Development Review Committee discusses affordable apartments on Richmond Road

The James City County planning commission will hear a request to build affordable apartments on Richmond Road in the near future.

The proposed development, at 7581 Richmond Road, would include five three-story apartment buildings with a total of 126 units and a clubhouse.

The request will likely be on the commission’s December or January agenda, according to planning commissioner Danny Schmidt.

AES Consulting Engineers, the applicant, is proposing to build where there is currently a house and a barn. AES Consulting proposed the apartments to the county Development Review Committee during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

The apartments would be two bedroom and three bedroom. The applicant said rental rates would hover in between $658 for a two bedroom and $1100 for a three bedroom during the meeting.

The land is currently zoned A-1, general agriculture and would have to be rezoned to R-5, which is multifamily residential.

Schmidt said in order to maintain some of the rural character, the applicant is proposing to build around the trees in the surrounding area between Richmond Road and the development.

The applicant said the housing would be tailored for recent college graduates, teachers and police officers.

The starting salary for a Williamsburg- James City County teacher is $41,500. The starting salary for a county police officer is $38,139.

The proposal also includes an on site playground and fitness room.

County planning staff was concerned about the walk-ability of the site since many residents who live there aren’t expected to have cars.

County planning staff proposed a sidewalk that residents could use to walk to the neighboring shopping center, which has a Food Lion and CVS.

“It would be nice if a sidewalk was built so residents could move around safely,” Schmidt said.

The proposed apartments would be next to three WATA stops, according to the applicant.

The application would still have to pass through the planning commission and board of supervisors.

No vote was taken on the request at Wednesday’s meeting.

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

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