BoS Approves Belvedere

The Board of Supervisors has approved “Belvedere,” a 207-acre, 775-unit development because, frankly, there’s really just not enough traffic on Rio as it is. It’s on the 29 side of Rio, midway between CATEC and Fashion Square Mall (Google Map), adjacent to Dunlora. Stonehaus Development has been trying to get the rezoning approved since 2003, but was repeatedly turned down for their lack of affordable housing and failure to comply with VDOT road standards, along with eight other problems. Those concerns have apparently been addressed to the satisfaction of the BoS. The site plan (PDF) shows a basic suburban development — cul-de-sacs, no meaningful mixed use, all streets curved to mask the fact that all the houses look the same. More information is on Stonehaus’ website.

I look forward to seeing how the BoS and Stonehaus define “affordable.” If I were a betting man, I’d wager that I’m not likely to be able to afford one.

Jessica Kitchin has the story in today’s Daily Progress.

9 Responses to “BoS Approves Belvedere”


  • These properties might have been affordable five years ago, had the process been more efficient and reasonable. The Neighborhood Model’s moving target make the planning process so incredibly difficult and expensive, that these costs will thereby get passed on to the buyer.

    What is affordable housing?

    Note that Dennis Rooker, one of the greatest proponents, and designers of, the Neighborhood Model defines affordable housing a little bit differently from the rest of us. He stated the other night in the candidate forum that Old Trail will have about three hundred units have been proferred that will be priced at around $200k, some of which will be apartments. Listen starting at 46 minutes.

    One of the good things about Belvedere is that they are supposedly going to be building “”carriage houses” on some of the properties that will be able to be rented out – ostensibly to provide some affordable housing that way.

  • affordable to all the people who own the real estate companies making a killing

  • I have no problem with development, I think it is natural. What I do have a problem with is development without proper infrastructure. I live in Stonehenge, a subdivision on Rio Road, and let me tell you, Rio Road is not capable of handling more traffic. There has been days when I have sat at the entrance of my subdivision for about 10 minutes because of the heavy commuter traffic on what was a residential corridor. I am sure the county considered this when approving this, so I’m hoping this means they will be pushing the parkway along otherwise Rio will become more of a nightmare than it already is.
    One more thing. Im curious as to why the developer chose that plot of land as opposed to the cleared out land further up Rio near Berkmar? The road is already 4 lanes there and could handle a neighborhood of this size. Just a thought.

  • Dennis Rooker, one of the greatest proponents, and designers of, the Neighborhood Model defines affordable housing a little bit differently from the rest of us. He stated the other night in the candidate forum that Old Trail will have about three hundred units have been proferred that will be priced at around $200k, some of which will be apartments.

    Clearly, Jim, I think that’s totally nuts. Anything over $100k isn’t “affordable.” I think somewhere around $80k is a starting point that would have allowed me to buy a home a few years ago, and many other folks in the same economic circumstances.

    One more thing. Im curious as to why the developer chose that plot of land as opposed to the cleared out land further up Rio near Berkmar? The road is already 4 lanes there and could handle a neighborhood of this size.

    Simple, UVA08: Because traffic isn’t a developer’s concern. :) Demand exceeds supply, so build on the cheapest available land.

    Man, I feel sorry for you, living in Stonehenge. I’ve driven by there during rush hour and thought “those poor bastards.”

  • Traffic shouldnt be the developers concern it should be the county’s. The citizens of this county need to start paying attention to local elections (myself included). We all have a tendency to complain about traffic but thats all we ever do, complain. Before we elect another board I suggest we demand these people tell us where they stand on transportation and how they are going to move foward. We need to start telling these board members that another meeting isnt going to cut it anymore. Maybe it is the same everywhere, but I’m both amazed and angered by how much time the elected officials around here waste having a meeting only to decide they need to have one more meeting to discuss the details of the meeting after that.
    Our public officials have been meeting about the parkway for 30 years, the by pass for almost 20 years, eastern connector about 5 years, and southern parkway for a number of years. Meanwhile state and federal funds are going else where (ex: Madison Heights Bypass in the slower growing Lynchburg area). I have no problem with the developers, they are just doing their job. I have a problem with the county board of supervisors and the city council who arent doing theirs.

  • Traffic shouldnt be the developers concern it should be the county’s.

    Then we’re going to have to give localities the power to shape development accordingly. If some fool developer wants to plop down 2,000 houses out in Boonesville, the county ought not be obligated to run a four-lane highway to Boonesville. Either the BoS needs the power to say “no, you can’t build that there” or the developer needs to be obligated to foot the bill for that highway, passing the cost of that road onto the new residents.

    I don’t see why I should have to foot the construction costs for a developer who is clearly just passing the buck to realize a steeper profit. The new residents should pay that cost by building it into the cost of purchasing those residences (by making the developer pay) or it should be included in their property tax bills in the coming years.

  • THis is what I’m talking about (http://www.dailyprogress.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=CDP%2FMGArticle%2FCDP_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1128767536797&path=!news) Apparently widening 250 and 29 are “way off the radar for our current board of supervisors. If these are the type of projects they see “wayy of radar” then its timre for them to go. Anyone who lives north of wal mart or east of the 64 interchange knows these roads need to be widened further out. At this point when I vote for my supervisor Im going to look for Incumbent and then pull the other lever.

  • I think the development finally got approved because now, especially with the federal funding, it actually looks like the Meadowcreek parkway may actually be built. So the B.o.S. may be thinking that will assist somewhat with the abatement of traffic on Rio Road. I think that development isn’t a good idea either.

    On another note:

    Waldo said:

    If some fool developer wants to plop down 2,000 houses out in Boonesville, the county ought not be obligated to run a four-lane highway to Boonesville. Either the BoS needs the power to say “no, you can’t build that there” or the developer needs to be obligated to foot the bill for that highway, passing the cost of that road onto the new residents.

    I’m honestly surprised the city and county isn’t passing along the cost of infrastructure improvements needed as a result of development to the developers! Almost every other major city around the country does that as a standard practice. It helps them control the rate of growth by making the developers responsible for the needed infrastructure improvements – before– the developments are approved.

    To not hold developers responsible for these costs, and instead shuffle them back to the city and county (and thereby the taxpayers)… it amounts to a giveaway to developers. And in area’s where water supply is an issue, the developers are also responsible for proving that the supply will not be further taxed by their development, and if it is they must provide a plan for where the water will come from.

    Pass the infrastructure improvement cost’s back to the developers!

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