Haymarket Town Council to Consider Crossroads Village Center

| August 5, 2018 | 0 Comments | News

Applicant’s image for Crossroad Village Center

The Haymarket Town Council has the proposed community, Crossroads Village Center, as an action item at its Aug. 6 meeting.

A public hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m., after which will be the Town Council meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. The council will be able to vote upon the development and/or Special Use Permit at that time.

Crossroads Village Center is a mixed use application for a development on “The Haymarket Fairgrounds” located between John Marshall Highway (Route 55) and I-66. It would cover 16,000 square feet and include 79 townhouses.

The area often is currently zoned B-2, or Business Commercial, but the applicant would like some of it to be zoned R-2 or Residential, making it mixed-use residential.

The commercial section would consist of three drive thru restaurants, an auto repair store, daycare, 110 room hotel or assisted living facility, a bank with a drive thru, medical retail business pad, two retail space and medical offices or sit down restaurant space.

The daycare and hotel and townhomes would line I-66. The commercial/retain section would line Washington Street/Route 55. There would be greenery in between.

The applicant originally proposed more townhomes, but the decreased them to 79 in addition to adding sidewalk, landscaping and buffers.

According to Town Planner and Zoning Administrator Emily Lockhart, the area is near other mixed use development areas, creates housing opportunities, walkable spaces and “strong sense of place” within the community. It also strengthens existing communities and infrastructures. The location is within the development area, outside of rural crescent land, thus preserving open space, farmland and natural resources.

Much of the new facilities will be visible from I-66, Route 15 and Washington Street.  According to town documents, the area is an ideal living space for those who commute viaI-66 into Manassas, Fairfax or D.C The document references future road improvements such as the expansion of Route 15 and existing changes such as the diverging diamond interchange at I-66 in Haymarket.

According to predictions, the townhouses should yield 237 new residents, averaging three per household. The new residents would not alter the way the Town of Haymarket needs to operate as a jurisdiction.

Despite the positive aspects of the community, many residents have reservations about adding more homes and retail to an ever-growing area.

The effect on the public schools is one major concern. The applicant estimates the new homes would generate 24 elementary students, 11 middle school students and 14 high school students.

The elementary school to be most effected would be Haymarket Elementary, which is operating now at 87% capacity. However, in ten years that school is predicted to be 59 students over capacity with no plans to erect a new elementary school in the area at this time.

Battlefield High School in greater Haymarket is the most crowded high school in the county with the most trailers in the area. The Prince William County School Board said they do not recommend the development, noting they oppose all developments in areas where schools are already at 100% capacity.

However, documents say that the school division’s existing enrollment projections already factored in the addition of 87 townhouses on the “Fairgrounds.” The documents also note the 13th high school is scheduled to open in 2021 and a new middle school may perhaps open in 2024. Currently, students would be zoned for Ronald Reagan Middle School.

Traffic along Route 55 would also be significantly impacted and VDOT says that between homes and retail, they are predicting 8,749 more trips per day.

Documents say that “pedestrian and vehicular traffic” would “not be hazardous or conflict with the existing and anticipated traffic in the neighborhood.” The applicant will pay for a right turn lane, new signage, a crosswalk along Washington Street, a traffic signal at Washington Street and Costello, and the conducting of road improvement studies if warranted during phase II of development.

Several residents of Haymarket who spoke in a public hearing on May 21 said they think the development would be good for the town, especially commercially. Some did not like the addition of three drive thru restaurants because of the noise it might bring. Others had concerns about traffic.

On May 21, the council amended their decision to allow the Planning Commission only 30 days to make their recommendation and instead granted them 60 days.

The property is owned by a private party meaning they have the right to build on the property. Business parks have been difficult to fill over the past decade, so many areas in the county have been rezoned.

As Crossroad Corners is being considered, a nearby neighborhood John Marshall Commons in Gainesville has already been approved by Prince William County. That neighborhood of 144 new townhouses will be located on the north side of John Marshall Highway. It would be also located within the Battlefield High School district. It would be in the Tyler Elementary School District and Bull Run Middle School. That new community would also contribute to traffic in Haymarket.

The Crossroads applicant shall contribute $10,300 per residential townhouse unit to the schools. The county no longer has the ability to require a minimum proffer as per state law. The applicant will contribute $3,799 per townhouse towards transportation. The applicant will provide proffer for traffic improvement and is also providing the town proffers for parks and other uses.

Haymarket Town Council meetings are held at 15000 Washington Street, Suite 100, Haymarket, Virginia.

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