Magic Math = Out of compliance

7147 Mechanicsville Turnpike, LLC REZ2022-00010 “Summerlyn”

Hanover County Planning Commission took this case up in a January 19 public hearing. The case was remanded to Commission by the Supervisors on September 28 after Board voted 4-3 to deny approval of the application.

Applicant developed Cambridge Square and seeks now to develop an adjacent tract for Summerlyn at Cambridge Square.

A main problem is the dwelling unit (DU) density calculation on the Summerlyn tract, which includes Chesapeake Bay Resource Protection Area (RPA) acres. For RPA, the ordinance requires a 50% reduction from gross acres to achieve net developable acres.

Although Cambridge Square is completed, bond-released and compliant with ordinance, Planning staff and applicant chose to interpret it with Summerlyn as a “phase 1-phase 2” project in order to bring density in line.

But density is still out of compliance.

On a combined basis, the maximum number of dwelling units which can be developed on Summerlyn’s 5.43 net acres is 105 apartments. The combined total of 312 apartments on 20.82 total net acres is a density of 14.99 DU/acre. Anything above 105 apartments exceeds the maximum density of 15 DU/acre.

Summerlyn at Cambridge Square proposes 144 apartments. That number is 39 units over the maximum. It’s a density of 16.86 DU/acre on a combined basis.

But Planning Commission voted 7-0 approval in sending it to the Board of Supervisors.

Magic Math. Close enough is not good enough, and it’s nowhere close to compliance with regulation.


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