Manassas Journal Messenger | Planning Commission to discuss U.S. 1 revitalization tonight

A revised plan that could shape the land use for 34 square miles around U.S. 1 is up for the Prince William County Planning Commission’s review tonight.

Discussions over the U.S. 1 revitalization plan continue after a Sept. 3 meeting when land owners asked the Prince William County Planning Commission to change their property’s zoning.

They didn’t want the existing U.S. 1 study and revitalization plan to dictate that their land should be set aside for public use — they wanted apartments and offices.

It’s important for them to voice their opinions now — the planning stage — when the Planning Commission members could advise staff to make additional changes.

After the Planning Commission makes a recommendation, the Board of County Supervisors will hear the plan.

The U.S.1 plan is a three-pronged land use guide to reshape and revitalize U.S. 1 in Prince William County.

The Potomac communities plan would amend the county’s comprehensive plan, which guides county officials who make land use decisions.

It recommends transforming U.S. 1 from a series of tight-knit strip malls to a more pedestrian-friendly series of mixed use developments.

Hector Quintana, chairman of the Planning Commission, said the group would hear one individual case at a time when considering possible changes to the plan.

When asked to speak to one resident’s request to zone land near Northern Virginia Community College for apartment buildings, Quintana wouldn’t comment.

“I’ll still be in fact-finding mode through the public hearing Wednesday night,” he said.

“But speaking in general, I think we need more residential apartment complexes in the eastern side of the county,” he said.

Apartments bring density and that’s what the county needs if it’s going to combat sprawl, he said.

He’s also concerned about losing moderately-priced housing where people who work at small businesses can live, he said.

Members of the small business community are concerned about it and “I hear it with enough frequency that it concerns me,” Quintana said.

Other items on the Planning Commission agenda include:

— Cardinal Pointe — Request to rezone a 15-acre agricultural-zoned parcel at the corners of Cardinal and Greenmount drives in Neabsco. Request to rezone suburban residential and the current comprehensive plan designates the land as suburban residential low.

— Yorkshire Mart — Request to expand an existing non-conforming gas station on about one acre in Brentsville at the southeast corner of Centreville Road and Rugby Road. Request to add a self-service car wash and quick service food store.

— CVS in Gainesville — Request a special use permit to allow a drive-through facility at a by-right retail store on 2 acres in a general business district at U.S. 29 and Virginia Oaks Drive.

— Ducharme Addition to Braemar — Request to rezone 18 acres from agriculture to residential planned community and amend the existing Braemar community. Modifications include adding a maximum of 58 detached single family dwellings. The site is located on Linton Hall Road, about 1,500 feet from the intersection with Sudley Manor Drive in Brentsville.

— Ventura Property — Request to rezone 1.2 acres from agricultural to suburban residential to allow a maximum of two single family homes. The site is located at 15028 Blackburn Road in Woodbridge.

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