Joint hearing set for new apartments

Published 2:20 pm Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Farmville Town Council is set to conduct a joint public hearing with the planning commission regarding a conditional use permit for the construction of apartments, located between Walmart and the Greens South subdivision in Farmville.

According to draft minutes from the planning commission’s Tuesday meeting, the apartment complex, as designed, includes a pool, club house, meeting room, self-storage units and possibly structure parking. About 120 units are planned, he said. During the meeting, developer Russell Harper of Farmville Associates LLC said the project would invest $20 million into the community.

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“We had an independent firm do a traffic study,” said Farmville Town Manager Gerald Spates.

Results from traffic engineer McCormick Taylor Inc. recommended allowing the proposed development to be built with an unsignalized entrance at Main Street and Milnwood Road.

Spates said it was determined that the entrance and exits points for the proposed complex would not create a hazard.

The report stated there had been no accidents reported in the area of the proposed driveway and the sign distance measures over 400 feet, surpassing the 390-foot requirement.

The report stated that delays could possibly be expected for traffic exiting north during afternoon peak hours.

According to town council documents, “members of the planning commission all agreed this proposed apartment complex is a wonderful and much-needed addition to Farmville; however, they want more information on safety issues and possible remedies regarding the proposed entrance to be able to make an informed recommendation to council.”

At a February meeting of the planning commission, Harper and Will Allen — both of Farmville Associates — were present. A presentation was given by Allen regarding the layout of a proposed complex.

Previously, the council approved a zoning amendment concerning the project to add the following uses in a Business B-4 zone: “apartment, condominium and townhouse development. Overall density shall not exceed (10) dwelling units per acre. A conditional use permit shall be required.”

Allen said in his presentation that the new apartment complex would initially include 120 residential units, varying from one to three bedrooms. Property transfers from the Prince Edward County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office show the Town of Farmville purchasing an acre of land for $125,000 from Willa B. Wood on South Main Street near Benchmark Community Bank.

At that time, Spates said the town purchased the land for a retention pond. Council documents indicated the acre purchase could also be utilized to move the proposed apartment entrance and exit further south, away from the South Main Street intersection.