A housing project on the table in Warren County could bring more traffic to the Reliance area.
Larry Himelright, owner of Royal Oak Estates LLC, has applied to the Warren County Planning Department for a conditional use permit for a 183.6-acre cluster housing development on Reliance Road. Specifically, county records show Himelright seeking to create 40 lots each under 10 acres and an average of one acre; seven lots of over 10 acres each; and an open-plan lot of 64,616 acres.
The planning commission must first hold a public hearing on the application and then send its recommendation to the oversight board for approval or denial.
Warren County Planning Director Matt Wendling said in an email Wednesday that if the board of supervisors approves the permit, the developer would build a dwelling on each of the 40 one-acre lots and a house on each. seven-acre lots. Himelright submitted and then withdrew a similar permit application last year, Wendling said Friday. The new submission includes a proposed plan of subdivision with a slightly reconfigured lot layout, Wendling explained.
The developer could encounter difficulties with the proposed development, primarily with the project’s entrance off Reliance Road, Wendling said. County documents show the development would have only one access point to Reliance Road. The county requires that a dedicated street built to Virginia Department of Transportation standards and accepted into the state road system serve the development lots.
The Department of Planning staff report on the application notes the potential impacts of the proposed cluster development on local traffic and roads, the environment and the community. The annual average daily traffic on Reliance Road ranges from 2,000 to 2,700 vehicle trips per day. The development would potentially generate 10 trips per day per single-family dwelling for an additional total of 470 vehicle trips per day. The department asked the Virginia Department of Transportation to review the proposed development and provide any suggested improvements.
The 183.6 acres of vacant woods and zoned agriculture are in the magisterial North River District, north of Interstate 66, west of Sly Fox Golf Course and the Jackson Meadows Estates subdivision. The property is also adjacent to other agricultural land used as woodland and pasture.
The Warren County Comprehensive Plan, which serves as a guide but not a regulation, suggests that development should take place in areas contiguous to Front Royal or in villages served or will be served by public facilities such as roads, the water and sewage. The proposed development would not be contiguous with the town or village of Reliance. The applicant proposes that private wells and sewage disposal systems would serve the development.
The comprehensive plan also discourages development in environmentally sensitive areas. The proposed project preserves steep slope areas on the property and includes a buffer against Molly Campbell Run. The design does not include buffer zones between the proposed houses and farmland to the northwest and northeast of the property.
The Planning Department commissioned an environmental impact study to determine the potential effect of the development on the environment. The statement would be provided to the department prior to the public hearing on the application. The county asked the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to review the proposed development and provide suggestions.
Planning department staff will also review a tax impact model to determine the net capital cost of the development per household for the county. Warren County Public Schools and the Warren County Fire and Rescue Services Department were asked to review the proposal and provide feedback.