Public hearings on intersection, housing

Published 9:36 pm Monday, March 18, 2019

Suffolk City Council will hold public hearings Wednesday to rezone property for a proposed 140-unit housing development along Holland Road near Kilby Shores and to acquire property for the Bridge and Shoulders Hill roads intersection project.

The Planning Commission, by a 6-0 vote on Feb. 19, approved the rezoning request from Bob Arnette, president of Portsmouth-based Coastal Virginia Partners LLC for a proposed development for 83 townhomes and 50 single-family homes on more than 21 acres off of Holland Road, with the property near wetlands that split that property from the Kilby Shores neighborhood.

The public hearing at the council meeting would be for an ordinance to rezone the property. During a public hearing at the February commission meeting, Kilby Shores resident Dave Lego said he opposed the project because he said it would set aside too little space for the wetlands, and he thought the project was too dense compared to the surrounding area. He also believed that traffic flow on Holland Road to the Route 58 bypass would be a problem.

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About 17 acres of the property farthest from Holland Road is currently zoned as residential low-medium density, with the rest of it closer to the road zoned for general commercial use. All of the property, if approved for rezoning, would shift to residential urban zoning.

The public hearing for the Bridge and Shoulders Hill roads intersection project is for an ordinance that would allow for the city to acquire property in the area where work would take place. The project’s timeline said this is expected to take more than two years, with construction on the intersection changes not beginning until December 2021.

The $24 million intersection project would widen Bridge Road from four to six lanes from about 2,000 feet west of the intersection, to about 3,300 feet east of the intersection. It would also widen Shoulders Hill Road from two to four lanes for about 1,500 feet south of the intersection.

The project would also add a through lane on northbound Shoulders Hill Road to Knotts Neck Road, along with a dedicated “slip-lane,” which does not require a stop to turn onto eastbound Bridge Road.

There are also plans for upgrades to traffic signals, stormwater, street lighting and a 10-foot multi-use path and five-foot sidewalk.

In other items on the agenda, the council will hold a joint work session with the School Board, and it will also hear the city assessor’s annual report at that time.

During the regular session, there will also be a public hearing on an ordinance to grant a conditional use permit to establish an unmanned electric substation at 400 Copeland Road. The council will also hear a staff report on the city’s Transit Development Plan.

The council work session begins at 4 p.m., with the public hearings and regular council meeting beginning at 7 p.m. in the City Council chamber at 442 W. Washington St.