Modified Village Gardens plan to move forward

By Heather Michon

The Planning Commission unanimously approved a request from Southern Development on Tuesday (March 8) to move forward with a project that would bring four dozen new homes to the Village Gardens property on Rt. 53.

The 116-acre parcels were originally proposed for over 300 homes and an adjoining commercial development but failed to win zoning approval after months of debate and public outcry. Residents were concerned about the impact of such a large development on local traffic and infrastructure. 

Under county ordinances, Southern Development has the right to build a limited number of homes per acre without the need for the types of permissions and ordinances required for large developments. 

By right, the developer is permitted to build one single-family home per two acres on land zoned as A-1(Agricultural). At least 75 percent of the total property has to remain as open space. 

Southern Development’s plan shows 48 homes on 23 acres, with 93.8 acres left as open space with just one home site. This leaves 20 percent for housing and 80 percent for open space.

Director of Community Planning Douglas Miles told the commission that the initial sketch plan meets the criteria for a rural cluster subdivision. 

The commission approved the sketch plan request by a vote of 5-0.


Members spent much of the meeting discussing resident appointments to county and regional advisory groups focused on planning and development. The final list of appointments are: 

Overton McGehee, Kathy Swenson Miller, Suzy Morris, Marvin Moss, and Gibson Worsham will join the Rural Crossroads Area & Rural Preservation Advisory Group;

Joshua Bower, Steven Hurwitz, Andy Sorrell, and Steve Smith will join the Zion Crossroads Gateway Plan Stakeholders Group;

Donna D’Aguanno, Judith Mickelson, Marvin Moss, Deborah Murdock, and Haden Parrish are appointed to the Fluvanna County Historical Preservation Advisory Group.

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