Village Green apartments approved

A 37-unit apartment complex was approved last week for the Chester Village Green development. The project is located on Fountain Square Plaza within the Chester Village Green development; the property where a former structure under construction collapsed killing one man.

Builder/developer George Emerson, is planning to build the apartments using an inkind contribution to the county, in addition, the cash proffer for transportation only, will be paid.

“Will commercial use be required for the first floor in this case?” asked Dan Gecker, Midlothian District Supervisor. “Planning Director Kirk Turner stated that commercial uses would be required on the first floor of the new building.”

Emerson will be building at least 40 and as many as 70 parking spaces accommodating both the parking for his apartments, as well as parking for the Chester Library.
The inkind contribution made to the county, said Carrie Coyner, attorney for Emerson, covers infrastructure costs typically proffered on cases like these.

“We wanted to make sure that the community got what it wanted and that was to add to the infrastructure that was already there,” said Coyner. “We believe these conditions will provide for a high quality product that will finish out this area so we will have a completed product except for the arts center.”

Residents in the nearby single-family neighborhood wanted additional parking.

Ms. Coyner said, since the apartment building will be 36 single-bedroom apartments, at a minimum, and one two-bedroom, the school proffer should not be required.
The schools portion of the proffer is what has been holding up the case since early this year.

The planning staff advises that a maximum proffer of $18,966 per unit would defray the cost of the capital facilities necessitated by this proposed development.
Emerson will allocate

$201,600 for parking and $7,140 per unit for transportation to be used in this area. The developer has also proffered quality standards to increase the durability and sustainability of the housing product  

Midlothian District Supervisor Dan Gecker asked, during the public hearing last week, “What you have here says the parking cost shall not exceed $201,200.  What if it does? If the cap exceeds the 40, what happens?” Gecker continued. “I’m just trying to make sure at the end of the day that the 40 get built.”

“The maximum number of parking spaces for that area is 70. What we committed was that we would provide the 40, and that will include the design of all the parking,” Coyner said. “We will continue to build the full amount so if we can get above the 40 we will keep adding to that.”

Chairman Dorothy Jaeckle said that she had asked Coyner to get together with Allan Carmody, director of  budget and management to see what they could come up with from a budgetary standpoint.

Bob Olsen of the Midlothian District chastised the Board for excepting new recommendations just short of the Board meeting. He said staff gives a deadline for information and then the application comes in late with new recommendations. “They couldn’t even get it to staff in a timely manner,” Olsen said. “Stop negotiating at the Board level… Stop cutting the citizens off at the knees.”

The Chairman made the motion to approve the Chester Village Green project. The project was approved 4-1. Jim Holland voted to deny the case because the applicant didn’t address cash proffers for parks, fire stations, roads and schools.

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