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.