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Planning commission postpones Norge apartment complex application again

jojacobs@vagazette.com

The planning commission voted to defer a decision on an application to build an apartment complex in Norge again Wednesday, postponing its recommendation and the application’s public hearing until May 2.

The application was brought before the commission Feb. 7, but last-minute recommendations from the Virginia Department of Transportation to alter the crossover at Route 60 and Oakland Drive prompted a request by the applicant to delay a decision on the application.

The application was further delayed Wednesday as Connelly Development LCC, the applicant, continues to consider VDOT’s recommendations. It also seeks more time to communicate with the community about the project. VDOT’s recommendation would alter the roadway to make left turns out of Oakland Drive onto Route 60 illegal and offer an alternative.

“We believe we have addressed VDOT’s comments, but the applicant needs additional time to confirm this as well as time to coordinate with the community on issues of concern to them,” Tim Trant wrote in a letter to the planning department on Feb. 26.

Trant is an attorney who represents Connelly Development LLC.

The applicant intends to hold a public meeting to discuss the project with area residents before it returns to the planning commission. The meeting is expected to be held late March or early April. The applicant intends to coordinate with local community groups and utilize social media to advertise the event, Trant said.

“We want to make sure we have clarity on the impacts,” Trant said.

The apartment complex is proposed for an area between Oakland Estates and Route 60 at 7581 Richmond Road near Crosswalk Church.

The apartment complex would create up to 126 units and could increase affordable housing options in the county. The new construction could prompt traffic issues, senior planner Jose Ribeiro said at the planning commission’s meeting Feb. 7.

The 14.5 acres, currently zoned general agricultural, would be rezoned to multi-family residential to accommodate the project. The project includes five buildings, which would be up to 40 feet tall, and a clubhouse.

After the planning commission votes to either recommend or not recommend the application, the application will be put before the Board of Supervisors for its approval.

In other news, the planning commission voted to recommend an application for a Wendy’s in Toano.

The 3,324-square-foot fast food restaurant with a drive-through would occupy three parcels — 9210 Old Stage Road, 9220 Old Stage Road and 9131 Barhamsville Road. The area is about 6 acres large and zoned for general business, according to county documents.

While drive-through restaurants are a permitted use in general business zoning, the site is expected to generate more than 100 peak-hour car trips, which requires a special-use permit.

No speakers weighed in during the public hearing. The application now goes to the Board of Supervisors, which is scheduled to vote on the application April 10.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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