HARRISONBURG — At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, officials will hold a public hearing and consider requests from Kathy Hite for three special-use permits to rezone a number of parcels on Reservoir Street and Foley Road.
Hite, whose representative is Madison Lucy Realty LLC, is requesting to rezone two parcels, around 6.6 acres, from R-3, Medium Density Residential District to R-C5, High Density Residential District Conditional for 2150, 2152, 2156 and 2158 Reservoir St. and 717 Foley Road.
Council will have to vote on the three special-use permits and the request to rezone the area.
One special-use permit would allow multifamily dwellings of more than 12 units per building. Another permit would allow multifamily buildings to be greater than four stories and/or 52 feet high.
The third special-use permit request would allow retail stores and convenience shops, personal service establishments, restaurants, excluding drive-thrus, and business and professional offices.
Harrisonburg Director of Communications Michael Parks said Friday that city staff have not been told of any specific establishments that are planned to be at the location.
Staff recommended approval of all four requests but recommended a condition be attached to the special-use permits saying that standalone, non-residential buildings be prohibited.
There were a number of comments the city received opposing the request, mainly from residents on Woodland Drive, which is on the back end of one side of the parcel.
Matthew Phillipi, a homeowner on Woodland Drive, said rezoning the parcels to high-density residential in the middle of a medium residential area would be “out of character for the surrounding neighborhoods.”
“Having two additional floors, higher density living than allowed by right and retail spaces would make the project even less in character with the surrounding neighborhoods,” he said.
Cara O’Regan, another resident on Woodland Drive, submitted a letter to the city objecting to the plan.
She said what makes the neighborhood special is that once one turns off into the neighborhood, the area is surrounded by trees, quaint homes, friendly cul-de-sacs, children, families and pets playing outdoors.
“Construction will bring an extended period of noise, chaos and machinery, and will decimate the trees that are not only vital to our environment and afford us privacy, but are also a large part of what makes Woodland feel so special and such a great place to live,” she wrote in the letter.
There were 15 letters from Woodland Drive residents in opposition of the rezoning and special-use permits and three letters from White Oak Circle residents opposed to Hite’s request, according to documents uploaded by the city onto the Tuesday agenda.
White Oak Circle is located off of Woodland Drive.
The agenda can be found at https://harrisonburg-va.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.
Council will hold another public hearing and will consider a request from Bismark LLC for a special-use permit to allow manufacturing, processing and assembly operations at 85 W. Gay St.
According to the application from Bismark LLC, it plans to use the permit for coffee roasting, possibly by Chestnut Ridge Coffee Roasters, which currently rents out of a space on Old South High.
The roasting operation would not include a coffee shop, document say.
Also on the Tuesday agenda is a resolution from the Public Works Department to apply for a Virginia Department of Transportation Transportation Alternatives Program Grant for the Federal Street Path, Block 2 Project.
The Federal Street shared-use path would be constructed along Federal Street between East Market Street and Water Street, according to city documents, which would continue the transition of Federal Street from a two-way facility to a one-way street.
The shared-use path is planned to connect the Northend Greenway to the Bluestone Trail by way of downtown.
The project will cost $539,975. If received, the grant would cover $431,908 and the city would be required to pay the remaining $107,995.
Council will also hold public hearings for special-use permits to allow short-term rentals at three properties – 511 Paul St., 511 Myers Ave. and 231 W. Gay St.
Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 409 S. Main St.