entire project area of Brookside Farm and Brookside encompasses
approximately 1,060 acres. The
former Waterfield project (+ 440 acres) is now named
Brookside Farm, while the second project element is called
Brookside (+ 620 acres), and that includes the R.G.
Holdings (Gerber tracts) and all other new property additions.
The applicant has also presented the following applications
to the County in the June 2001 timeframe for review and action as
a master planned community:
An amendment to the Comprehensive Plan in order to expand
the AB-1 WSA Public Sewer & Water Phase I Area into Brookside;
Proffer Amendments to the Approved Waterfield Rezoning,
Including Modifications to Neighborhood, Traditional and Village
Alley Lot Dimensions;
Special Exception approval to reduce the required amount of
open space in an R-1 clustered subdivision for Brookside;
Special Exception approval for floodplain uses and to
construct two roadway crossings in the floodplain.
This special exception applies to the Brookside Farm and
Special Exception approval to construct utility structures
for sewer, gas and electric for both project areas;
Preliminary Plat approval for the entire combined
residential development of Waterfield and Brookside for a total of
942 single-family residential lots.
33 lots have been approved through the final plat process;
another 50 lots were separated from the Brookside preliminary
plat. The Board of
Supervisors denied the latter plat; however, the applicant can
proceed with final engineering and platting if the reasons for
denial are resolved. The
83 lots range in size from 25,000 square feet to over one acre in
size, and are planned to be served through individual drainfields.
Including these lots result in a total of 975 single-family
lots within the overall project.
Preliminary Plan Action. This application is not subject to the public hearing.
Its overall design is dependent upon the approval of the
preceding applications outlined in 1-5 being approved.
Master Planned Community Package
The applicant requested, at the time
of their original filing with the County, that the six previously
referenced applications proceed to the Board of Supervisors as a
Even though this series of applications had a Planning
Commission public hearing in September of 2001, the applicant did
not initiate any substantive revisions to this package until early
September, the Planning Commission considered the entire package
incomplete, and had identified a long list of issues that needed
resolution, along with a series of recommended refinements.
The Planning Commission had to act on this series of applications at
its December 2001 meeting. Its
allowable review time, under mandatory Zoning Ordinance and Code
of Virginia requirements, had expired.
Relief from the action deadline of 90-days could occur only
if the applicant granted a postponement.
No postponement request was offered.
As a result, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to
deny all the applications for the reasons cited in the December 20th
staff report and in the two denial resolutions.
That information can be provided to the Board of
Supervisors upon request; however, that report is now dated, due
to ongoing project changes filed on March 1, 2002.
No-Change Option v. Proposed Master Planned Community. At present, the approved 667 residential unit
Waterfield rezoning is not well integrated into the adjoining
neighborhoods, exacerbates traffic problems and provides no
alternative relief from future resident reliance on Lake Drive,
Riley Road and Shepherdstown Road as the principle access points.
The existing option provides the County with no assured
interconnection between Waterfield and the Vint Hill Parkway.
Note that the Brookside element
(R.G. Holdings and other properties), which are not part of
the Waterfield project, are currently zoned R-1 (one dwelling
unit/acre) and could yield approximately 175 homes using
drainfields through the conventional (“by-right”) subdivision
approval process. This
process includes Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors
review and action on the preliminary subdivision.
Hence, Waterfield and the referenced properties could
currently yield up to 842 homes by right, subject to meeting all
County ordinance and state permitting requirements.
That is +133 homes less than the current proposal
before the County for approval action.
As indicated at the Planning
Commission sessions, the denial of all the proposed applications
for Brookside Farm and Brookside eliminates several key
opportunities, whose community-wide benefits need to be weighed
combined and pending project proposals have offered a master plan
which presents prospects for improved distribution of traffic and
transportation access, open space and parks, pedestrian trails and
linkages to existing neighborhoods, provision of a middle school
site within the neighborhoods served, expansion and improvements
to a dated wastewater treatment facility at Vint Hill.
There were a series of unresolved
issues at the Planning Commission level, which need far more
thorough review and discussion between the Board of Supervisors
and the applicant. Those
issues are the:
Timing and location of all road improvements needed
to meet and resolve the traffic impacts of the entire master
planned community, and not timed to just one project neighborhood
(for example, just Waterfield);
Development of a program delivering the Vint Hill
Parkway from the planned Vint Hill traffic circle to Riley Road
much earlier in the overall development program;
Solving the construction traffic issue, and
diverting that traffic from using Lake Drive and Sherpherdstown
Retaining the 50-foot perimeter Brookfield Farm (Waterfield)
project buffer as originally approved. That original buffer was located between the proposed lot
and the project property line, and resulted in a 75-foot setback
and homeowner association maintenance within the 50-foot easement,
with no lot owner obstructions.
The current proposal included this easement within only the
Establishment of parks and open space linkages to
this project, Vint Hill and the adjoining and existing
neighborhoods with a system of trails and bikepaths providing
Provision of public access to the lakes in Brookside
Provision of proper essential repairs for dam
structures, as appropriate, to assure their effective long-term
Reduction in open space for the Brookside
residential subdivision justified clearly;
Clear justification of the Brookside Farm requested
modifications, which promote more traditional neighborhoods,
including graphics portraying the lot dimensions, setbacks, house
and garage locations. The
Zoning Ordinance indicates that the applicant must demonstrate
that these modifications “will satisfy public purposes of the
ordinance and regulations to at least an equivalent degree;” and
Submission of the mandatory plans for architectural
controls and design standards, which shall govern the development
and construction of improvements on the property. Such plans are required through the Zoning Ordinance, and
must be presented and approved as part of the rezoning. No such
plans have been filed.
The Applicant submitted the revised
Proffer Statement and associated Concept Development Plan on March
1st for County review.
Preliminary staff review regarding the latter issues and
the referenced Proffer Statement revisions is included as