Council approves Hillpoint Farms amendment

Published 10:00 am Thursday, February 29, 2024

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Following a public hearing during its Wednesday, Feb. 21 meeting, Suffolk City Council voted 7 to 0 to approve proffered conditions of Hillpoint Farms Planned Development for the portion designated as River Highlands, Phase 3, for property located on Getty Rd.

Director of Planning and Community Development Kevin Wyne presented the ordinance to the council, detailing that the amendment is a request to modify existing proffers relating to the now closed Nansemond River Golf Course, which allowed up to 195 additional residential units on portions of the course at the time.

“The purpose of this request specifically is to modify two design standards that were outlined in the proffer statements, specifically proffer number 7 to leverage 69 of those 195 units while continuing the development of the River Highland subdivision, which is immediately adjacent.”

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Wyne says the 34-acre tract is a portion of the Nansemond River Golf Club rezoning approved for the 195 units and would offer an expansion of the River Highlands development, acting as its third phase. Likewise, he details the applicant looks to amend both proffers related to architectural standards associated with the 2021 rezoning request.

“Phases one and two of River Highlands currently contain 178 single-family residential lots. …This would add an additional 69 to that. These phases are nearing full build-out at this point,” Wyne said. “The applicant is requesting to remove these two design standards… One which relates to the requirement that the residential units have brick skirting and the other requiring that the front loaded garages be setback 2 feet behind the front building plane.”

Wyne says that these two phases conflict with the products they’ve built in River Highlands and requests them to be removed for continuity. Due to the proposed amendment not affecting the density or intensity of the use, the amendment was forwarded directly to Suffolk City Council instead of going through the Planning Commission. Applicant Richard “Tuck” Bowie of the Terry Peterson Companies spoke in favor of the ordinance.

“As your planning director indicated, this is not about changing zoning, this is not about impacting the density or the number of units, not about changing lot sizes, it’s merely to eliminate two proffers,” Bowie said.