Greene County could see some big changes along the Ruckersville U.S. Route 29 corridor (near Sheetz) if the Board of Supervisors accepts the Planning Commission’s 4-1 recommendation to approve a rezoning near Terrace Greene Apartments that will create a mixed-use development.
Planning Commissioner Steve Kruskamp voted against recommending approval to the Board of Supervisors.
The Villages at Terrace Greene plan includes 282 townhomes and roughly 278,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, including 40,000 square feet of warm lit shell (a commercial building with minimally finished interior).
The property is south of Matthew Mill Road along Route 29 north. In 2000, the property underwent the original R-1 to R-2 residential rezoning to allow for the building of Terrace Greene Apartments and R-1 to B-3 for what was then called Rapidan Center—that was all commercial space. It is now recommended to be rezoned from B-3 to PUD (planned unit development).
The project is expected to be created in three phases: the first with 22,800 feet of commercial and office space and 138 townhomes; a public park for the whole county; start construction of a private clubhouse, swimming pool and exercise facility for residents; and the Route 670 Connector Road, in cooperation with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).
Phase two will include 17,200 additional square feet of commercial and office space and two commercial pad sites, one on each side of the Route 670 Connector Road at its intersection with Route 29, as well as 40 additional townhomes.
The third phase will be market-driven commercial and office development and the remaining 104 townhomes.
The developer will pay for the completion of the park that will include parking for the public and play equipment costs up to $50,000, as well as a dog park, as part of the proffers for the project. Additionally, the developer will set aside $600,000 for signalization when warranted along the property’s frontage with Route 29 that may not be used for anything else.
Only one person spoke during the planning commission’s public hearing.
“I’m the president of the Central Virginia Partnership for Economic Development,” said Helen Cauthen. “We serve Greene County and eight other counties as a public-private partnership of business, government and higher education. Site readiness and available buildings are major weaknesses in Virginia and in our region … to create higher-paying jobs and support economic diversification. I’ll be honest; I probably cannot overstate my excitement about the Villages at Terrace Greene. This is an amazing opportunity for Greene County and I’m delighted to share my strong support for this project.”
The development will also include sidewalks and connecting streets, which affords the walkability which residents said they wanted in the growth area during the development of the Ruckersville Area Plan in 2018.
Stuart Patz of Patz and Associates noted the project in its entirety is expected to have a $2.4 million net fiscal benefit to the county, once completed.
The property owners have paid connection fees for water and sewer, so Rapidan Service Authority noted there is water and sewer capacity available.
The Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service has said the average for attached family homes is .30 children per household, which could result in approximately 84 school-age children. The Greene County Public Schools did note that Ruckersville Elementary is at capacity, but expect the building of another elementary school in that area in the next several years.
Kruskamp brought up at 11:30 p.m. that night that the commissioners had only received the remarks from VDOT just within a day or two prior to the meeting, which violates the planning commission’s bylaws.
“The bylaws are about how you conduct your meetings and the practices for conducting the meeting; they don’t restrict you from making decisions,” said Jim Frydl, director of planning and zoning administrator. “They don’t override the Code of Virginia.”
Frydl said if the question is that not enough people from the public had had the chance to see the new information then that’s a different point and unrelated to the bylaws.
“The point is whether or not you feel you’ve had enough time to review the information and be comfortable making a decision—from the information that’s come in within the last eight days,” Frydl said. “Do you feel you’ve had enough information and enough time to understand the information?”
Kruskamp moved to defer the vote to the July 21 meeting. The project had already been deferred in April and May. No one seconded and the motion died.
“In my mind, it seems like we’re wringing our hands and risking losing the project,” said Commissioner Ron Williams.
Commissioner Mike Traber moved to approve the rezoning and Williams seconded. The supervisors are expected to take it up at the July 27 meeting, but that could change. Visit www.greenecountyva.gov to see upcoming board agendas.