Changes approved to South Harbor development

Published 5:09 pm Monday, March 25, 2024

Isle of Wight County supervisors approved a conditional zoning amendment on March 21 specifying a slate of changes to the South Harbor age-restricted housing development in Carrollton.

The most significant departure from the master plan developer East West Communities had submitted at the time of the project’s 2020 rezoning concerns a bridge over a narrow stretch of Ragged Island Creek connecting two phases of the 340-home development.

Originally, the bridge was to facilitate vehicular and pedestrian traffic from South Harbor’s in-progress third phase behind Carrollton Baptist Church to a planned fifth phase at the intersection of Channell Way and Whippingham Parkway less than a quarter-mile from an adjacent development known as The Crossings at Bartlett Station. The now-approved revised plans call for a pedestrian-only bridge.

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According to a report by county staff, the requested change is tied to an updated traffic study from December that showed fewer cars using the Channell and Whippingham intersection and instead using Spadea Way, the newly constructed access road from Carrollton and Brewers Neck boulevards to the residential and commercial phases of The Crossings. An extension of Spadea is now planned to connect with Phase 5 of South Harbor.

As a result of the change, East West has received supervisors’ approval to remove two $75,000 cash proffers tied to the now-scrapped vehicular bridge.

Instead, in addition to the Spadea Way extension, South Harbor traffic to and from Carrollton Boulevard, also known as Route 17, will be facilitated via a “pork chop” intersection at Northgate Drive by Carrollton Baptist Church. The term refers to a triangular intersection that allows left turns from Route 17 into the development but only right turns from the development onto Route 17. Prior to the March 21 change, East West had proposed allowing only right turns in or out of the development at Northgate.

A third change approved on March 21 would increase from 20 feet to 60 feet the maximum front yard setback in the single-family detached residential areas of South Harbor.

The supervisors voted unanimously to waive holding a public hearing on the changes in accordance with a state law that allows them to do so when the proposed changes don’t affect the “use or density” of a development, followed by another unanimous vote to approve the zoning amendment.

South Harbor broke ground on its first phase behind the Carrollton Bojangles in 2022 and began sales in its townhouse phase in 2023. South Harbor is East West’s first 55-and-up community with townhomes starting in the mid-$300,000 range.

As of its 2020 approval, a traffic study by Kimley-Horn Associates projected South Harbor to generate just under 2,930 vehicle trips per day, or a 10% increase over the roughly 29,000 the Virginia Department of Transportation observed in 2018. Half of the new drivers are expected to travel to and from the Peninsula using Carrollton Boulevard. A fiscal impact study by Ted Figura Consulting projected the project would bring Isle of Wight County $1.1 million in tax revenue by fiscal year 2026-27 and a 10-year total of $7.3 million for 2020 through 2029.

Plans for South Harbor, which was zoned in 2020 for mixed use, also call for 3.45 acres of commercial space.

The adjacent Crossings development broke ground in 2021 on its residential phase, which will include up to 240 condominium units and 52 single-family homes. Its commercial phase, which broke ground last year, includes a Publix grocery store, Royal Farms gas station and Langley Federal Credit Union branch, among other tenants.