Townhome project planned on U.S. 40

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— A new townhome project is planned for the area adjacent to the proposed River Place co-housing project on U.S. Highway 40.

Known as Majestic Valley Town Homes, the four-acre site is south of the Super 8 Motel. The project is planned for 41 townhomes and 2,400 square feet of retail.

It is the sister of the River Place project, which went through a preapplication process in September. The River Place plan includes 12 single-family homes and six live-work or commercial units.

Applicants Rob Dick and Kathy Crawford proposed to subdivide the 7.68-acre tract into two plots. When River Place came before the City Council, the council wanted to see the plans for the other half of the subdivision.

Majestic Valley Town Homes was submitted for preapplication review in early October. Dick owns the property with John Peddie, but Dick said it is being developed by Chuck Dunagin with the project under contract.

Since 1996, Dick said the land that River Place and Majestic Valley Town Homes are now slated for has gone through a number of applications. Dick said they had proposed other residential and commercial uses but had trouble working around the wetlands on the site.

"Wetlands have been the biggest obstacle in determining the use for the site," Dick said. "But I think both the projects are developed sensitively with that in mind."

The Majestic Valley Town Homes development proposes 11 buildings to house the 41 townhome units, and 38 percent of the property is designated as landscaped or open space area.

Dick, executive director of the Regional Affordable Living Foundation, said it is too early to tell if any of the townhomes will be turned into affordable living units.

"They certainly have the potential to be affordable housing. The question is how much the development is going to cost," Dick said. "The intention is to provide a product as inexpensive as possible."

The cost of the project will be in part determined by the requirements coming from the planning commission and City Council. One of the unknown costs, Dick said, is if the developers would have to widen the road coming into the property.

The goal is to get approval this winter and starting building in the spring.

Dick said he does not expect any issues to be raised over the development's closeness to Mount Werner Water's infiltration gallery. Like the River Place development, the Majestic Town Homes development sits 300 feet from the infiltration gallery, which is a kind of horizontal water well.

But for the River Place project, the applicants worked with Mount Werner Water to solve the issue by agreeing to a list of mitigations to ensure the water source would not be polluted.

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