and restaurant to which no changes are proposed. He said, ?Also it is adjacent to the existing store and restaurant and those do not meet our standards for parking. I addressed that in the staff report and said that if they wanted to build townhouses on the property, they should bring the entire site up to our standards.?
Kendrick provided another comment, noting, ?We don?t really have the need to zone more land to a high density. There?s a lot of building land that is already zoned for construction.?
Planning Commission Chairman Josh Colwell stated, ?I agree. The density is too high and I don?t like that it would displace residents.?
The site earmarked for the townhouses contains 30 mobile home lots, with most of them located along the southern property line, away from the Potomac River.
29 of the mobile home lots are currently occupied, leased on a month-to-month basis to residents who own their own mobile homes. Those residents have been told they will be given six months to relocate if the rezoning goes through.
There are also 60 camp ground sites located along the north portion of the property adjacent to the Potomac River.
The camp ground and the mobile home park are both legal nonconforming uses under the existing Retail Commercial (C-1) zoning. Those uses may continue but neither can be expanded nor enlarged.
Similarly, new residential uses are not permitted to be constructed under the current C-1 zoning.
The requested zoning is for Multi-Family Dwelling District (R-3). The proposed zoning would allow a maximum of 74 townhouses, which is a density of eight units per acre.
~ PROFFERS The proffers include cash to be provided to the county in accordance with existing approved proffer guidelines. The cash would be paid to the county at the time of issuance of each individual building permit.
The applicant is also proffering to plan, build, pay and give to the county the water and sewer improvements necessary to serve the development, which is customary for new developments in the county seeking utility service.
~ PUBLIC COMMENT A public hearing was held in December, which garnered comments from four members of the public. Terence O?Toole and Rita Lund both said they were in favor of the rezoning.
Elizabeth Strank said she could likely support the proposal if the proposed entrance is relocated, but also had other questions about the request.
Regina Myers was not in favor of the request as a mobile home owner leasing a lot on the property. Myers said she was concerned about what would happen to her and the other mobile home owners, questioning whether the applicant would assist with costs to relocated trailers and whether it would be possible to provide longer than six months following possible approval.
~ ZONING HISTORY OF THE PROPERTY The staff report indicated that in October 1996 the Board of Supervisors denied a request by Tom DeShazo to rezone the same parcel to R-3.
In addition, in May 2008, the Board of Supervisors approved a request to rezone a nearby parcel by Charles R. Bowie for 8.65 Acres of Tax Map 14, Parcel 6A from Retail Commercial District (C-1) to General Trade District (C-2) and 1.45 Acres of Tax Map 14, Parcel 6A from Rural Agricultural (A-2) to General Trade District (C-2).
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