Housing projects move ahead

Published 9:47 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2015

During a meeting that was moved due to the winter weather, the Suffolk Planning Commission on Tuesday recommended the approval of several developments, including more than 210 new housing units.

Commissioners voted to recommend approval of 114 new single-family homes and 47 townhomes for land off Nansemond Parkway and Portsmouth Boulevard.

Developers are seeking to increase the project’s density. The site of Moore’s Point — named after the Moore family farm the subdivision would be built upon — would be rezoned from residential low-medium.

Email newsletter signup

City staff had recommended approval of the 36-acre project. Before agreeing, commissioners questioned a representative of Coastal Virginia Developers LLC, the developer, over matters including access points and the cleanup of a salvage yard currently encompassing part of the site.

They heard from one resident of adjoining neighborhood Beamon’s Mill, who claimed the rezoning would impact part of his property. Charles J. Bodnar, the developer’s representative, said he would get with the property owner and work it out.

“We are not impacting anyone else’s property with what we propose to do,” Bodnar said.

The developer plans to pay $220,000 toward the construction of new middle and high schools.

Commissioners also decided to recommend approval of rezoning and conditional use permit requests that would lower the age restriction from 62 to 55, and reduce the number of units to 50, for a seniors housing project on King’s Fork Road.

City staff had recommended approval, deciding the proposal is “appropriate for the surrounding area,” planner Thomas Jordan said.

The project was originally approved in 2005 with 120 units spread across two three-story buildings. Under the new plans, all buildings would be single-story.

City Council approved the project in its Wednesday meeting.

The developers of both Moore’s Point and Epps Senior Residences have said the requested changes to their respective plans accommodate market changes.

Commissioners were more wary about the next item — a conditional use permit request for a new 300-seat-santuary church on a site on C Street with a high water table and the need to extend a waterline, according to the report.

“In my limited opinion, I would say this is not a desirable site for any type of building purposes,” Commissioner Thomas Savage said.

Hollis D. Ellis, on their behalf, said the applicant was aware of the issues and, after discussions with city staff, has plans to overcome them.

The request was recommended for approval with conditions, affirming the recommendation of city planners.

Finally, commissioners followed the lead of planners in recommending approval, with conditions, of a conditional use permit to allow the expansion of a power substation on Davenport Court.