To build or not to build? That remains the question as the Culpeper Town Council during its Nov. 10 meeting delayed deciding whether to grant a developer’s requested rezoning that would make way for 310 housing units in the East Fairfax Magisterial District.
If granted, the rezoning would allow for the construction of 135 single-family detached units and 175 attached dwelling units on a nearly 60-acre parcel that is located south of the Highpoint Subdivision off Laurel Street Extended.
Councilman Jon Russell said the nearby Highpoint neighborhood is a “tragic circus” of parking, where people use garages for storage while trucks and trailers are lined up in the road. If parking is added right down the road, he expressed fears that Highpoint residents would begin to fill those spaces.
While the topic was broached of requiring the development to issue parking permits to its residents, Councilman Keith Price suggested waiting to see if there is a problem before such a measure is taken. Ultimately, he added, that should be a decision made by the future homeowner’s association.
The impact such a development would have on the school system was Councilwoman Meaghan Taylor’s primary concern. While it was claimed during the meeting that the development would bring in 200 students into the school system, she doubted that number and said it will likely be more.
Stephen Plescow, one of the developers, countered that such a development would likely attract a significant number of older couples without children.
During a public hearing, resident Courtney D’Avilar said this development would attract young people with kids. Noting how quickly the town has grown, he expressed concerns regarding the development’s potential impact on schools and the police force. He stressed that the town needs to grow in a sustainable manner.
Two residents, Fred Sapp and Alex Valle, said that developers should invest more in the community by helping downtrodden neighborhoods.
“If you want to build a neighborhood, you need to fix a neighborhood,” Sapp said.
Plescow pointed to several road improvements that the developers have offered, adding that he lives in the county and is not a “carpetbagger” looking to take advantage of anyone.
Since the proposed development will have a long-lasting impact on the community, Russell suggested sending the matter to a committee. All other council members except Pranas Rimeikis agreed, so the request will be further discussed by town officials before a vote is cast.