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Keswick Approval

A rezoning request that would allow the development of apartments, townhouses, single-family homes and a new public park near Spotsylvania County’s courthouse area won the approval of the county’s Planning Commission on Wednesday night.

The commission voted 3-1 to recommend approval of an application to rezone the 158-acre Keswick property from Agricultural 2 to Planned Development Housing 5. The property is at the intersection of Lake Anna Parkway and Old Robert E. Lee Drive, not far from W.J. Vakos & Co.’s Courthouse Village.

Keswick’s developers, who are headed by Jay Jarrell, envision a residential community of 240 apartments, 90 townhouses, 84 age-restricted villas, 100 age-restricted apartments, a 100-unit assisted-living facility and 150 single-family homes.

As part of their application for the rezoning, the developers have offered to build the 34-acre Keswick Park on their property. It would consist of soccer fields, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, a playground, a picnic pavilion and nature trails. They would also dedicate about two-thirds of a mile of right of way to the county for the future extension of Massaponax Church Road to Lake Anna Parkway.

Spotsylvania’s planning staff had recommended that the Planning Commission deny the rezoning request in part because the proffered park would not offset the cost to the county in additional required services. Keswick is projected to attract about 1,472 residents and 157 school-age children, according to the Planning Department’s report.

The Planning Commission’s vote came after about five people spoke at the public hearing. Three speakers opposed the plan, and two supported it, Jarrell said.

Commissioner Clifton Vaughan voted against the rezoning. John Gustafson did not vote because of a conflict of interests involving his real estate job, and Mary Lee Carter and Robert Taylor Jr. were not at the meeting.

The matter will now head to the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors, which has final say on the rezoning. The hearing is expected sometime in February.

Keswick isn’t the only residential project that Jarrell is working on in the county. He is also operating manager of Pelham’s East LLC, which has a contract to buy 57 acres on the west side of Jim Morris Road (State Route 609) and east side of Benchmark Road (State Route 608), close to the planned Virginia Railway Express station off U.S. 17.

A preliminary plat was submitted to planning staff last week for the 57-home Pelham’s East cluster subdivision. The lots would have an average size of 15,000 square feet. The neighborhood would be accessed from Jim Morris Road and connect with Pelham’s Crossing through a stub street that ends at the current property line.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405

Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com


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