Smithfield planners call special meeting on revised DMV design

Published 12:39 pm Thursday, March 23, 2023

Smithfield’s Planning Commission has called a special March 29 meeting to consider a new design for the proposed Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles office on South Church Street.

The commissioners voted 6-2 on March 14 to reject Virginia Beach developer Warren Sachs’ submitted drawings of the 4,800-square-foot DMV and an adjacent 7,200-square-foot retail and restaurant building as too modern for Smithfield’s entrance corridor overlay district, which mandates developers use brick or other historic-looking materials “appropriate to town character.”

Sachs, whose KLS Battery Park Development Group LLC owns the land and would lease the building to the DMV, has submitted new illustrations showing the DMV with a brick exterior in place of the concrete masonry and vinyl siding Sachs initially proposed using.

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The March 23 meeting notice and submitted agenda, however, does not include either the original or any redesigned illustrations for the retail-restaurant building.

According to Tammie Clary, Smithfield’s director of planning and community development, a redesign of the retail-restaurant building is still in progress. The Planning Commission, she said, has the ability to review and decide on an entrance corridor overlay application for just the DMV, and review the retail-restaurant building’s design at a later date.

The March 29 meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. in The Smithfield Center. The meeting will be livestreamed to the town’s Facebook page at

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include remarks by Tammie Clary, Smithfield’s director of planning and community development.