Below is a letter from MIDCO sent to staff and the Planning Commission on April 25th:
April 24, 2016
Dear Planning Commissioners,
This letter is in response to REZ 2016-0008 (Apollo Enterprises)
We would first like to publicly thank the applicant for attending MIDCO and other community meetings and making changes and additions to the project in response to community concerns. Changes include moving the storage facility building back and stepping the front façade, proffering out other possible uses under B-1 and M-2 classifications and eliminating some (10) townhouses. Additions include adding a sidewalk along the planned Lidl store property nearby and extending Ridgefield Road, along with other nearby road improvements and other proffers.
We recognize that roughly half of the project area was re-zoned years ago and as such that half is possibly subject to some undesirable by-right uses. Even with that in mind, we continue to have some ongoing issues with the project. We feel that a storage facility, even an attractively designed one, at this prominent gateway to the mid-county area is not ideal and will help set the bar lower for future development nearby. The combination of 100 townhouses, retail strip areas and a storage facility seems very concentrated on this 25 acre parcel and the residential component is excessive. The ratio of residential to commercial floor area is far greater (about 60%) than the 25% recommended for Community Employment Center (CEC) uses, and a storage facility is specifically not recommended under the CEC classification. Finally, although the applicant is proffering out many of the uses allowed under the requested B-1 and M-2 classifications, if these zoning categories are approved a proffer amendment in the future could bring those uses back. We would like to see the project adhere more closely to the office, high-quality commercial and minimal residential uses recommended under the CEC designation and the County Center Sector Plan which overlay this property. If we ever hope to bend the curve and move towards achieving the new 35% commercial tax base goal recently adopted by the BOCS, projects like this would be a good place to start.
About the project:
This project is proposed for the area near the corner of Hoadly Road and Prince William Parkway on most of the same land area that the previous Village On The Parkway project encompassed. It has not been named yet by the applicant so we're using the V on the P moniker in order for folks to have a reference and to be able to compare this to the previous project that was withdrawn in the 2010 timeframe. The current plan calls for an auto repair use near the corner, storage units behind that, a retail strip unit and townhomes in the rear of the property. The auto repair use would be approximately 10,000 square feet, and the storage center around 100,000 square feet. The applicant is asking for a Special Use Permit to allow the auto repair use. The auto repair use is prohibited under the Government Center Sector Plan. There is a Planning Commission public hearing on May 3rd at 7pm. It was presented at the May MIDCO meeting (meeting notes under "Meeting Minutes" tab). More details are available below.