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Posted May 20, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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Road may be cleared for retail developer

Planners endorse vacating section of city street for project

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- A new shopping center planned for the city nearly 10 years ago could finally move forward.

The Planning Commission voted 6-0 on Tuesday to recommend the City Council approve vacating an unimproved section of Spring Street, just west of its intersection with Greystone Terrace.

The vacation is a required step in the development of property to the north of the Kmart shopping center between South Pleasant Valley Road and the CSX Railroad tracks.

Before the meeting, JDC Winchester withdrew its application to conditionally rezone 3.4 acres of land at 1519 and 1523 S. Pleasant Valley Road. The public hearing required for the application was rendered not needed. Instead, the applicant sought the vacation of the unimproved right of way.

The application also sought to conditionally rezone 0.8 acres at 201 Spring Street from residential to business, and to amend proffers pertaining to 5.37 acres of conditional business zoning at 222 Spring Street.

According to a plat of the property by commercial real estate firm KLNB, the site was to contain an Applebee's restaurant, a grocery store, a bank and space for other retail shops.

The applicant also no longer wanted to request the vacation of the improved Spring Street between Greystone Terrace and a point near the rear of Goodwill Industries and Winchester Wheels.

In March 2000, the council approved a conditional rezoning for the property, and a proffer included the vacation of the right of way, according to Planning Director Tim Youmans. But the property has changed owners since then, Youmans said after the meeting.

The city's comprehensive plan calls for the elimination of most of Spring Street, officials said, and to construct a cul-de-sac at the end of Greystone Terrace.

The city would seek to retain bicycle, pedestrian and emergency-vehicle access between Greystone Terrace and Spring Street, officials have said.

With the vacation of the section of Spring Street, the land would be consolidated into adjacent parcels as part of a minor subdivision.

The matter will go to the council for possible action at its planning and development committee meeting on June 9.

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