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Vint Hill owners mum on plans for more homes

Concerns that 600 or more houses could be built at Vint Hill along with questions about a planned psychiatric treatment center brought about 100 residents out Nov. 12 to hear a presentation about what can and can't be built.

The Vint Hill development is located just south of Gainesville and has generated concern and interest from Prince William residents. The concern is over increased traffic along U.S. 29 while the interest centers around the new businesses and opportunities that will be built in the development.

The presentation was led by Fauquier County Department of Community Development staff and was hosted by Supervisor Holder Trumbo, whose magisterial district includes Vint Hill.

Trumbo offered to begin meeting monthly with Vint Hill residents to keep the conversation going. In keeping with the setting of Wednesday's meeting, he had tickets passed around to the audience redeemable for a free beer at Old Bust Head, site of the meeting.

He said he paid for the beer from his own pocket.

Vint Hill residents at the community meeting told the “Times” that Vint Hill Village LLC plans to build 600 to 1,000 homes.

Mike Maloney, president of the Vint Hill Homeowners Association, said after the session that “they're going to request a rezoning to allow the building of apartments, townhouses and duplexes.”

The development would be along both sides of Aiken Road to Rogues Road, he said. The area is now zoned planned commercial industrial development, according to a 2011 concept development plan.

Vint Hill Village LLC representatives were at the meeting but did not speak out about their plans for the property during the question and answer period that followed a presentation by Chuck Floyd, assistant chief of zoning and development services for the community development department.

Wes Kennedy, vice president of Vint Hill Village LLC, was present at the meeting and told Fauquier Times their plans “are going to require more community input” without saying what they have in mind.

Floyd said Vint Hill Village LLC representatives met with his department about a month ago to get “our thoughts on what we envision” at the former Army base that is being developed as a jobs producer and an economic generator for the county.

Maloney said the construction of more homes would be a “tax deficit” since residents require services and don't generate the tax revenue that commercial development would.

Floyd told the audience that any requested zoning change would require at least one hearing apiece before the planning commission and the supervisors. Localities have a year to make a decision on a rezoning application. Consideration of such an application would involve analysis of traffic impact, storm water management, utility requirements, and environmental impact.

He said no application has been filed by Vint Hill Village LLC.

According to Floyd's handout to each member of the audience, the 695-acre Vint Hill tract was approved in 1999 by the county supervisors as a planned commercial industrial district and a planned residential district. That includes 3.1 million square feet for industrial or employment use, 250 continuing care units and 324 dwelling units.

He said 22.5 percent of the available industrial/employment square footage is in use as such today. Office, industrial and research and development were added to the permitted commercial and industrial uses under an amendment approved in 2011.

All the housing that can be built under the current development plan has been built, Floyd said.

The handout listed permitted principal and secondary land uses. It also listed uses that would require a special exemption from the supervisors.

They include a data center, hotel/motel, hospital, freight terminals, shopping centers under 200,000 square feet, waste water treatment facilities, and affordable, supportive or transitional housing when proposed for an existing building.

Melanie Whiteside, a Vint Hill resident for 10 years, voiced concerns about security from the planned 40-bed psychiatric treatment center.

Heathcare Corporation of America has applied for state approval.

County Zoning Administrator Kimberley Johnson has said the application meets the “medical care facility” criteria for the planned commercial and industrial district.

Trumbo said HCA sought a resolution of support for its proposal from the county supervisors but he said that won't happen until HCA meets with the residents.

He said the state board of health will hold a hearing Dec. 5 in the county building on HCA's certificate of public need application.

Maloney said Trumbo “has been extremely open” to the concerns of residents.

For more information on the future of Vint Hill, visit www.vinhillvillage.com or www.vinthillvision.com.
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