Sunday, October 17, 2021

Harrisonburg City Council hears multiple housing development requests


HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – Much of the conversation at Harrisonburg’s city council meeting Tuesday night surrounded development projects in the Friendly City.

Council heard requests for several projects in the city, including a request to rezone part of an already approved project located at 1051 & 1351 Peach Grove Avenue, which is off of Port Republic Road near Food Lion.

The request was to change the lower level from commercial use to more residential space, with a maximum of 460 beds, rezoning the property from mixed-use to residential.

Throughout the process, the project has also changed from a mix of one, two, and three bedrooms to 100 four bedrooms.

A representative for the applicant said, they thought the understanding was this would be student housing, as it mirrors another student housing development in the city. But, members of the council said they wish the idea would have been presented in that way and they will have to address affordable housing in the future.

“We can partner with developers to attack affordable housing but it is not their burden. And, it is our burden to continue to spur economic development in the City of Harrisonburg, and the thing that makes Harrisonburg attractive is that it is a college town,” council member Chris Jones said.

Council ultimately voted to approve the changes 3-2.

Council also heard a request to rezone property at 601 Pear Street and grant a special use permit to allow for townhomes, which they agreed was a good choice and unanimously approved both.

In addition, a request for townhomes along Suter Street was approved.

At Tuesday’s meeting, discussions surrounding Heritage Oaks Golf Course continued.

Council heard a presentation on the Technical Assistance Panel Report from the Urban Land Institute on the golf course’s usage. In looking into the golf course, the report found it does help bring more people to the area however, the report also gave different possibilities for the space including keeping and enhancing the course, mixing recreational and residential use, or redeveloping it all together.

Council said they would like to hear more community input on the subject.

You can find more on the meeting here.

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