BERRYVILLE — Town Council on Tuesday approved a rezoning deemed necessary for further development of the Hermitage subdivision because of changes in stormwater treatment laws.

More than 70 lots are to be developed as part of the subdivision’s fifth phase. The rezoning realigns the boundaries of the Residential-1 and Detached Residential-1 zoning districts with planned lot configurations so “all the lots are in one zoning district or another,” said Ron Mislowsky, an engineer with Pennoni Associates Inc. of Winchester.

As a result, boundaries will not run through individual properties.

Since the approval of Phase 5’s preliminary plan 13 years ago, the state has adopted revised stormwater treatment laws that will require low-impact treatment of the development’s runoff.

Pennoni revised the lot layout to make room for treatment devices and more open space that will become part of a conservation easement, Mislowsky wrote earlier this year in a memo to Christy Dunkle, assistant town manager for community development and operations.

David Bowen, who lives of Tyson Drive in part of the subdivision already established, asked during a public hearing for developers to make sure stormwater does not flow onto residents’ properties and into their homes.

Richie Wilkins, owner of property to be developed, said any significant runoff will be directed to pipes that will take it to a pond.

Responding to questions from Bowen, Mislowsky and Wilkins said Phase 5’s development will start sometime between this fall and 2021.

“It will be a phased project,” said Mislowsky. One section will be finished before construction on another section starts, he said.

Bowen also asked developers to try to keep contractors’ vehicles from damaging subdivision streets. Wilkins said any ideas residents have along that line are welcomed.

Mislowsky said he does not think contractors will need to use Tyson Drive.

Where contractors’ vehicles will be allowed to go will be part of discussions about a final subdivision plat that eventually will come before the Berryville Planning Commission and Berryville Area Development Authority for approval, Dunkle said.

Five of the six council members voted to grant the rezoning. Councilwoman Donna Marie McDonald abstained, expressing concerns about plans to establish a homeowners’ association to oversee stormwater management.

The subdivision’s new phase will be under the association’s jurisdiction, while phases already developed would not.

“The HOA has nothing to do with this,” town recorder Jay Arnold said.

In another matter, the council voted unanimously to let town staff apply for a Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) grant to help pay for sidewalk construction along the north side of Mosby Boulevard.

Plans are to build new sidewalk sections connecting ones already there. Officials say that would help residents of nearby neighborhoods and senior housing complexes safely walk to nearby businesses, including the Martin’s supermarket and the new McDonald’s restaurant, as well as to Clarke County High School.

Wheelchair/disabled access ramps also are to be installed, according to Dunkle.

The estimated cost of the project is $149,213. If the grant is received, the town will have to pay 20%, which amounts to $29,843. VDOT will pay the rest, Dunkle said.

The application must be submitted to VDOT’s Transportation Alternatives Program by Oct. 1, she said.

Nobody spoke during a public hearing on the matter.

— Contact Mickey Powell at mpowell@winchesterstar.com

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