The Greene County Board of Supervisors approved Dec. 10 a rezoning and special use permit for 120 new age-restricted apartments located on U.S. 29 south of the Holly Hill neighborhood.

The board approved the rezoning from R-1 residential to R-2 residential in a 4-1 vote with Midway Supervisor Marie Durrer voting against. Durrer voted against the special use permit to allow apartments as well.

The 7.76-acre tract is about a quarter of a mile from the Greene’s southern boundary with Albemarle County and across the highway from Dunkin’ Donuts.

The Planning Commission voted 3-1 to recommend approval of the rezoning on Aug. 21.

Director of Planning Jim Frydl said the area is designated as mixed use residential on future land maps. The property has access to water and sewer through Rapidan Service Authority.

“If you don’t utilize the infrastructure of roads, water and sewer to put the higher density growth … you end up with sprawl,” Frydl said. “And the number one goal of the comprehensive plan is to keep Greene green.”

Seminole Casa Development, which will be 120 apartments for those 55 years and older, will generate about 866 new daily trips with 57 new morning peak hour trips and 69 peak afternoon trips, according to a traffic study by Engineering and Planning Resources.

Seminole Casa is not expected to impact schools because it’s for senior living. According to the market analysis done by the applicant, Frydl said the development is expected to bring in $140,000 in tax revenue annually.

“There is a great demand, not only great demand in Greene County, but also the surrounding area for age-restricted housing,” said Butch Wilberger, property consultant for the applicant. “We feel like this age-restricted project is well-positioned to meet the growing need for independent senior housing.”

The building will be three stories with an elevator and is geared to those aged 55-79. Roughly 40% of the apartments will be one bedroom and the remaining will be two bedrooms, Wilberger said, with rents about $1,500-1,700 per month.

No one spoke at either public hearing Dec. 10 on the project.

The Planning Commission approved the special use permit for the apartments at its Oct. 16 meeting 3-2 with 15 conditions, including the types of siding to be used and requiring the apartments remain 55 and older. Conditions also included a 30-foot buffer between the development and Holly Hill and a 20-foot vegetated buffer along U.S. Route 29. Additionally, the applicant must build a right turn lane into the entrance to Virginia Department of Transportation standards and extend the turn lane into Dunkin’ Donuts from U.S. 29 south to allow residents to U-turn to head back into Ruckersville.

“While I struggle with the traffic pieces … I’m not a traffic engineer,” said Ruckersville Supervisor Michelle Flynn. “But I do struggle sometimes at what VDOT deems is acceptable volume and delays. (For) those of us who drive the road every day, the experience is a little bit different.”

At-Large Supervisor Dale Herring agreed.

“I do have concerns about the traffic pulling out, but I’m not the traffic engineer,” he said. “I think overall the project sounds like a sound project.”

Stanardsville Supervisor and Board Chair Bill Martin agreed it’s a good project.

“There’s clearly a market demand for that type of affordable housing for 55 and older,” Martin said. “And it’s close to amenities. Not having school impacts is a big, big bonus for us. I heard the applicants say they’re OK with these 15 conditions. I personally am very pleased with all the work that the Planning Commission and staff put into this. I know this was a long, long review.”

Editor, Greene County Record

Terry Beigie is the Editor of the Greene County Record in Stanardsville. She can be reached at tbeigie@greene-news.com or (434) 985-2315.

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