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Manassas City Hall

A controversial rezoning for construction of a 28-unit townhouse development is expected to come before the new Manassas City Council for a vote Monday.

Having already received support from the city’s Planning Commission, the Kings Landing development would consist of 28 townhouses between Godwin and Hastings drives, next to George C. Round Elementary School in the southwest part of the city.

The developers, local attorney Michael Vanderpool and homebuilder NVP Inc., are asking for the 4.69-acre lot to be rezoned from single-family residential, but a public hearing during the final meeting of the 2020 council brought loud opposition from a handful of nearby residents.

At that meeting, Vanderpool told the council that the proposal paid particular attention to being consistent with the city’s recently adopted comprehensive plan. And according to the city’s staff report on the proposal, the development would feature a number of transportation improvements, including dedicated left- and right-turn lanes from Godwin to Hastings, as well as sidewalk improvements, bike lanes and pedestrian paths. Vanderpool also said that a number of builders told him the project wouldn’t be economically feasible if the single-family zoning remained.

Not far from the expanding Micron plant and the Gateway development, Vanderpool said the city needs more and denser housing development to keep up with regional demand and for workers in the growing industrial area. As part of the project, his home will be razed, and new homes listed at $500,000 to $600,000 will be built.

“I have very strong feelings about that property, having lived there and raised my family there, and I want it to be a good piece of property for the city,” Vanderpool said. “It will not have a negative impact on existing patterns of development, and … the project will not devalue existing homes, always another concern that we have to take a look at.”

Included in the rezoning request, which was recommended for approval in a 5-2 planning commission vote, are proffers from the developers to the city of $20,179 for public safety, $11,118 for fire and rescue and $8,313 for parks.

But some neighborhood homeowners argued that adding townhomes would change the character of the area and that a traffic study was necessary. Additionally, they said the proffers were too low. 

“The only question that matters is who this council serves, the people or profit,” said one nearby resident. “The applicant has made clear that the reason for building attached homes is profit. He cannot maximize his profit with just 11 half-million dollar homes and instead needs 28 half-million dollar homes. That’s it, that’s the only reason, profit.”

The council’s vote will be among the first contested issues before a new council under complete Democratic control. At an organizational meeting Monday, Democrat Michelle Davis-Younger was sworn in as mayor, and her party took a 5-1 majority on the council. 

Jared Foretek covers the Manassas area and regional news across Northern Virginia. Reach him at jforetek@insidenova.com

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Jared Foretek covers the Manassas area and regional news across Northern Virginia. Reach him at jforetek@insidenova.com

(4) comments

Reallynow

Build all you want. The City has outgrown itself. Schools busting at the seems. You talk about density? The lack of zoning enforcement has resulted in multiple families in over crowded single family homes. I lived on King Carter St for 26 years. Moved in 2015. Don’t miss it.

ManassasBro

Vanderpool is correct. We need more housing and townhomes and condos are the only affordable options left in the area and enough are not being produced. NIMBYs get what they deserve, higher assessments lead to paying more to stay in your home and will make it unaffordable when your children need to buy back into the market or if you have a divorce. These folks are creating housing, jobs, investment in our community, and growing our tax base; treat them with respect!

AlfredP

SHOCKER ! A local attorney (who owns the land) and a developer wants a rezoning so they can pack in homes for profit ! what about green space, the environment, global warming, watershed, and affordable housing needs ? ALL this stuff is a CON on the little man

InsideCommenter

This is a room temperature IQ comment, if you want affordable housing you make it DENSE that means no single families with 1 acre lots, townhouses, apartments, condos, duplexes and triplexes. All near transit like the VRE, Metro, and Rapid Bus transit. This preserves green space, and is better for our watershed and global warming. Only someone who knows little of science would support more single family sprawl, it's all about the $$$ for NIMBYs.

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