HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) — A 28-home development on two scraps of leftover land in Western Henrico are struggling to gain approval from the Board of Supervisors, as the case was deferred amid opposition from residents.
The planned development would add 28 homes to two parcels on either side of John Rolfe Parkway. The two parcels, sandwiched between John Rolfe Parkway and the sprawling suburbs that surround them, are currently zoned for agriculture – a holdover from the area’s rural past.
Now, Pemberton Investments, a Glen Allen-based developer, wants to construct 28 homes across the two parcels. The plan already drew opposition when it came before the planning commission, which approved the rezoning application but made several adjustments to appease nearby residents.
“The new layout, versus the one that was included in the staff report, achieves a better design, creating wider lots and reducing the number of lots to 13” on the Western parcel, a planning official said. He added that the plan for the other parcel had similarly been revised.
But Pavesh Matha, who lives in a home adjacent to the proposed development, said it wasn’t enough.
“I do feel like the lot sizes are still a bit too small for the surrounding neighborhood,” he told the board during a public hearing. “We’d like those to be increased to a minimum.”
Several other residents spoke at the meeting in opposition to the project, citing construction noise, traffic and the removal of trees from the parcels as areas of concern.
“Our main concern, with my neighbors and our community, is the traffic, the safety and especially noise,” said Brendan Roach
“I would like this board at least to put in some protections for keeping those existing trees with a very large buffer,” Matha added.
“Obviously, these are construction hours that are typical,” Andrew Condlin, representing the developer, responded. “One of the key points is to be able to get in – you don’t want to elongate construction by reducing construction hours.”
Condlin ultimately agreed to move the start of construction hours from 7 am to 8 am, to avoid overlapping with school transportation.
Meanwhile, county planning staff pushed back on the concerns over tree cover ,with one official saying, “I think while, yes, in order for land to develop, trees will have to come down, there’s a great deal of vegetation being added back. As I said, we pride ourselves on our landscaping.”
In the end, on a motion from board member Thomas Branin, the board decided to defer their decision on the case until September 13, opening the door for further changes to the zoning conditions.