Manassas Journal Messenger | Rezoning decision not reached

A controversial rezoning decision wasn’t reached at Monday’s night’s Manassas City Council meeting. That decision will wait until Oct. 31, when the tie-breaking vote of Mayor Douglas Waldron will be heard.

Charlotte, N.C.-based developer Raley Miller Properties LLC wants to develop a triangularly shaped property at 9906 Grant Ave. for retail and office use. The company has applied to have the 5.35-acre site, which is at the southeast corner of Wellington and Dumfries roads, rezoned from residential to commercial use.

Council members Judith Hays, Steven Smith and Robert Oliver voted in favor of the application, while councilmen Jackson Miller, Harry J. “Hal” Parrish II, and J. Steven Randolph voted against it.

Waldron, who is only permitted to vote in tie-breaking circumstances, said he wanted to consider the application further before voting.

Residents of the south Grant Avenue corridor have opposed the application for months, citing traffic, safety and aesthetic concerns. Large groups of those residents have been outspoken at all of four public hearings that have been held on the subject.

Oliver and Hays said Monday they were concerned about the long-term prospects of what other projects could be placed in the parcel.

Miller said the projected $107,000 in annual net tax revenue from a commercial development versus the $3,000 that 12 high-end residential homes would generate wasn’t worth the loss of empowerment that neighbors would feel were the commercial development to be placed in their midst.

Raley Miller’s attorney, Michael Vanderpool, countered that the parcel was not suitable for homes, and that the project would be more profitable for the city in terms of tax revenue and aesthetics.

“This rezoning is in fact in the best interests of the city,” said Vanderpool.

Several council members commented on Raley Miller’s extensive use of proffers — money or land provided to offset a development’s impact on neighborhoods and city infrastructure.

The most recent proffers include a free-flow right turn lane from the Grant Avenue corridor onto Dumfries Road. The proposal also includes a restriction that restaurants in the development be limited to coffee and deli-type businesses that do not sell alcohol.

Still, residents concerns’ haven’t been allayed.

Bruce Wood, a Gregory’s Grove Court resident, has been a notable spokesperson against the development, saying it did not fit the city’s comprehensive plan prohibiting “piecemeal developments.”

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