Auction set for property

Published 2:16 am Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A 73-acre property for development just off South Main Street, between 118 and 200 Thomas Circle in the Crestview subdivision, is set for auction Friday, 12:30 p.m., at the Holiday Inn Express at 404 Sunchase Blvd.

According to documentation by Torrence, Read & Forehand (TRF) Auctions, the company based in Forest auctioning the property, the land is zoned for by-right for single family residential zoning, in addition to having a special use permit for a maximum of 250 townhouse units. The property is zoned as Residential-2.

Ray Snyder with TRF Auctions said Friday the property is located in Prince Edward County, also exactly between the Farmville/Prince Edward County border.

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Snyder said the owner of record for the property is Ridgeway Family Investments, LLC. He said Kenton Dunn, a Realtor based in Charlottesville, was the signature authority who signed the contract with TRF.

Snyder said bids are taken the day of the event, and he said while individuals and groups have made inquiries about the property, the final sale will take place Friday.

“Generally speaking, bids are taken the day of the sale, they’re not requested or given prior to the auction,” Snyder said. “All of the bidding is done the day of the sale at the auction itself.”


The auction and the future of the land is creating concern for residents of Crestview Subdivision, the subdivision adjacent to the land, particularly as the neighborhood has seen a history of the area surrounding Crestview becoming increasingly commercial at the expense of the neighborhood’s residents.

Crestview residents Jack Houghton and Ruth Budd expressed concern about the property, saying that motorists traveling through the development would only be able to leave and enter the area through Thomas Circle and Williams Street, driving through the subdivision to exit onto Peery Drive and South Main Street.

They also expressed concern that the property, now zoned as residential, may be zoned by the new owner as commercial, which would put a commercial project right next to the neighborhood.

Add traffic from potentially up to 250 townhouse units, or even a commercial project or shopping center, and that could mean an increase of traffic that the two-lane street may struggle to handle.

“You realize, there’s going to be no inlet or outlet except right through that little street,” Budd said.

“How many more vehicle trips would be added if this (becomes) all commercial?” Houghton said.

The subdivision makes up a diverse group of families, elderly and young people among others.

Budd and Houghton said decisions made in the past, including to approve the zoning for 250 townhouses by the county, took place despite widespread concern from the neighborhood’s residents. There were two public hearings Sept. 7 and Sept. 13, 2005 for the property.

“They just figure, it’s Crestview people, it doesn’t matter what we do,” Budd said about some county officials’ past response, though said that not all board members share that belief.

“If (the board of supervisors) considered the same scenario in their neighborhoods, they wouldn’t like it. They wouldn’t want it,” Houghton said about the potential for increased commercial or residential properties.

“Housing should be respected,” Houghton said, referencing the case of the Martin project in the Town of Farmville, which was recently denied a conditional use permit by the town council. “People want to live in reasonable peace and tranquility.”


County Administrator Wade Bartlett said the overall zoning for the property is Residential-2. The conditional use permit for the maximum of 250 townhouses was approved in December 2005.

He said the property could potentially be rezoned under new ownership, but that the owner would have to go through all of the proper processes for the rezoning and through two public hearings, one with the planning commission and one with the board of supervisors.

“Nothing could be done without public notice,” Bartlett said.

He said one of the conditions approved with the townhouse units in 2005 was a buffer of 200 linear feet that would separate the nearest townhouse from an existing single-family lot. He said this buffer is two-thirds the length of a football field.

He said in response to concern about the roads following a residential or commercial project that the concerns would need to be addressed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) or the Town of Farmville, depending on the development plan and the ingress and egress of the property.

He said in response to concerns about past development between the county and Crestview residents, including the time frame between the townhouse project’s planning commission and board of supersivors meetings. He said the final decision to approve the project took place a few months later in December.

In response to current concerns about the property, he encouraged people to consult the county website and The Farmville Herald, and check out the results of the auction for information about the property.

“For those concerned about the final use of the land, I would say until the new owner comes forward with the plan for development, landowners should continue to monitor the situation, and monitor the county’s website, and/or The Farmville Herald for any notices of public hearings regarding that property,” Bartlett said.