NEW KENT – It's back to the drawing board for the Liberty Landing subdivision proposal.
The Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 on Monday, May 12, to turn down the project, which proposed the construction of a 100-acre mixed-use development along Pocahontas Trail, (Route 60) in Quinton across from the Five Lakes and Patriot's Landing subdivisions, near the Chickahominy River.
Supervisors W.R. "Ray" Davis, Tommy Tiller, and Ron Stiers all voted to reject the proposed development, despite staff recommendation.
"The reason for my vote was because the Economic Development Authority (EDA) has never said that businesses stopped coming to New Kent County because of a lack of rooftops," said Stiers.
"I would like the developers (Boyd Homes and Bridgewater Crossing, Inc.) to go back to the drawing board and create a similar development, but with assisted living homes instead."
"There's a growing elderly population in this county and there are no assisted living facilities in this area," Stiers added. "I get more calls about that than anything else."
The Liberty Landing proposal included 40 acres of green space, 200,000 square feet of business/commercial area, and a total of 450 townhomes and apartments.
Eighty-eight acres of the property would have had to be rezoned from business to R-3 Multi-Family Residential, while 4.6 acres of land would be rezoned from A-1 Agricultural to B-1 Business.
According to Boyds Homes representatives, who spoke at the New Kent Planning Commission in March, the Liberty Landing project would have returned over $30 million (net) to the county over the next 20 years, generated $5.6 million in one-time water and sewer fees, paid over $2.7 million in proffers, and generated $1.5 million of net revenue to the county every year (after the project stabilized).
Residents and commissioners both voiced their concerns about the project, including increased traffic, insufficient commercial space, and property flooding.
The commission voted 8-1, with one abstention from supervisor Tommy Tiller, on March 17 to forward the subdivision proposal to Supervisors with an unfavorable recommendation.
According to David Rudiger, of Bridgewater Crossings, Inc., the company "was obviously disappointed with the board's decision after having worked with the county and citizens for so many years and proposing a project that was keeping in with the county's comprehensive plan."
"We are sitting back and evaluating the situation," Rutiger said. "We are talking with our lawyers and in-house people so we can decide what to do from here."
"I hope we will get something worked out."
Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun