The Iron Bridge Corner LLC case was heard by Chesterfield’s Board of Supervisors last week for the third time and after a rehash of the case and an addendum presented too late to be advertised to the public, the case was deferred again for 30 days.
Chairman Dan Gecker was out sick, and Vice Chair and Bermuda Supervisor Dorothy Jaeckle chaired the meeting.
Carrie Coyner, the attorney representing the case, who is also a Chesterfield County School Board member, said that cash proffers for schools are not what proffers are made for. She presented the case saying the additional proffers presented in the addendum, such as twenty-year shingles; brick or stone facades on 40 percent of the building elevations; landscaping, and a swimming pool/community center among other proffers, would offset the lack of cash proffers that would be paid for schools ($5,897.) The apartment complex would not have more than two bedrooms. Coyner said the case was only about removing restrictions on the property; that only persons 55 years of age and older could lease there and that other arguments, primarily cash proffers did not apply.
During the public comment period, Paul Grasewicz of the Surrywood subdivision said, “I do believe that if you take a close look [at these addition proffers,] forty percent of them will be exposed stone or brick,” Grasewicz said. “I think that’s something [items on addendum] you would expect that would be built in this county. Twenty-year shingles are the minimum quality of shingle that you could buy at Home Depot.”
Grasewicz continued that, “Providing a club house and a pool is a normal facility that goes with apartments, particularly if it’s going to have 100 units. Brick or stone veneer foundations are part of the county’s zoning ordinance as well as street trees and landscaping, in fact, if you read proffer 8-I, you’re complying with what’s already in your ordinance,” Grasewicz said.
“I don’t think you’re gaining anymore than what is in your ordinance here and if you are, it’s very little.” Grasewicz told the board that if you look at the case you are not gaining anymore than what was in the 2007 case.
Jaeckle motioned to postpone the case for another month with support from the other supervisors.
The case will be heard for the fourth time during the May 30, 2012 BOS meeting.
After motioning that the rules be suspended and listening to public comment, Jaeckle said, “Apartments are in very high demand right now in the market. Older citizens are more hesitant to be tied down to a house and young people who, years ago were buying houses because they knew they were escalating in value, are hesitant and want to stay in apartments longer. Apartments are basically starter houses for young people. You know my husband and I lived in an apartment until our first child was six months old, and then we bought a house.”
Jaeckle said that when her husband and she lived in an apartment, they didn’t require services. And, the statistics show that there are very few school children in those apartments. She said that if you look at our schools that are having problems they have a lot of students that come from three- and four-bedroom apartment complexes.
“The purpose of proffers is to mitigate impact and I feel that the proffer paid on one- and two-bedroom apartments does not fit the definition of mitigating impact on the county. That’s why I’m supporting the case.”
The Dale District Supervisor, Jim Holland, said he wanted to remand the case back to the planning commission. He also said he wanted to stay consistent, and approving the Ironbridge Corner case would not be consistent with following current policy and with what he has said in the past.