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The Hanover County Planning Commission swiftly handled 13 proffer amendment cases at its March 21 meeting.
These were the first such cases heard since the Board of Supervisors adopted a new transportation cash proffer policy the previous week. Developers seeking proffer amendments must submit an application to the Planning Department and go through the zoning process.
With the new policy in place, Planning Department staff was able to group together cases with similar recommendations to expedite matters.
The first group consisted of three subdivisions: Cool Well in the Chickahominy District, Pony Farm Estates in South Anna, and Tarwood Estates in Cold Harbor.
Developers of these properties applied to eliminate previously approved cash proffers for community facilities, and they submitted transportation proffers of $2,306 per residential lot, which meets the board’s new policy for projects with fewer than 50 undeveloped lots remaining.
Planning Director David Maloney noted that the new policy has no cost-of-living escalator. Whereas the previous cash proffer policy applied annual inflation until the time of payment, these proffer amounts would remain flat.
The commission unanimously recommended approval of these cases.
The next group was Cool Well in the Chickahominy District, Jordan Woods in Cold Harbor, Glebe Hill in Henry District, Morning Glory in Cold Harbor, The Branches at Stony Run in the Beaverdam District, Foxal Estates in Henry District, and McGhee’s Outlook in Cold Harbor.
These cases were submitted to the Planning Department prior to the adoption of the new policy, so the applicants had requested elimination of all proffers.
Planning staff recommended applying $2,306 per lot to each of these cases, including Glebe Hill, which has more than 50 lots remaining.
The rationale for Glebe Hill was that the developer had already agreed to construct a bridge to provide a connection between Georgetown and Williamsville roads.
During the public hearing, several of these developers indicated their willingness to pay the $2,306 rate.
Todd Rogers, speaking on behalf of Cool Well Preservation Partners, also suggested that the county give some consideration to charging reduced rates to age-restricted developments in the future.
“They don’t have the same impact,” he said.
Maloney responded, “We certainly understand the board’s intent very clearly that this policy is intended to be flexible and a policy for which we would negotiate improvements.”
He added, “If there is an instance in the future in which an applicant believes there is a unique circumstance associated with their project, we’re open for discussion. Now it may mean we will look to the applicant to perform the applicable analysis to support their position. That’s not something that the staff or the county necessarily is going to take on.”
There were no other speakers during the public hearings.
For each of these cases, the commission recommended denial as submitted, but approval subject to the imposition of the $2,306 proffers. Each vote was 7-0.
The third group was a pair of subdivisions, Village at Pebble Creek in the Mechanicsville District and Meredith Place in the Henry District.
These developers applied to remove the community facilities cash proffers, and they had already made transportation improvements in lieu of paying transportation proffers. Therefore, the proffers would be zeroed out in these two cases.
The commission recommended approval of both cases with 7-0 votes.
The final case pertained to section four of the Bluffs at Bell Creek in the Henry District.
This was another instance of previously negotiated transportation improvements allowing for total elimination of outstanding cash proffers.
This case also received a vote of 7-0 recommending approval.
All 13 cases will be heard at a future Board of Supervisors meeting, where the final decisions will be made.