By Kim Walter -- firstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- After HEPTAD's initial rezoning application in 2005, Town Council has approved an updated one for a proposed development project known an Swan Estates.
The proposed Leach Run Parkway would run through a portion of the 98.25 acre property, which is on the eastern side of Front Royal by the Happy Creek Knolls subdivision and two Warren County public schools.
Now that the application is approved, the property has been rezoned from an R-S Suburban Residential District to a Planned Neighborhood Development District, which allows for a higher density of dwellings.
The proposed use would allow up to 450 dwellings, or 4.58 dwellings per acre. Planning and Zoning Director Jeremy Camp said this would include condos and a mixture of single-family attached and detached dwellings.
"There's also about 45 percent of the property left for open space," Camp said. The space is planned to incorporate a neighborhood park, he said, and added that the rezoning was consistent with the town's Comprehensive Plan.
The park would be 3.5 acres, and have space for multi-purpose sports, a playground, picnic area and possibly a walking trail. The proffer statement also proposes a passive recreational spot for a bird habitat preservation area.
"This is a good partnership between HEPTAD and the town," said Camp. He explained that the applicant would pay between $6 and $7 million in cash proffers, with about $4 million of that going to the town.
Camp said 9 acres of the property is set aside for commercial use, which would be right next to where the proposed Leach Run Parkway would run. The proffer statement agrees to construct two lanes of Leach Run Parkway following the construction of the first 130 dwellings.
However, if the town starts construction on the parkway sooner, then construction of the road running through the property would have to happen sooner, Camp said.
The proffer statement also requires that a temporary construction road be built from Va. 55 to the property, as a precaution to separate that traffic from residential and school traffic.
According to recommendations from the Planning and Zoning staff, "the applicant has made significant proffers to help mitigate the impacts of the development and generally improve how the future development of the property will help the Town of Front Royal prosper."