The Harrisonburg Planning Commission will hold its first meeting of the new year to determine who will serve as commission chair along with holding three public hearings on Wednesday.

Henry Way was the chair until his term ended Dec. 31. He did not apply to serve a second term.

The commission is made up of seven city residents who are allowed to serve up to two four-year terms. The advisory panel makes recommendations to City Council about land-use decisions and other matters. Council appoints residents who have applied to serve on volunteer boards and commissions.

Council has not appointed anyone to fill Way’s spot.

In other news, the commission will hold a public hearing and consider a request from Harrisonburg Cohousing to rezone 650 Keezletown Road from R-1, single-family residential, to R-7, medium density mixed residential planned community district.

The R-7 district is intended to provide opportunities for the development of planned residential communities offering a mix of single-family detached units, single-family attached units and multifamily units in certain circumstances, according to city documents.

Harrisonburg Cohousing plans to develop 28 dwelling units — including eight apartments, 15 townhouses, two duplex structures with four units, and one single-family detached dwelling — on the 5.5-acre parcel.

The proposed community would be called “Juniper Hill Commons,” according to city documents.

To date, the city has only approved four R-7 master plans.

Staff recommended approval of the request.

Commission members will also consider a request from Central Valley Habitat for Humanity to rezone 628, 648 and 658 Virginia Ave. from R-2, residential district, to R-8, small lot residential district.

Each parcel is around 6,250 square feet. Rezoning would allow the nonprofit to increase the number of individuals or families served from three to six by allowing the construction of duplexes on the parcels, city documents said.

Central Valley Habitat for Humanity builds “simple, decent homes for sale to low-income families at no profit and no interest in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County,” according to its website.

Staff recommended approval of the request.

The last request the commission will hear is from Diversified Properties LLC to rezone 690 Pear St. from R-1, single-family residential, to R-2C, residential district conditional.

If City Council approves the request following the commission’s recommendation, the nearly 18,000-square-foot parcel would be subdivided into two lots for the construction of a duplex.

City documents said that while the applicant plans to construct a duplex on the site, it is not required to, and the applicant could instead build two single-family detached dwellings.

City staff recommended approval.

Planning Commission meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 409 S. Main St.

Contact Laine Griffin

at 574-6286 or Follow Laine on Twitter @laine_griffDNR

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