The public hearing on Biscuit Run began shortly after 10 PM and the public, at least those still present after waiting for five hours, got their opportunity to speak starting around 11:00 PM. The unanimous vote came at 1:05 AM this morning.
Listen using player above or download the podcast: Download 20070913-BOS-Biscuit-Run-Approval.mp3
The rezoning will allow at least 3,100 homes on 828 acres, as well as some retail and office uses, plus an additional 400 acres for a County park. Biscuit Run will be the largest development in the history of Albemarle County. The County accepted an estimated $41,150,000 in proffers in connection with the rezoning. Without the rezoning, Supervisors said the developer could have built between 1,000 and 1,400 homes on the property by-right.
During the public meeting, many people requested that the Board postpone action until a full environmental impact assessment could be made. Many residents of the Mill Creek South neighborhood spoke in cautious support of the project, because a proposed connection between the two neighborhoods will now be built as a walking trail. Other speakers expressed concern about increased traffic on Route 20 and the adequacy of water and sewer capacity.
Several neighbors spoke in favor of the project, saying they look forward to using some of the shops, parks and trails that will be built as a result. Ron Sykes, the Headmaster of the Covenant School to the north of the development, said Biscuit Run would be “complementary to our campus.”
“We don’t have legal authority to require a developer to do an environmental impact study,” said Supervisor Dennis Rooker (Jack Jouett). He added that the Neighborhood Model would help reduce the impact of the development on the region, while allowing residents to get to several destinations on foot.
Supervisor David Slutzky (Rio) said he was pleased that transit became a major component of the proposal. “It’s really a poster child for how a proposal can make its way through our process,” he said.
Supervisor David Wyant (White Hall) said that the proposal is a good example of how a public-private partnership work. He added that the level of scrutiny that has gone into this proposal has improved the process by strengthening erosion control requirements.
“It’s not the perfect project, but it’s one of the best ones that’s come along in a long time,” said Supervisor Ken Boyd.
HOLLYMEAD TOWN CENTER APPROVED
Earlier in the evening, the Supervisors unanimously approved Hollymead Town Center (HTC) Areas A1 and A2. In all, the Supervisors approved in this one meeting more than 4,300 new homes for Albemarle County.
HTC Area A-1 will be a commercial development on approximately 31 acres along Route 29 North across the street from Holly Memorial Gardens with approximately 277,000 square feet of commercial, office, and service uses. HTC Area A-2 will be a mixed use development on approximately 47 acres behind Area A-1. It can have up to 1,222 homes and up to 368,000 square feet of commercial, office, and hotel uses.
Sean Tubbs & Brian Wheeler