New Clarke housing effort faces obstacle

Posted: March 1, 2013

The Winchester Star

BERRYVILLE — In 2009, the Town Council approved a 60-unit senior apartment complex off Mosby Boulevard in Battlefield Estates, with several conditions attached.

But that project was stopped by funding problems.

Now, the same apartment complex, on almost the same lot, is back for further consideration.

“It’s starting from scratch” as far as the site plan is concerned, said Town Planner Christy Dunkle.

The Berryville Area Development Authority took a preliminary look at the project Wednesday night. The town-county planning body must make a recommendation on the site plan, because the project is located in one of the areas that was annexed to the town under an previous agreement between the two jurisdictions.

“It’s the same number of units,” and still age-restricted, Dunkle said.

Planned by Clarke United Methodist Housing, the proposed three-story apartment building has the same footprint on an approximately four-acre site.

But unlike the original lot, the new one will not reach Mosby Boulevard. The site plan calls for extending Chamberlain Street past McClellan Street, and bringing both roads up to VDOT standards.

Jon Erickson, engineer for Morris & Ritchie Associates out of Sterling, said Chamberlain would be the main access — but a fire lane would be provided around the new building that would be much like the existing Mary Hardesty House.

Dunkle said the town and the applicant are currently discussing new conditions for the project.

The BADA plans to meet at 7 p.m. April 3 to hear details of the site plan.

The Berryville Planning Commission, which must issue a special use permit, will hold a public hearing on the request at 7:30 p.m. on April 2.

Their recommendations will go on to the Town Council.

In other business, as part of their review of the Comprehensive Plan for the various annexation areas in the Berryville Area Plan, the BADA members reviewed all 27.

Discussing the land areas still undeveloped, the authority members agreed that some changes would be desirable.

Several areas earmarked for commercial development have significant access or soil stability problems. In fact, access off East Main Street appears to be a problem for a large tract designated for residential development.

Authority members were also concerned that the designated “sub-areas” don’t always follow parcel boundaries. Some parcels may lie in two sub-areas.

County Planning Director Brandon Stidham and Dunkle agreed to rework the wording of some of the sub-areas and resubmit the plan for further consideration.

Attending the meeting at the Joint Government Center were Chairman H. Allen Kitselman Jr., county members George Ohrstrom and Kathy Smart and town members Frank Lee and Ann Phillips.

— Contact Val Van Meter at vvanmeter@winchesterstar.com