Age-restricted development approved

Published 8:13 pm Tuesday, January 21, 2020

By Diana McFarland


Another 340 housing units were approved for the Carrollton area Thursday with a 4-1 vote by the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors. 

Carrsville District Supervisor Don Rosie cast the lone dissenting vote. 

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The age-restricted South Harbor development is to be located behind Bojangles on Route 17 and next to the Carisbrooke subdivision. Traffic had been the major concern during previous discussions, but soils, wildlife and native plants were added to the mix during citizen comments on Thursday. 

The 80-acre property has also been known in the past as the Channel Farm, and more recently as the Pitt-Lippe tract. It will include a mix of townhouses and single-family homes for those age 55 and up. 

The soil in that area is classified as slagle-uchee-yemassee, according to the “Soil Survey for Isle of Wight County” published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  There was concern that, years down the road, that type of soil would cause the foundations to crack and could corrode the concrete used to make roads. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

The developers, East West Partners, submitted a report by geotechnical engineer Gary Witsman of Witsman Associates in Suffolk. 

Witsman reported that, based on one hand auger probe, the soil was fine sand down to five feet below the surface, and beyond that, wet clayey sand and silty clay down to 84-inches below the surface. 

During the meeting, Witsman explained that each lot would require a shrink/swell evaluation before a building permit could be issued. If the soil was undesirable, the surface could be removed and replaced with suitable building material. 

Witsman said the shrink/swell potential was low and that is only a problem when that type of soil is near the surface. 

“If you give me enough money, I can build something on it,” said Witsman, referring to a building lot. 

Witsman also dismissed the claim that the soils would degrade the concrete used to make roads.

“I have never seen any degradation in the 25 years I’ve been working here,” he said. 

Diane Roselius asked that the developer use native plants and be careful not to “knock down every single tree.” Roselius asked that native plants be required as part of the county’s landscaping ordinance. Using native plants provides native birds and wildlife with the food and habitat they need to reproduce and raise their young, said Roselius. 

Native trees in Virginia include a large variety of oak, cedar, red buds, dogwood, sweetbay magnolia, ash and more. 

East West Partners President of the Hampton Roads Division, Branch Lawson, said the problem with using native plants is that nurseries would have to stock up before the selection would be adequate for their needs. 

The developer is offering a series of road improvements designed to assist with the already congested area, to include adding and extending turn lanes and improving traffic signals. The developers have also offered to contribute $150,000 to the county to apply for revenue sharing grant with VDOT to fund any additional improvements between Eagle Harbor Parkway and the new proposed Nike Park Road extension that connects with Carrollton Boulevard.

The road improvements will be timed to the five phases of the development, according to Branch Lawson with East West. 

The development is expected to generate 2,930 trips a day, according to a traffic impact analysis submitted by the developer. 

Starting prices for the mix of single family and townhouse units will range from $300,000 to $400,000, with an average household income of $87,125, according to the developer’s fiscal impact statement. {/mprestriction}