Developer outlines plan of homes; donating land for school, parks

By Alex Bridges

Papers filed with Front Royal show how a developer would use land it wants to have annexed by the town.

The Front Royal Limited Partnership faces many requirements under a rezoning plan submitted to town staff earlier this month as the developer builds homes on 600-acre property in the annexation proposal. Most of the requirements deal with transportation needs in and around the property, but the developer also must give a large piece of the land to Warren County for a school site.

The firm continues to work with town and Warren County officials on a proposal to bring more than 600 acres of land into the town limits. Earlier this month, the Front Royal Limited Partnership filed a rezoning plan that outlines how the firm would develop the property after the town annexes the land. The outline includes “proffers,” or proposed steps, amenities and monetary contributions to local government used to offset the costs of development.

The land would fall within the town agricultural and open space preservation district once annexed. The proffer statement calls for the development of no more than 818 dwelling units on 422.7 acres of the property. Of that number of units, the plan sets maximums of 715 for single-family detached homes and 144 single-family attached or multifamily dwellings. Each single-family home would span a minimum of 1,600 gross square feet.

The proffer statement also outlines a phased approach to the development of the property. The developer can build no more than 60 homes in any calendar year following the approval of the first, final plat for all or part of the property, the document states.

Before the issuance of the 200th building permit, the applicant must dedicate approximately 56 acres to the Warren County Board of Supervisors identified as community open space and school for future use as a site for either an elementary or middle school. The agreement doesn’t obligate the board to accept the land, but supervisors do have three months to take action or else the applicant no longer has to dedicate such space.

Likewise, before the issuance of the first building permit, the applicant must build a right-turn lane on westbound Happy Creek Road, and a left-turn lane on the eastbound side, at Shenandoah Shores within the existing right-of-way.

To receive the first final record plat for the development of the property, the applicant must dedicate no less than 100 feet of right-of-way for the future construction of an east-west connector road.

Front Royal Limited Partnership shall give the town $225,000 either for the construction of a traffic signal at Va. 606 and Happy Creek Road or to pay for improvements to Leach Run Parkway.

The rezoning plan also calls for the applicant to make road improvements based on traffic studies and whether or not routes and intersections meet certain levels of service. Should the developer need to keep an average level of service at certain key areas, the firm would need to contribute $1 million to Front Royal to improve the intersections at Happy Creek Road and Shenandoah Shores Road as well as at Commerce Avenue and the east-west connector. These improvements only are required if the traffic impact analysis filed with the rezoning application recommends the changes.

Under the rezoning plan, the developer must set aside a minimum of 30 percent of the property for use as permanent open space. Allowable uses include not only parks but also stormwater management facilities.

The developer would need to build a walking trail on one side of the east-west connector and on one side of the internal loop road to the north of the connector with a minimum width of 6 feet on one side. Should the town approve all final subdivision plant, that would permit sidewalks on one side of each street in the development, the applicant also would need to build alternative walking trails at least 5 feet wide and 3 miles long.

The applicant proposes to build a neighborhood park no later than the issuance of the 200th building permit. A second park would be built by the 400th permit and a third by the issuance of the 600th permit. The plan includes details of the amenities included in each neighborhood park.

In addition to the monetary contributions paid to Front Royal, the applicant proposes to pay $9,000 to Warren County for each occupancy permit issued for dwelling units.

The plan also outlines how the developer must treat nearby Mary’s Shady Lane and the residents on that road.

The rezoning plan does not specifically state the development would connect to the town’s water and/or sewer supply or that Front Royal would accept the housing project into the system. The plan notes that the town is studying the creation of a northern loop for its water system that would serve the Shenandoah Shores and Happy Creek Road area. But the plan leaves open the possibility that the applicant could build an elevated water storage tank for the housing development.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com