Commission recommends property shift for Hillpoint Farms

Published 8:32 pm Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Planning Commission recommended by a 7-1 vote Tuesday that the Hillpoint Farms master plan be modified to shift 230 of the 394 proposed multi-family housing units to another part of the property off of Godwin Boulevard to allow for more commercial development.

By shifting the units, it would allow for commercial use on the property at 3904 Godwin Boulevard. Farmers Bank already exists on that section of the property, according to the city staff report. The other part of the property that is currently undeveloped and largely forested would be used for high density multi-family housing, with 164 units.

Surrounding the property is undeveloped land. There is a movie studio and commercial use to the north, commercial development and undeveloped land reserved for office and commercial use to the south, the Hillpoint Commons condominiums and undeveloped commercial property to the east and undeveloped land reserved for office and commercial use to the west.


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In 1986, City Council approved a rezoning request to create the Hillpoint Farms Planned Development Housing District, located off of Godwin Boulevard and Hillpoint Road. That original master plan called for 2,448 dwelling units and a maximum of 513 multi-family housing units within the planned development.

Council amended the master plan to reconfigure the 18-hole golf course and modify the internal street system. It also lowered by 609 units – to 1,839 – the number of units to go on the property.

In 1999, the city adopted a new unified development ordinance, which included new rules for planned development zoning. In October 2016, council approved a change in zoning of 37.65 acres from a planned development district to a residential urban zoning district.

Melissa Venable, president of Land Planning Solutions and the company representing the property owner, said that commercial development along Godwin Boulevard and the Route 10 area would increase as a result of the shifting housing units closer to the road.

“To reallocate the 230 (multi-family) units … will provide new activity near the commercial core of Hillpoint,” Venable said. “There have been other examples of similar multi-family development and growth that have subsequently spurred much-needed and welcome commercial growth right here in Suffolk, both in northern Suffolk and closer to downtown just a few miles away from this site.”

She believes the same will happen in Hillpoint, and at the same time reduce housing density. With no changes to the number of units proposed for the development, there would be no change needed to the level of service needed from the city.

“We have the urgent care there now, the doctor’s offices and the bank,” Venable said. “And then we’ll have the future growth as well as the multi-family site. This … will provide walkability, pedestrian-friendly community right there in Hillpoint.”