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500-unit development proposed in Hollymead

A 500-unit development could be coming to Hollymead.

Stony Point Development Group and Dominion Realty Partners recently submitted an application to Albemarle County seeking approval for a project “comprised of low-rise apartments, condominiums and townhouse units.”

The development, to be known as Holly Hills, would be located on just shy of 31 acres of largely wooded land at the southeast corner of U.S. Route 29 and South Hollymead Drive surrounded on three sides by existing residential development.

The submitted plans call for detached townhouses as well as one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, as well as amenities including a pool, dog park, recreation areas and green space.

Just to Holly Hills’ south would be the RST Residences, a large development approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2021, much to the chagrin of some in the Forest Lakes Neighborhood Association. Those neighbors cited road safety and traffic, school overcrowding, building heights and possible stormwater runoff dangers as the cause behind their concerns. Only one county supervisor voted against that development: Bea LaPisto-Kirtley, whose Rivanna District includes the area where the project will be located.

Those skeptical of Holly Hills will have plenty of time to make their opposition known. The development still has a significant number of hurdles to clear as no public meeting has yet been held.

Eventually, the Holly Hills application will need to have two public hearings — one before the Planning Commission and one before the Board of Supervisors — county spokeswoman Abbey Stumpf told The Daily Progress. “Neither public hearing has been scheduled at this time.”

Before either of those meetings, Stumpf said the county and the applicants will schedule a separate event, “where nearby property owners will be invited to learn more about the proposal and provide comment.”

For now, county staff will review the submitted application and provide the applicant with questions, comments and concerns.

The Holly Hills application claims that both Dominion Realty and Stony Point met with “representatives from the Forest Lakes and Hollymead communities” on Sept. 13 to hear their concerns.

According to the application, the joint venture will consider mitigating any adverse impacts to neighboring properties and public roads. It would also build a right turn lane to access the property from Route 29 in an effort to create a safe access point and help with traffic flow.

“Through use of the site’s natural topography, proposed vegetative and forested buffers, and building layout, Holly Hills is designed to respect the character of the surrounding area,” the application reads.

It claims the project is in accordance with the county Comprehensive Plan, and that it includes a “significant commitment” to affordable housing.

According to the application, at least 15% of all multifamily units in the project will consist of affordable housing units.

“Affordable” in this instance means 80% of the area’s median income, which some argue is not particularly affordable. In nearby Charlottesville’s current zoning proposal, affordable units must be at 60% of AMI, while housing advocates argue it should be 50% or lower.

The proposal seems to suggest that while the sales price of the townhouse units may be high, they’ll be affordable because of their size.

“Although the sale price of the townhome units may not qualify as affordable under the County standards, the modest size of the townhome units are proposed to allow them to be more affordable for Albemarle County residents without the need for a housing subsidy,” the application says.

Neither Dominion Realty nor Stony Point responded to multiple requests for comment from The Daily Progress about the proposed project.


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