Another parcel along U.S. 29 in northern Albemarle County soon may be in play. The county’s Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously endorsed the rezoning of a 7.29-acre property at 3223 Proffit Road from RA Rural Areas to R-15 Residential. This change would allow the property, located just south of the proposed North Pointe development, to contain between 44 and 109 dwelling units. The property is bordered on three sides by properties that have zoning designations that are more dense than rural, and it is designated as Urban Density within the Places 29 Master development Area. Once the Board of Supervisors approves the request, a developer would have to use the road plan and the division of the property included the rezoning application. “[The property owner’s] intent is to sell it, so there is no guarantee what the potential buyer is going to do,” Franco said. Under the minimum, the 44-unit minimum most likely would be single-family homes. and the maximum likely would be town houses, said Don Franco, of Roudabush, Gale & Associates. In the rezoning application, the property is divided into two blocks. The southern portion, fronting Proffit Road, is slated for development. This block has four streets — one intended to be the entrance for the development, an internal road that also would serve as a point of egress for emergency vehicles from Proffit Road and two roads parallel to Proffit that would complete a grid pattern. None of the roads end in a cul-de-sac, allowing for the opportunity for the development to connect to adjacent properties if they are redeveloped, according to the county staff report. The second block would be set aside for the use of the development’s residents as open space. Morgan Butler, of the Southern Environmental Law Center, asked for clarity on what the open space would be. “We’d like to see those specific purposes fleshed out in more detail in the development and be referenced in the proffers,” Butler said.

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Franco said that the range of potential uses listed in the application, such as recreational uses and a buffer for an intermittent stream, included the possible plans for the open space. “It’s not designed necessarily for preservation,” Franco said. Along with the potential for trails in the north block, the project would include sidewalks along all of its roads and along the property line on Proffit Road and, if the development is built to its highest use, a left-turn lane into the development from eastbound Proffit Road. The proffer statement for the rezoning originally included conditions on affordable housing, but they were removed because state law currently does not allow localities to accept proffers on affordable housing as a part of the residential rezoning application process. “In this case, it’s our opinion that affordable housing has not been shown to be specifically attributable to the point where it’s not something that can be accepted without potentially running afoul of this code section,” said Cameron Langille, a senior planner for the county. Franco said that, if the property is built to its highest use, it would trigger affordable housing requirements. The U.S. 29 corridor north of Polo Grounds Road is becoming a hotbed for development. Riverbend Development is working on the construction of between 800 and 1,550 residential units on 277 acres in Brookhill, south of Forest Lakes. Great Eastern Management Co. has begun work at North Pointe, which will have up to 893 residential units. Across U.S. 29 from North Pointe, The University of Virginia Research Park has 253 acres that could be the site of new offices, laboratories and shops, as well as property along a proposed extension of Berkmar Drive that could be the site of several apartment buildings.

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Elliott Robinson

Elliott Robinson has spent nearly 15 years in journalism and joined Charlottesville Tomorrow as its news editor in August 2018 through 2021. He is a graduate of Christopher Newport University.