Commission will reconsider Mallory Scott project in May

Published 5:40 pm Tuesday, March 30, 2021

A revised plan for the Mallory Scott Farm residential community project near Battery Park and Nike Park roads is expected to return for the Smithfield Planning Commission’s consideration — and another public hearing — in May.

When last presented to the commission and the public in the fall, commission members and local residents expressed concern about the development’s size and how it might negatively change Smithfield’s small-town character. Virginia Beach-based Napolitano Homes initially wanted to build about 1,106 residential units.

In the revised proposal, the developer wants to build 812 detached and attached homes — a 25% reduction. The community would be made up of 107 townhomes, 198 duplexes and 507 single-family homes with respective starting prices of $225,000, $260,000 and $300,000.

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Previously, the development included fourplex and 10-plex residential units. These are canceled in the new plan.

However, the community will retain clubhouses, swimming pools, pedestrian paths, sidewalks and new and expanded roads, including a roundabout at the intersection of Battery Park and Nike Park. Some of the townhomes will be alley-loaded — homes where the garage is in the back of the house and accessed via an alley. All of the homes will be for sale, and the overall community design also will incorporate natural open spaces.

Two primary entrances to the western part of the site will be along Battery Park Road across from Nike Park Road and Stratford Lane. The portion of the development east of Battery Park Road will have a primary entrance on Nike Park Road and two secondary entrances on Battery Park Road.

“At this time, there’s not a whole lot that we can disclose, but I will tell you this — that we listened to what everybody said and we have adjusted this plan to the best of our ability to accommodate most all of the comments and I really hope that everybody is going to be happier with what we’re going to bring forward at this point,” John Napolitano, senior vice president of Napolitano Homes, said in a message to The Smithfield Times.

The development company has agreed to a waiver that gives the commission 60 days to review the revised plan. If Napolitano Homes didn’t agree to the waiver, in accordance with town ordinances, the commission would have had 100 days to make a decision on the project or the developer’s application would have been automatically presented to town council with a recommendation for approval. That deadline was in December.

John Settle, Smithfield’s community development and planning director, confirmed that the town received a revised submission for the project on March 23. Settle said a standard 30-day review period is underway and is set to end on April 22. “As some elements of the applicants’ proposed project have been altered, a new public hearing is required (and is anticipated) for the May meeting,” Settle said in an email.

Following an October public hearing, the commission delayed a decision on the project until it could convene a follow-up meeting to discuss the issue in more detail. Many who spoke at that time opposed the development.

In the revised submission to the town, a development narrative describes the Mallory Scott project as “a long-range plan that combines nine parcels into a master planned community which is desired over the parcel by parcel development pattern that has previously existed in the Battery Park North sub area.”

A 2006 property rezoning allowed for the construction of 265 single-family homes, but that project did not advance.

According to the development plan, if the project proceeds as desired, 100 homes will be occupied in 2022 and 125 homes would be added each subsequent year. “Home count shall be cumulative,” the narrative says. “It is anticipated; at this rate, the project, at best, will develop in seven years but likely to see full buildout in 10-12 years.” The narrative also notes that “most of the proposed development will occur on the disturbed land that has been farmed annually.”