Archived Story

Apartments vote set

Published 9:58pm Monday, June 16, 2014

The City Council on Wednesday will consider a developer’s request to rezone land in the 3300 block of Bridge Road to build apartments instead of office space.

The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. at City Council chambers, 441 Market St.

Located at 3345 Bridge Road near the Bennett’s Creek Bridge, the site — dubbed Bennett’s Creek Commons — has not attracted the number of tenants the developers had hoped for, Jim Bradford of Hassell and Folks P.C. said in a letter to the city. Only one building has been constructed on the site.

The rezoning and conditional use permit would allow 144 apartment units at the site. However, city staff and the Planning Commission both have recommended denial of the request, and a bevy of neighbors opposed to the project also are expected to make an appearance at Wednesday’s meeting.

Locating residences or strip retail centers along high-speed, high-traffic roadways is discouraged in the Unified Development Ordinance, planner Shanda Davenport said in a staff report at the March Planning Commission meeting. The land is isolated from other residential, civic and neighborhood business uses, she added.

Nearby residents have a number of concerns: environmental effects, the capacity of local schools to handle the students, housing children near the busy highway and waterways, and more.

The City Council voted in April to table the matter for 60 days.

Also set for Wednesday’s 7 p.m. meeting are a rezoning at Ricky’s Custom Carts at 1574 Holland Road, a conditional use permit to allow an auto storage lot and vehicle tow yard at 3909 Nansemond Parkway, various changes to the Unified Development Ordinance and city code regarding stormwater runoff and wetlands, and changes to the city’s lineup of boards, commissions and committees.

During the 4 p.m. work session, the City Council will receive updates on bear safety, proposed precious metal ordinance changes and Route 460 corridor improvements.

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