Planners, developer hash out housing project details

FRONT ROYAL – A developer and town planners continue to discuss and consider proposed changes to perks offered with a large-scale housing project.

The Front Royal Limited Partnership, headed by David Vazzana, has filed another update to a list of proposed changes to the proffers that would go along with its planned development of 150 acres in town limits. The Planning Commission recently discussed the latest list of proposed changes to the proffers – voluntary contributions, agreements and conditions – originally submitted in 2010. The developer filed proposed changes to the proffers in late June 2015.

The original proffer statement calls for the developer to build 320 homes on 150 acres. The applicant’s cover letter states that the proposed revisions to the proffers seek to meet the town’s requests for changes to the original submission and to resolve any remaining legal concerns with the 2010 statement.

Vazzana explains in the letter why he submitted revised proffers in August.

“The town has expressed legal concerns with the proffers since the annexation efforts in 2013,” the letter states. “At that time, it became clear that the town interpretations had materially adversely changed since the proffers had been approved in 2010.”

The town found one of the two scenarios in the 2010 proffer statement unacceptable, Vazzana notes. Later, it appeared the town did not approve of either scenario, Vazzana added.

“We believe resolving the uncertainties associated with the interpretations of the proffers would be in the best interest of both parties,” Vazzana states. “The Town appears to want to litigate these issues, or at least threaten to do so in order to force FRLP to agree to its desired terms, and we have now removed all of the objectionable tap fees/proffer credits.”

Neither Vazzana nor Planning and Zoning Director Jeremy Camp responded Friday to calls or email messages seeking comments or answers to questions about the status of the proffer changes.

The developer also owns hundreds of acres recently annexed by the town from Warren County. During that process, the town, county and the Front Royal Limited Partnership came to an agreement as to the future development of the annexed land.

The revisions  to the 150-acre development include an additional $810,000 or more in cash and transportation improvements the town would not receive in any scenario under the existing proffers, the letter states. The developers added transportation improvements to the revised proffers to reflect the results of their 2016 traffic study for the recently annexed property and a phasing analysis performed by the engineers. The 320 homes proposed would not generate more traffic than estimated when the town approved the project. However, traffic counts on Happy Creek Road and Shenandoah Shores Road increased significantly since the developers conducted studies in 2009 and 2013.

“In any event, the added improvements coordinate development of the two projects in an effort to minimize impacts to the area residents and businesses, and include three added turn lanes and a new traffic light or roundabout on (Shenandoah Shores Road),” the letter states.