By Matt de Simone
The Botetourt County Board of Supervisors agreed to “move things along” with proposed changes in the county’s Traditional Neighborhood Development (TND) zoning over to the Botetourt Planning Commission.
County Senior Planner Drew Pearson presented the board with The Wilkinson Group’s submitted proposal regarding zoning amendments for “Harvest at Blue Ridge,” a 400+ unit housing development across 93 acres in the old Murray Cider area of Bonsack.
The board moved the proposed zoning changes on to the Planning Commission following a 4-0 vote with Blue Ridge representative Billy Martin abstaining. The board’s vote to move this proposal for further review came with clarification by Board Chair Dr. Richard Bailey as he asked for there to be multiple work sessions to understand these potential changes.
“Just to be clear, referring this review with the suggested changes by the applicant to the Planning Commission enables the staff to do a complete and thoughtful review,” Bailey said during the meeting. “It does not indicate a predisposition of the board to approve it or any projects that require those changes and it does not indicate any concurrence or thought in favor or against any changes.”
Potential additions to the TND zoning include use of “dwelling, cottage.” The suggested addition is described as “a dwelling which otherwise meets the definition of a single-family detached dwelling but is of a more appropriate scale for empty-nesters and workforce housing… to be located within the core area of a TND for the purpose of promoting variety within the neighborhood.”
The Wilkinson Group explained in the application that they “hope for Harvest at Blue Ridge to feel like an organically-grown neighborhood with a wide variety of housing options.” Local developers and Botetourt County residents Dale Wilkinson and David Spigle seek to develop a traditional neighborhood development at the Murray Cider Co. property.
The current zoning ordinance restricts variety within TNDs limiting all single-family detached dwellings to one categorization, the explanation further stated. An example offered during the presentation was that of the Daleville Town Center’s layout along with examples of various cottage designs.
Other new potential additions/amendments include a minimum 1,000-square-feet lot area for “dwelling, cottage” including minimum measurements in terms for lot width and yardage.
The current language states that “all permitted residential and civic uses of the R-1, R-2, and R-3 districts, except home agriculture.” The proposed changes add the R-4 use district due to the R-4 not existing at the time of the TND ordinance’s creation.
Additional changes to the residential lot and building requirements could potentially clear up whether or not other use parcels are allowed to measure the single-family attached permitted density. The change would clarify that other uses are allowed, encumbered only by other density requirements in the code.
To learn more about this potential development, visit https://thewilkinsongroupinc.com/harvest-at-blue-ridge. The application can be found in the Botetourt County website’s Agenda Center for the Nov. 22 Board of Supervisors meeting.