Hearing waived for removing Mallory Pointe pier

Published 9:16 pm Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Smithfield’s Town Council has for the first time utilized a recently added provision in the town’s zoning ordinance that allows foregoing a public hearing on proffer changes.

On May 8, the council voted unanimously to dispense with a hearing on whether to allow Virginia Beach-based developer Napolitano Homes to dispense with building a community pier at the in-progress Mallory Pointe subdivision off Battery Park Road.

The council had added the provision in April allowing the waiving of a public hearing, by majority vote of its members at a regular monthly meeting, if the proffer changes don’t affect a development’s “use or density.” Proffers refer to commitments made by developers during the rezoning process to mitigate the impact of a proposed housing development, such as cash payments for land or infrastructure.

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Prior to the April change, the town’s zoning ordinance had required developers of an approved project to go through the rezoning process again, including a public hearing, to make any post-approval changes.

The proffered Mallory Pointe pier had been the impetus for making the change to the zoning ordinance.

Town Attorney Bill Riddick brought the then-draft ordinance change to the town Planning Commission’s attention in February, stating the previous language had conflicted with state law. He stated town staff had discovered the conflict upon learning the written proffers Napolitano had filed at the Isle of Wight County Courthouse still showed a pier, even though plans for the pier had been cut from the 812-home development due to objections from residents when the project was approved in 2021.

With the public hearing waived, the council will be able to vote on the amended Mallory Pointe proffers in June.