Developers discuss proposed housing development in county 

By Heather Michon

Representatives from Southern Development & Construction of Charlottesville held an informational Zoom meeting on Thursday night (June 24) regarding a new housing development currently in the very early planning stages for a 122-acre lot near the intersection of Rt. 53 and Garden Lane in Palmyra. 

Village Green would include 355 units, with 216 detached single-family homes and 95 townhouse units. Included in the plans are eight acres of green space and amenities, including a clubhouse and pool, and a series of walking and jogging trails. 

“This is in the conceptual stage,” said planner Keith Lancaster. “No applications have been made with the county.” 

The 122 acres consist of four parcels, three of them bordering Lake Monticello. The properties are near the Villages at Nahor, another Southern Development project.  

One of the parcels along RT.  53 was originally part of the Villages at Nahor master plan, and was  rezoned for commercial use some years ago. Lancaster said that could be turned into 9,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, adding that the rezoning ordinance prohibited it being used for a gas station.  

Southern Development is looking at proposing the parcels be rezoned as R-3, which would permit a maximum density of 2.9 dwelling units per acre. Village Green would offer a range of housing types sizes, including single-level floor plans suitable for seniors. 

After the presentation, community engagement manager Charif Soubra opened the line for questions. “We know that part of what this involves is hearing what the community has to say,” he said. 

Many of the concerns raised during the half-hour of question were around making sure outside residents couldn’t use Lake Monticello amenities and the impact of a new development of traffic on both Rt.  53 and Garden Lane.  

While no formal study has been conducted, VDOT’s preliminary report says Village Green would add about 3,500 trips per day to Rt. 53.  

Another big question was Aqua Virginia’s ability to provide water and wastewater to another large development.  

In their ongoing discussions with Aqua, Lancaster and Soubra said they have been assured that there is water available, but not necessarily enough pressure in the current system.  

According to their information, Aqua is trying to work out pressure issues to support the Colonial Circle development, which would bring 325 housing units and 81,000 sq. feet of commercial space to a 62-acre parcel across from Effort Church, about 1.5 miles up the road from the proposed Village Green property.  

They estimate that it will cost them about $3 million to hook into Aqua’s lines when and if the time comes.  

Water is just one hurdle in getting Village Green off the ground. Even after they put in a formal application with the county, there’s a lengthy process of state and local applications, technical reviews, and many, many permits, presentations and hearings.  

Lancaster said it’s “probably a two-year process even to get to the point of moving dirt.” 

“There is no proposed start date of when this project would happen,” said Soubra “just simply because it’s not really a project any more than it’s just a design on paper.” 



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