A developer is interested in a multi-use project to include a hotel, an apartment, housing, a grocery store and more in the Alton area, but in order to do that the Halifax County Board of Supervisors must amend their zoning ordinance to include planned use development.
Detrick Easley, planning and zoning administrator, recently approached supervisors at a retreat about incorporating conditional zoning and planned use development into their zoning ordinance.
“Incorporating these two items within the county zoning ordinance will allow the governing body to place reasonable conditions on rezoning applications and will allow future commercial development,” Easley said in an email to the Gazette.
Last month, Easley received a rezoning request from Babbs Engineering Consultants for a proposed mixed-use subdivision co-op development by Reflective Gateways Co-ops.
The proposed plan would be connected to 1064 Henry Brandon Road in Alton, and the proposed site is currently listed as owned by Art in Life Foundation and BEC, LLC.
Phase one of the proposed project includes single-family housing, investor lots and commercial space.
Phase two of the proposed project includes a commercial conference facility, a Food Lion shopping center, a hotel, a multi-family apartment and investor lots.
A green farmland and community park area also is included in the proposed project.
Allowing planned use development in the county’s zoning ordinance would allow for a “unified site design for a variety of housing types and densities, clustering of buildings, common open space and a mix of building types and land uses in which project planning and density calculation are performed for the entire development rather than on an individual lot basis.
“The planned unit development concept supports a growing urban area by encouraging a more creative approach in the development of land, while at the same time enhancing and preserving the value, spirit, character and integrity of surrounding areas which have developed or are developing under conventional district regulations,” according to Easley.
The planning and zoning administrator also suggested supervisors look into conditional zoning, which according to Virginia code, means “allowing of reasonable conditions (proffers) governing the use of property, where the conditions are in addition to, or the modification of, the regulations provided for in a particular zoning district.”
With conditional zoning, Easley said supervisors could impost conditions such as fencing, planting or other landscaping, additional setbacks from property lines, location and arrangement of lighting, setting reasonable time limitations, size, height and location of signs and “other reasonable requirements deemed necessary to safeguard the interest of the general public.”
The planning and zoning administrator also recently spoke with supervisors regarding the possibility of enacting dark sky ordinances, which are intended to reduce unnecessary light and minimize lighting impacts on surrounding properties.
But, supervisors have not currently made any amendments to their zoning ordinance, and this proposed project for Alton is on hold unless changes are made.
“Currently, the zoning ordinance does not support mixed uses as proposed neither does the comprehensive plan support the current location for commercial growth. By the board agreeing to allow the new amendments, this will allow the application to move forward. So for now the application is on hold until the new amendments are adopted,” Easley concluded.