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Commission recommends Martin permits

The Farmville Planning Commission unanimously voted to recommend to Town Council approval of three conditional use permits (CUP) for Robert and Sherry Martin on Wednesday, Aug. 28, following a public hearing.

The first CUP request is to renovate an existing single-family structure into a multiple-family dwelling consisting of three dwelling units with each having no more than three bedrooms on 504 High Street.

The second is for the Martin’s to construct a multiple-family dwelling on an existing vacant lot consisting of three dwelling units with each having no more than three bedrooms.

The third is for the renovation of an existing single-family structure on 510 High Street into a multiple-family dwelling consisting of three dwelling units with each having no more than three bedrooms.

Only one resident spoke during the public hearing on Wednesday night. Adam Yoelin, who lives adjacent to where the Martin’s are proposing their renovation and construction, said he was in support of the new project. “We would have supported this project from the beginning,” said Yoelin. “It preserves the past, it honors the future and someday beyond our lifetimes perhaps these properties could be families’ homes again.”

This is the third time the Martins have sought CUP’s to renovate and or construct a dwelling in the Town of Farmville.

In September 2017, the Planning Commission heard public comments on a rezoning request proposed by the Martins that would have provided a zoning classification to build a structure to house 195 students on the corner of High Street and Appomattox Street.

That project met objection when 27 people spoke against the permits during a planning commission public hearing — citing quality-of-life issues, noise, the historic nature of the area, parking, trash, traffic, the precedent the rezoning could set and density levels.

Based on public comments and conversations with the Martins and their developer, they rescinded the request.

In April 2018, the Planning Commission held a public hearing at the request of the Martins regarding a CUP under the current zoning, R-3 District, to demolish the existing dwellings and construct a new structure that would have 10 dwelling units with each dwelling unit housing three people.

The major concerns from the public hearing comments were tied to preserving the existing houses that the citizens considered to be historical, the need for more student housing, whether the structure being considered was truly one structure, and parking for guests. The Commission recommended to Town Council to deny the request because the project did not fit the historic nature of the neighborhood and would have a significant detrimental impact to surrounding property owners.

June 2018 the Farmville Town voted to accept the recommendation of the Planning Commission to deny Martin’s request for a CUP.