Pro­posed Rock­etts Land­ing ex­pan­sion clears Hen­rico plan­ners

Richmond Times-Dispatch - - REMEBERING - BY DEB­BIE TRUONG dtruong@times­dis­ (804) 649-6734 Twit­ter: @deb­bi­etruong

A pro­posed Rock­etts Land­ing ex­pan­sion has cleared its first pro­ce­dural hur­dle.

A re­zon­ing ap­pli­ca­tion that would per­mit de­vel­oper WVS Cos. to build a dozen town houses at the river­side com­mu­nity that strad­dles the Rich­mondHen­rico County line was rec­om­mended for ap­proval by Hen­rico’s Plan­ning Com­mis­sion at its meet­ing Thurs­day night. The homes would be lo­cated at 5100 Old Os­borne Turn­pike, a 1.4-acre piece of land that abuts three sides of ex­ist­ing and planned parts of Rock­etts.

The com­mis­sion ad­vanced the ap­pli­ca­tion to the county’s Board of Su­per­vi­sors for a fi­nal de­ci­sion. An ac­com­pa­ny­ing pro­vi­sional-use per­mit that would al­low build­ings taller than 60 feet also was for­warded along with the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion’s bless­ing.

WVS re­cently reached an agree­ment to pur­chase the land, which cur­rently houses a ware­house, for the town homes and a park­ing lot. The homes are ex­pected to span 2,200 to 2,400 square feet and fea­ture two-car garages.

Jim Theobald, an at­tor­ney rep­re­sent­ing WVS, said dur­ing re­marks to the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion that the ware­house there now doesn’t do much to serve as a por­tal into Hen­rico.

“This re­ally is a gate­way to Va­rina,” Theobald said. “This whole area would ben­e­fit.”

Va­rina res­i­dent Amanda Richard­son was one of two peo­ple who ex­pressed op­po­si­tion to the per­mit that would al­low build­ings to ex­ceed 60 feet. While the de­vel­oper said that the town houses likely would not tower that high, Richard­son said af­ter the meet­ing that she is con­cerned that a per­mit would give the de­vel­oper the abil­ity to con­struct a build­ing that does.

The homes likely will be built by HHHunt, ac­cord­ing to Theobald and the de­vel­oper. Sim­i­lar homes con­structed by HHHunt at Rock­etts have sold for be­tween $350,000 and $400,000.

The new town homes would be a por­tion of the next devel­op­ment phase at Rock­etts, which also in­cludes the con­struc­tion of a 156-unit apart­ment build­ing. Ground will be bro­ken on that project in about a week.

Cur­rently, Rock­etts con­sists of four blocks with 249 con­do­mini­ums and 44 town houses. A to­tal of 20 blocks are planned, and WVS hopes to de­velop all of the blocks in the next eight years.

WVS would like the land re­zoned from a gen­eral in­dus­trial district to an ur­ban mixed-use district, which would mir­ror the zon­ing for the Hen­rico por­tion of Rock­etts Land­ing that al­ready ex­ists.

In other busi­ness, Va­rina District rep­re­sen­ta­tive Eric Le­abough was unan­i­mously elected chair­man of the panel for the year. He suc­ceeds Chris “C.W.” Archer.

Robert Witte Jr., the plan­ning com­mis­sioner for the Brook­land District, was unan­i­mously named vice chair­man.

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