Proffer amendments made for housing development

FRONT ROYAL – Several changes were made in a proffer agreement between the town and a developer regarding a proposed housing development off Happy Creek Road.

The proposed 320-unit development by Front Royal Limited Partnership, headed by David Vazzana, is on a 149-acre parcel near Norfolk Southern Railroad and accessible via Marys Shady Lane.

The Town Council approved at its regular Monday meeting proffer amendments associated with the conditional rezoning of the property.

Proffers allow zoning reclassification subject to conditions offered by the applicant. This allows localities to protect communities from negative impacts of development, according to Virginia state code. In turn, developers can more easily get rezoning applications approved.

Front Royal is allowed to accept cash proffers due to the county’s high growth rate, but they must be used within 12 years for reasons stipulated in the proffer statement. The proffers must be reasonably related to the rezoning.

Planning Director Jeremy Camp previously explained that the proffers needed to be changed because they were not in compliance with state code.The Planning Commission voted in November to forward the proposed proffer amendments to the Town Council.

The new proffers do not change the density of the development, but include:

• Elimination of tap credit fees.

• Elimination of per-unit cash proffers to be used toward Leach Run Parkway.

• New off-site transportation proffers, which could amount to $450,000 for traffic signals.

• New per-unit cash proffers paid to the town to be used for the new Front Royal police headquarters.

• Widening of a proposed on-site trail.

• Removal of various tax credits for the Front Royal Limited Partnership.

•Elimination of phases from the east-west connector road, which is intended to be addressed in the rezoning of another parcel of land owned by the Front Royal Limited Partnership. The road is not necessary to accommodate traffic from the this development.

Front Royal Limited Partnership also owns 604 acres west of the 149-acre property, which the town annexed via an agreement with Warren County. It is zoned agricultural, but the developer plans to apply for rezoning.