Planned development new twist for Frederick

Posted: October 31, 2013

The Winchester Star

Land is being cleared along Tasker Road near Exit 310 on Interstate 81, between Winchester and Stephens City, for a townhouse complex. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)
The Townes at Tasker — a planned 49-home development on about 11 acres near the intersection of Tasker Road and Rutherford Lane between Winchester and Stephens City — is being developed by city-based Dave Holliday Construction Co. Inc. (Photo by Ginger Perry/The Winchester Star)

WINCHESTER — The Master Development Plan for a townhouse complex will come before the Frederick County Planning Commission next week for information purposes only.

The Townes at Tasker — a planned 49-home development on about 11 acres near the intersection of Tasker Road and Rutherford Lane between Winchester and Stephens City — is being developed by city-based Dave Holliday Construction Co. Inc.

The project will be the first in the county developed under the Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) ordinance, according to Candice Perkins, senior planner in the Frederick County Department of Planning and Development.

Under the ordinance, rural property owners can sever the development rights to their land and sell those rights to a developer. The density of development is dependent on multiple factors, including the acreage of the rural property, according to Perkins.

The goals of the TDR ordinance are to:

Provide an effective and predictable incentive process for owners of rural and agricultural property to preserve those lands with a public benefit.

Help implement the county’s Comprehensive Plan by directing residential land uses to the county’s Urban Development Area.

Provide an efficient and streamlined administrative review system to ensure that transfers of development rights to receiving areas are processed in a timely way and balanced with other county goals and policies, and are adjusted to the specific conditions of each receiving area.

Owners of rural properties on Cedar Creek Grade and Hunting Ridge Road severed their development rights and sold them to the developer to allow the Townes at Tasker to proceed, according to Perkins.

Development rights can be transferred to the county’s Urban Development Area without having to go through a rezoning process, according to Perkins.

The land for the project is currently in the Rural Areas Zoning District.

According to information prepared for the Planning Commission, “the [TDR] program allows RA-zoned receiving properties that are proposing townhouses to develop with a maximum density of 10 units per acre.”

Planning staff will start the severing of development rights and the application process for the rights from the sending property to the receiving property and proceed with approval of the Master Development Plan after the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors review it.

Dave Holliday could not be reached for comment.

The Planning Commission will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Frederick County Administration Building at 107 N. Kent St.

— Contact Matt Armstrong at marmstrong@winchesterstar.com