Haymarket Council Approves Crossroads Village Townhomes, Mixed Use Development

| August 9, 2018 | 0 Comments | News

Location of the future Crossroads Village Center, from Town of Haymarket documents.

The Haymarket Town Council approved 79 townhouse units of the proposed Crossroad Village Center at their Monday evening meeting. However, they denied the application for the auto repair shop and chose to defer a vote on two fast-food restaurants until their next meeting, Sept. 4.

The “Fairgrounds Property” to become Crossroad Village is located along Washington Street between Guiseppe’s Italian Restaurant and Chick-fil-A. The property continues behind the restaurant and CVS, and it aligns the Route 15 exit onto I-66.

The Town Council changed the zoning of the 21 acres from B2- Business, to “mixed use” to be part B2 and part R2-Residential.

Many citizens and nearby residents showed up to citizens time to express their opposition to the development or parts of the development. But town employees and the Mayor David Leake explained that to not develop at all was not an option. By right, the applicant could develop the land as B2.

The mixed-use design is intended to support walkable businesses along Washington Street and fast restaurants and retail for commuters along the highways. Additionally, in rezoning to add residential units, the town will generate less traffic.

But the decision was a difficult one for many.

“It’s taken hours and hours of soul searching to represent constituents out here,” said councilman Steve Shannon. “I’m trying to do what’s best for the town. If it were strictly up to Steve Shannon, I’d leave the woods so I could see the deer every morning.”

Breaking the business section into a series of separate motions, the council approved a 100 room hotel at 75 feet or assisted living facility at 50 feet. Council members said they would prefer the hotel, believing it is needed near Novant’s Haymarket Medical Center and would utilize fewer public services than an assisted living facility.

They approved the western-most fast food restaurant, limiting it to one drive-thru. They deferred a vote on the other two drive thru restaurants, expressing that sit-down restaurants would be preferable.

“Fast casual restaurants, I like that term,” said Shannon.

“Me personally, I’m going to be voting no on it,” said councilwoman Susan Edwards. “I feel so strongly about preserving the feel of our town.”

They denied the application for an auto-repair shop, saying parking would likely spill over into other parking lots.

They approved other retail and restaurant parts of the application that included a sit-down restaurant, retail outlet or medical office and a daycare.

As much the drive -thru restaurants was controversial, the proposal for 79 new townhouse units was more so.

Some residents felt adding townhouses would bring in new people to support the local community and existing businesses, but worried about the impact on schools.

Gainesville school board member Alyson Satterwhite explained that Battlefield High School is already severely overcrowded, but the new townhouse community would yield approximately 50 additional K-12 students.

The town countered that the new students are not a surprise to the school division and were already factored into their estimates of student population growth and that the school division itself generated those numbers.

Shannon said he completely empathizes with the Prince William County School Board but wants to focus on what Haymarket residents want before the outsiders.

Residents also worried about the traffic increases, estimated to be 8,500 new trips per day. The new John Marshall community just outside of Haymarket on the opposite end of Washington Street, would also create a significant influx of traffic. That development proffered a roundabout on Washington Street right before the town limits.

Some residents remained steadfast in their opposition.

One resident who spoke at the crowded citizen’s time reminded residents that the council did not have to approve the residential aspect of the plan and had leeway to control which businesses they would approve even if the development was by right.

Some residents complained the proffers were not as high as they would have liked, and not meet what the county had required a few years ago. Due to a new state law, the county cannot set proffer requirements.

© 2018, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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