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Planning Commission mulling rezoning request for townhouses at Fairview Beach

Recommendation expected at next week’s meeting

The Planning Commission will reconsider a rezoning request by Fairview Beach, LLC to rezone 9.33664 acres, with proffers, from Retail Commercial (C-1) to Multi-Family Dwelling District (R-3).
In December, a public hearing was held in December, but action was postponed until January.
~ STAFF RECOMMENDS DENIAL    Director of Community Development Jack Green is recommending denial of the rezoning request.  
The Board of Supervisors will have the final say in the matter after it gets a recommendation from the Planning Commission.  
The property is located in Fairview Beach on Pavilion Drive, identified as Tax Map 14, Parcel 1.  Access to the property is provided by Fairview Drive (Route 696).  
The purpose of the rezoning is to create a town house development with a maximum dwelling count of 74 units.
~ TRAILER PARK & CAMP GROUND WOULD GO    The current land use is as a camp ground and mobile home park.  
60 camp ground sites are located along the north portion of the property adjacent to the Potomac River.  
There are 30 mobile home lots, with most of them located along the southern property line, away from the Potomac River.  
29 of the mobile home lots are leased on a month-to-month basis to residents who own their own mobile homes.  They will be given six months to relocate if the rezoning is approved.
The camp ground and mobile home park are both legal nonconforming uses under the existing Retail Commercial (C-1) zoning, and may continue.  Neither be expanded nor enlarged.  
Likewise, new residential uses are not permitted to be constructed within the C-1 Zoning District.
The requested zoning is for Multi-Family Dwelling District (R-3).  The proposed zoning would allow townhouses at a density of eight units per acre.  
~ PROPOSED ENTRANCES    The applicant’s general development plan proposes a new primary entrance to the town house development located on Fairview Drive (Route 696).  The existing unimproved entrance would be retained to provide access to the existing restaurant and general store, with access between the town house development, restaurant and store.
But, while the proffers indicate the development would be served by one vehicular access point, the general development plan indicates that access to the town house development could be gained by the two noted vehicular access points.
~ FISCAL IMPACT    A fiscal impact summary was provided by the applicant that compares costs and revenues associated with the development over a 10-year period.  The applicant estimates that over the 10-year time frame that the county would see a net gain of $30K per year from property tax, meals tax, and miscellaneous fees/transfers.
~ TRAFFIC IMPACT ANALYSIS    A traffic impact analysis was performed 3 years ago in April 2006 from counts done in March 2006.  
The applicant says the proposed development would have minimal impact on traffic, would not lower the level service, nor create the need for a left hand turn lane going into the property.  
The staff report indicates that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reviewed the traffic impact analysis and commented that it was acceptable.
Bob Moesle, Managing Member of Fairview Beach, LLC, spoke on the request saying the Comprehensive Plan encourages mixed use development and also encourages pedestrian-oriented development.
He noted that the Fairview Beach Residents Association provided a letter in support of the townhouse proposal.  
He also said that the minimum size of each townhouse would be 1,650 square feet.
~ PROFFERS    The proffers include cash to be provided to the county in accordance with existing approved proffer guidelines.  The cash would be paid to the county at the time of issuance of each individual building permit.
The applicant is proffering to plan, build, pay and give to the county the water and sewer improvements necessary to serve the development.
~ PUBLIC COMMENT     The public hearing in December garnered comments from four members of the public.  
Terence O’Toole said he was in favor of the rezoning and that it is in line with some of the changes taking place in the rest of Fairview Beach.  
Rita Lund also said she was in favor of the request, adding that it was in keeping with the community.
Elizabeth Strank said she could likely support the proposal if the proposed entrance is relocated.  She also had other questions, including a concern about how estimated revenue to the county was calculated by the applicant, noting that the restaurant is located on a pier in the Potomac River, which would place it Maryland, so she questioned whether meals taxes are paid to the county.
Regina Myers, a mobile home owner leasing a lot on the property, said she was concerned about what would happen to her and the other mobile home owners, questioning whether the applicant would assist with costs to relocated trailers and whether it would be possible to provide longer than six months following possible approval.  
~ ZONING HISTORY OF THE PROPERTY    The staff report indicated that in October 1996 the Board of Supervisors denied a request by Tom DeShazo to rezone the same parcel to R-3.  
In addition, in May 2008, the Board of Supervisors approved a request to rezone a nearby parcel by Charles R. Bowie for 8.65 Acres of Tax Map 14, Parcel 6A from Retail Commercial District (C-1) to General Trade District (C-2) and 1.45 Acres of Tax Map 14, Parcel 6A from Rural Agricultural (A-2) to General Trade District (C-2).
~ REASONS FOR DENIAL RECOMMENDATION    The staff is recommending denial of the rezoning request for three main reasons.  Here are the reasons:
The requested density is inconsistent with recommendations of King George County Comprehensive Plan, which is for future density to be “low to moderate” with one dwelling unit suggested per each 2 to 10 acres.
Also, the number of units to be served by a single access easement is inconsistent with the County Subdivision Ordinance Design Standards, which sets a cap of 60 units to be served by a single access road, with 74 units requested by the applicant.
In addition, the applicant proposes to serve the town house development with a new entrance meeting Virginia Department of Transportation Standards, but also retain access through the existing unimproved entrance.  If the rezoning is approved, the staff recommends that the applicant volunteer to bring the existing entrance into conformance with the County and VDOT standards.

By Phyllis Cook, Staff Reporter

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