Planning Commission split on Forest Glen affordable housing

The James City County planning commission split a vote, three for and three against on a proposal to add affordable housing at 310 Walker Drive and 204 Forest Glen. 

Commissioners Tim O'Connor, Richard Krapf and Danny Schmidt voted for the proposal while Jack Haldeman, John Wright III and Robin Bledsoe voted against during the May 3 planning commission meeting. 

"I think the community would benefit," said Krapf. "This is probably the best use for the acreage." 

The county would suffer a loss of $206,627 because of the development, according to the county memo. 

"We keep digging a digger and deeper hole, eventually we will have to raise taxes or something to cover the costs of developments," said Wright. "I'm in favor of the concept but I find it difficult to vote yes."

The proposal will still be passed onto the Board of Supervisors for a public hearing. 

The homes would sit on 16 acres in 45 new lots.

Each home in the development would sit on a 0.14-acre lot, according to planning director, Paul Holt. The development would be accessible through Forest Glen Drive.

Elliot York, the applicant for the proposal, said the affordable housing would fill a need in the community. 

"It seems with the way rental pricing is going it's almost more expensive than paying a mortgage," York said. 

The homes would be in the low $200,000 range and on average be around 1500 square feet, according to York.

Bledsoe said she considered that price range as too expensive for work force housing.

Pending zoning and construction approval, York said he would estimate construction would take a year to a year and a half. 

York said his proposal also plans to improve the existing playground. 

York held a public meeting in December and said the response was favorable.  

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

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