Permit sought for cottages

Published 12:59 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Town of Farmville’s planning commission is set to hear public comment on a requested conditional use permit sought by Mark and Laura French to build nine cottages on 1.052 acres on First Street near North Virginia and North Bridge streets in Farmville.

The property is zoned R-4 residential, according to the town, and such use requires a conditional use permit.

“We have a planning commission public hearing scheduled for (Wednesday), April 26, at 7 p.m. to go over that conditional use permit … and the planning commission is planning to meet right after the public hearing,” said town spokeswoman Kate Pickett Eggleston.

Following the hearing, the commission could offer a recommendation on the permit to council.

According to the application for the permit, the Frenches want to build the cottages on a vacant lot across the street from the Dr. Erica Geary Memorial Dog Park — one the couple donated the land for in 

Kate Pickett Eggleston

honor of the late veterinarian who worked with Mark, a longtime veterinarian at Ridge Animal Hospital.

“These will be available for rent,” Laura said. “They’re intended to be one- or two-person dwellings. So, we’re kind of gearing toward young professionals, people who are just starting out and looking to have their first nice little place,” she said. (It’s) an alternative to apartment housing.”

Laura said each cottage will be about the same in terms of their size.

“They’re kind of like the small-home concept,” Laura said. “They’re just a little bit bigger than that. When we lived in Auburn, Alabama, there was a little development that was built in this manner, and they were just really cute little small houses. We really wished we could have lived there.”

“There will be a number of cottages, and I hope it will be kind of like a little community, you know, where they’re close-knit together,” Laura said. “They’re basically going to have a very simple layout: a combination living room/kitchen with a half bath and then a loft bedroom with a full bath.”

“Council has already advertised for their public hearing regarding this conditional use permit, and that public hearing is going to be on (Wednesday), May 10, at 6:30 p.m., and that will be right before the town council meeting,” Eggleston said.

“Conditional use permits are issued for certain zoning purposes in order to ensure that the planning commission and council have an opportunity to restrict and protect certain zones if necessary,” Eggleston said of the purpose of the permits.

“If (the permit’s) approved on the timetable we’re hoping for, then we hope to start construction this summer,” Laura said.