Planning Commission approves Rt. 618 commercial development


A proposal for a commercial devel- opment took one step closer to frui- tion during the Planning Commission meeting on Tuesday night (Aug. 9).

Joseph Jones of Wolfpack Properties LLC has requested the 35-acre parcel on Lake Monticello Road (Rt 618) be rezoned from A-1 (Agricultural) to B-1 (Business).

The proposal was first introduced to the commissioner at its July 12 meeting but was deferred to the August meeting because Jones had failed to sign a set of proffers, or guarantees, ahead of the public hearing. He said at the time that it was a misunderstanding on his part, and the proffers were signed by the start of Tuesday’s meeting.

Jones began reaching out to the com- munity in and around Lake Monticello early this year to see what people might want in a new commercial development.

At the top of nearly everyone’s list were an urgent care center and a new grocery store. From these conversations, he has in-

troduced concept plans that show free- standing buildings for those specific types of businesses, along with a considerable amount of office and retail space.

The property backs up against the gated sections of Lake Monticello and may also result in the building of a new gate.

Public comments at the top of the meeting on Tuesday showed both support and concern for the project. There has been an ongoing debate

in recent months about the balance between maintaining Fluvanna’s essen- tial rural character and the need for eco- nomic growth.

Palmyra resident Suzy Morris said it would be an excellent plan – “if we had not experienced so often here in Fluvan- na developers who promise this and that and fail to deliver.”

Some of the commissioners raised con- cerns that Jones has not yet reached out to medical providers or grocery chains to test their interest in his plans.

Jones said he was reluctant to make any serious inquiries before the property was rezoned, but he was confident that “at the least, we can [get] one or two of these items.”

“It would not be truthful if I told you I could get a 24-hour care center,” he said. However, he assured commissioners that he would get a medical facility and grocery store on the site if at all possible.

Douglas Miles said other permitted uses for the site included retail stores under 4,000 square feet, small restaurants or delis, daycare centers, studio spaces, veterinary offices, banks and financial in- stitutions, and convenience stores.

The commissioners approved the zoning request by a vote of 3-1, with one member absent.

The Board of Supervisors will take a final vote on the permit at its Aug. 17 meeting.

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