Condos to get hearing Wednesday

Published 9:08 pm Monday, August 19, 2019

Suffolk City Council will hold a public hearing Wednesday on a proposal to rezone property that was once slated to be a funeral home and owned by Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander to allow for up to 76 condominiums on East Washington Street.

The Suffolk Planning Commission voted 5-3 last month in favor of rezoning 4.4 acres of property at the intersection of East Washington Street and Suburban Drive. The total property for the condos would be 7.1 acres.

Should the rezoning from residential low medium density to residential urban receive council’s approval, Coastal Virginia Developers plans to build the condos on the two properties, with each having a minimum of 1,250 square feet of living space.

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Three of the four properties surrounding the proposed development are zoned residential urban. Those include an assisted living facility to the south, Wilson Pines Apartments to the east and an Alexander-owned property to the west.

The development would be named for Drs. L.T. and Margaret Reid, who practiced medicine in the Suffolk community for 42 years.

In November 2014, council approved a conditional use permit for Alexander to operate a 17,000-square-foot funeral home and crematorium, though it was never built due to resident opposition. Nearly three years later, Alexander got approval to open a funeral home at the site of the former DMV at 268 Holladay St.

Commissioners Johnnie Edwards, Anita Hicks and Mills Staylor voted against the rezoning, while Chairman Howard Benton, Vice Chairman Arthur Singleton, Kittrell Eberwine, John Rector and Oliver Creekmore voted in favor of recommending the proposal to council.

During a public hearing at July’s commission meeting, Oak Grove Baptist Church Assistant Pastor Sylvia Copeland-Murphy spoke in favor of the project, while a pair of residents spoke in opposition.

The staff report for the proposed development noted that it would generate 38 total morning peak trips and 50 total afternoon peak trips should the site be developed to 76 units. Turn lanes would not be required for the project.

Other public hearings on the agenda include ones on:

  • Issue general obligation bonds of up to $25.4 million to finance the costs of capital projects for designated projects.
  • Rezoning of a pair of properties on C Street near Portsmouth Boulevard from general commercial to residential urban to add 15 townhomes to The Meadows at Moore’s Pointe townhome development, which is planned for 70 townhomes.
  • A conditional use permit request to establish a home daycare for up to 12 children on Magnolia Drive.
  • A conditional use permit request to expand parking and add a drive-through lane at the Chick-fil-A on Burbage Drive.

The council is also expected to take up proposed ordinances to authorize paying police officer bonuses and amending the city’s no-wake zone ordinance.

On the agenda for the council’s work session include a presentation from Suffolk Police Chief Thomas Bennett on his department’s recruitment and retention initiatives, and an update on the Suffolk Executive Airport and economic development. There is also a scheduled closed session to discuss appointments, active shooter training, a pair of economic development proposals and acquisition of property in Northgate Commerce Park and a pair of properties next to each other off of Hampton Roads Parkway.