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November 11, 2020

48-unit apartment plan before county supervisors

Google Earth
The apartments would stand just south of the existing Aspen Way complex. Route 17 lies just to the west (left) and the Bealeton Village Shopping Center to the north.
If you looked at Southern Fauquier, and you had to pick a perfect spot for this apartment complex, I think this would be the ideal spot.
— Planning Commissioner Matthew Smith
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Fauquier’s board of supervisors Thursday will conduct a public hearing on a proposal to construct 48 affordable apartments in Bealeton.

Landowner and applicant North Forty Aspen Plus LP seeks approval to rezone 9.98 acres at 6206 Aspen Way from “Planned Residential Development” to “Garden Apartment.”

The project specifically calls for two three-story structures, with each containing 24 rent-controlled units.

To qualify, potential tenants’ incomes can’t exceed 60 percent of the area’s median gross income.

> Documents at bottom of story

The board meeting Thursday will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Warren Green Building in Warrenton.

At the applicant’s request, the supervisors will delay a vote on the rezoning by up to 90 days as negotiations between the parties continue.

After a brief public hearing Oct. 15, Fauquier’s planning commission voted, 3-1, in recommending denial of the application. Vice Chairperson Adrienne Garreau (Scott District) didn’t attend the meeting.

Only one person — the applicant’s representative Chuck Floyd — spoke during the hearing.

The five-member commission serves as an advisory panel to the supervisors, which has final authority.

In voting against the project, Commissioners Bob Lee (Marshall), Chairman John Meadows (Lee) and Diane Roteman (Center) voiced various concerns related to the project’s open space and lack of recreational “amenities.”

The Aspen Village proposal dedicates about five acres to open space but provides no recreational use of the land.

Because most of the five acres would be used for the project’s stormwater management and underground utilities, a majority of commissioners concluded that the land failed to qualify as open space.

Like the other commissioners, Mr. Lee acknowledged the need for affordable housing in Fauquier.

“There are elements that we applaud,” he said. “But there are shortcomings associated with substantial increased density, without amenity values for current” or Aspen Village residents who would share open space uses.

Mr. Meadows, whose district includes Bealeton, believes the applicant’s proposed use of the project’s open space could set a dangerous precedent.

“Almost all of what they’re offering is either stormwater management or ditches — something other than something that can be used” for recreation, he suggested. “I fear we would set a precedent if we . . . let this slide through.”

But with greater effort, the applicant could produce “something that would work,” Mr. Meadows said.

Via phone during the commission’s public hearing, Mr. Floyd noted that residents of the proposed Aspen Village would have access to the adjacent Aspen Club apartment complex’s pool and tot lot.

But the land planning consultant also told the commission that he would be open to discussing potential recreational uses of the project’s open space.

The applicant has agreed to give the county $103,200 to help offset the project’s demands on public safety and parks and recreation services. That equates to $2,150 per apartment.

Planning Commissioner Matthew Smith (Cedar Run) supported the project.

“If you looked at Southern Fauquier, and you had to pick a perfect spot for this apartment complex, I think this would be the ideal spot,” said Mr. Smith, who understands the reservations that his commission colleagues have about the project.

He also called it a “plus” that Aspen Village residents would have access to the adjacent Aspen Club’s pool and tot lot.

Mr. Smith also believes the proposed open space could be used productively.

“It can be kept mowed like a lawn,” he said. “I think there’s plenty of use the kids in the neighborhood could have in that open space.”

Contact Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-0300.

Aspen Way Rezoning Proposal by Fauquier Now

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Mark House · November 13, 2020 at 1:08 pm
PabloCruz - It's all about the money.
PabloCruz · November 12, 2020 at 8:31 pm
Mr. Smith also believes the proposed open space could be used productively.

“It can be kept mowed like a lawn,” he said. “I think there’s plenty of use the kids in the neighborhood could have in that open space.”

I wonder if Mr Smith would find drainage ditches and utility locations acceptable play areas for his own kids?
We have a problem in this country. We don’t give a damn about poor people's happiness. We expect them to toil long irregular hours for pathetic wages, to meet the needs of our society. Then give the bare minimum for a place for their kids to play- a drainage area that can be mowed-good enough for them. God help us.
Savefauquiercounty2019 · November 12, 2020 at 10:49 am
60 percent of gross median income? Fauquier county only has 35 % of its population who holds a bachelor's degree or more. Is the median income for Fauquier county $97,000 or per capita $44,724? We see how the Senior Mintbrooks apartments have loopholes... so a 65 year can pursue these but they can also have younger adults, children living with them. So one grand parent can bring their grandchildren too. The developer of tgese apartments reportedly stated there would be transportation, but not!! Stick our poor in Bealton and how much public transport will be availed to them??? Mr. Potter has gotten away with nickeling, diming his tenants and has gained a reputation as slum Lord. Please don't set the stage for yet another developer to not follow through. 17% of the 71,222 residents are over 65 years old.Over 12,000 seniors. Why hasn't the lack of affordable senior housing been resolved? Why did you approve assisting livings to build and not accept Medicaid or fixed incomes? Average Social security benefits is $1500 a month. Since Obamacare, out of pockets for seniors rose to over $6000 or more a year not including their premiums and drugs. $18,000 MINUS $6000 IS not enough to survive in Fauquier County. Forcing Seniors to locate housing elsewhere, leaving their families and support systems.
Mark House · November 12, 2020 at 10:02 am
Affordable housing is needed and a much better idea than more McMansions.
Demosthenes · November 11, 2020 at 6:54 pm
That is within walking distance of the few stores and restaurants that exist in Bealeton. It is a convenient place for people to live, and will help to keep those few local businesses open.
OooogBooooga · November 11, 2020 at 4:21 pm
Thats not a good idea. That means more kids on the bus. It's already full in the morning
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