Stephens City to consider rezoning

Stephens City Town Council will consider rezoning almost 16 acres on the north end of town at its regular meeting today.

South Frederick LLC has proposed the development of land between U.S. Route 11 and Interstate 81 south of Shenandoah Valley Baptist Church. The property would have up to 55 detached single family residences and up to 3,600 square feet of commercial development. Most of the property would be rezoned from R-1 residential to R-2 residential.

Patrick Sowers, a senior project engineer with Pennoni and consultant for the project, said he initially came to the town with a proposal for 100-110 townhomes and four single family units.

“In meeting with the town, it became apparent that the density was too high for what they were in favor of, and they preferred single family detached (homes) as opposed to townhomes,” he said.

He then approached the town in spring with a revised proposal for the 55 units, with the property and house next to U.S. Route 11 becoming a commercial area with an access road.

“It becomes a corner lot … and it makes sense for it to be commercial based on its location,” he said.

A public hearing on the rezoning held in late June by the town planning commission brought up many citizen concerns about the project, one of them being the commercial property and its impact. July revisions to the proffer statement mandate that the commercial space would be meant for “professional office, medical office and/or personal service type uses,” and it would have to look like a residence.

With interest in an age-restricted project, Sowers said the proffer now includes an option for designating the 55 units as housing for older persons.

If the rezoning was approved, Sowers said the next course of action would be to advertise the commercial space for sale or lease. He said construction drawings would take six to eight months until completion, and work on the site wouldn’t begin until summer or fall of next year, likely progressing in two smaller phases.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com