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Supervisors approve 100 rental housing units near NGIC

A project that will bring 100 rental housing units near the National Ground Intelligence Center was approved Wednesday night.

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 during a virtual meeting to approve permits for the River’s Edge development along U.S. 29. Supervisor Liz Palmer was absent.

Project engineer Justin Shimp said the concept is similar to accessory dwelling units, and half of the units will be size-restricted to 1,200 square feet and half to 900 square feet.

“The principle here is that we are going to work with a modular type of construction, a smaller unit that can be placed on stilts or on a column foundation rather than having to clear and grade the whole site,” he said.

The proposal is to rezone two parcels totaling 32.52 acres from Rural Areas to Planned Residential Development, which allows for residential of between three and 34 units per acre. The project would have a gross density of approximately three units per acre and a net density of 12 units per acre.

In Albemarle’s Places29 Master Plan, which is part of the county’s Comprehensive Plan, the Parkway Place property is shown on the future land use map as neighborhood density residential, which is three to six units per acre, and private open space.

County staff said the master plan recommends a maximum of 51 units using the calculation of net density.

The Comprehensive Plan is the county’s guiding document for its long-term vision for land use and resource protection, and includes master plans for the designated development areas of the county. County staff and the Board of Supervisors look to the Comprehensive Plan as part of the rezoning process.

In May, the county Planning Commission voted 5-1 to recommend approval of the rezoning and special use permit for the project.

Chris Barry, the president of Access Properties, which owns the property, said his company has placed the tenants on month to month leases, and that it will be a year before he does anything on the property.

“I’m going to try to fulfill some of their needs by renting them some other houses that I have in my portfolio, if I can,” he said.

The supervisors were mostly supportive of the project.

“I find this to be a fascinating and innovative approach to housing,” Supervisor Donna Price said.

Some were concerned about there being only one access point to the property, but the county fire rescue department said sprinklers in the buildings negated the necessity for a second route.


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