Smfd. approves 150 housing units

Published 8:59 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2020

By Frederic Lee

Staff writer

The Smithfield Town Council approved rezoning for a 150-unit condominium development that, once built, will be located on Battery Park Road near the intersection of South Church Street. 

The development — referred to as “The Park” and also “The Seasons” — is set to comprise 15 buildings with 10 units each, ranging from one to three bedrooms and starting at roughly $190,000, according to information provided by the project developer, John Mamoudis with Waterford at Battery Park, LLC. 

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Town Council members Valerie Butler and Denise Tynes both voiced that their approval for the project was due to the fact that it would bring affordable housing to Smithfield.

Tynes said that as a former teacher who worked in Isle of Wight County, it had been hard for her during that time to find adequate housing, because developments that had popped up had salary requirements that disqualified her. 

“I’m just happy that we’re bringing (affordable) housing to the town,” said Tynes. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

While Town Council member Beth Haywood raised the concern of increased traffic along South Church Street resulting from the condominium project, officials with the development stated that it would bring no significant impact to the current traffic, and that no road modifications were required because of the development.  

Beverly Walkup, a planning consultant representing the developer of the project, stated that a residential neighborhood wouldn’t create as much traffic as a commercial property, which is how the property had been previously zoned.

The project required rezoning for about 18 acres along Battery Park Road from highway retail commercial to multifamily residential. 

The land fronting South Church Street — about four acres between Smithfield True Value and Dollar General — will remain zoned highway retail commercial. 

The development, once it is complete, would bring 58 new students to the Isle of Wight County school district, according to information provided by the developer. Walkup added that the additional students wouldn’t all arrive at the same time, since the 15 buildings wouldn’t all be built and completed at the same time.  

The project also required an amendment to the town’s comprehensive plan because of the rezoning of the project’s roughly 18 acres from highway retail commercial to multifamily residential, and a special use permit in order to skirt the requirement of one RV parking space per six dwelling units, which is in the town’s zoning ordinance. Town Council voted unanimously in favor of the rezoning, the comprehensive plan amendment and the special use permit. 

Up next, the developers will have a preliminary site plan review that will go before the Smithfield Planning Commission for recommendation and then Town Council for approval, according to Smithfield Town Council member and Planning Commission member Randy Pack. 

After that, a final site plan review will go through the same process, said Pack. In total, Pack said that the developer probably has six months of work to do before breaking ground, including acquiring building permits and having stormwater management facilities approved by the county. {/mprestriction}