James City supervisors name interim county administrator, make housing decisions

tjefferson@vagazette.com

Supervisors named an interim county administrator and made a couple of significant housing decisions this week.

On Tuesday, William C. Porter was named interim county administrator; he will take over for Bryan Hill, whose last day is Jan. 1.

“It’s an unbelievable honor to be the interim administrator. I’m excited to work with the board of supervisors and staff. I think James City County is one of the best local governments in the state if not the best,” Porter said.

The board also approved a request to expand Williamsburg Landing and denied a proposal to add 81 homes to Ford’s Colony.

Interim county administrator

Porter’s term begins Jan. 2. He previously served for 12 years as assistant county administrator before retiring in 2008.

Hill announced in late November he will take a job as Fairfax County’s executive, a position that begins Jan. 2.

Porter served as the interim county administrator for King William County in 2010-11 and interim executive director for Williamsburg Area Transport Authority in 2015 and again in 2017.

Hill had served as James City County administrator and clerk to the supervisors since 2014.

“William Porter is well known as a solid administrator,” supervisors chairman Kevin Onizuk said. “He’s a proven leader and we look forward to having him as our interim county administrator to help through the budgeting process and keeping the county moving forward as the board begins the recruiting process to find a new administrator.”

Onizuk said there’s no timetable for when a new county administrator will be named.

County attorney Adam Kinsman said Porter’s contract is month-to-month and will pay him $10,000 monthly without benefits.

Williamsburg Landing

Supervisors also unanimously approved a request to expand Williamsburg Landing.

The senior living community’s owners proposed to build up to 65 townhouses and duplexes and 70 apartments at 20 Marclay Drive, less than a tenth of a mile from the airport.

The planning commission unanimously approved the request at its meeting on Nov. 1.

The property is designated for airport use in the comprehensive plan, and the applicant wants to use the space for housing.

The applicant, Kaufman and Canoles, asked for a deferral in April after the Virginia Department of Aviation told the county it was concerned about the proposed housing proximity to the airport and the potential for noise complaints.

Since April, the Federal Aviation Administration determined the houses would not be a hazard to air navigation.

A date to start construction hasn’t been set yet.

Ford’s Colony

The supervisors voted, 4-1, against a request from Ford’s Colony to build 81 single-family homes. Supervisors chairman Kevin Onizuk voted in favor of the proposal because he thought it was the proper use of the land.

The homes would’ve sat on 45 acres at 3400 and 3401 Westport. Eagle Construction of Virginia, the applicant, asked to rezone the property from agricultural to residential uses.

Residents spoke out against the development at the meeting, citing mostly traffic concerns.

Supervisor Michael Hipple, whose district the houses would have been placed, said residents he spoke to personally were also against the project.

“It’s a good looking project,” Hipple said. “But is it a good project for James City County and that area? That’s the question I struggled with.”

Jefferson can be reached by phone at 757-790-9313.

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