A request and public hearing for 53 new townhomes named High Point Villas will come before the Bedford County Planning Commission next week.

Chris Langley is requesting a special use permit to construct 53 new townhomes on 374,500 square feet of a nearly nine-acre property at 2065 Perrowville Road across from Teva Pharmaceuticals, according to planning documents.

The public hearing will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Jefferson Forest High School auditorium, 1 Cavalier Circle, Forest. 

In Langley’s application to the county, he states the townhomes are intended to be “higher end” with some units offering one- to two-bay garages. The concept plan includes a pool, pet park and playground.

If all requests are approved, construction could begin next spring.

“This development offers a unique niche for housing in the Forest community,” he wrote in his application dated Aug. 2, 2019. “There are very few higher end townhomes offered for sale in Forest. It is the developer’s belief that this project’s location, proximity to similar housing styles, and the trend for townhouse ownership will be beneficial for marketing these townhouses.”

Norm Walton, engineer with Perkins & Orrison representing Langley, said High Point Villas is surrounded by the Farmington community and will blend in with the existing development. He said the villas will complete an area that is already developed.

Townhomes called Westin Village also are being developed across the street from Jefferson Forest High School, about one half mile away. The Farmington development, includes a mixture of single-family homes, townhomes and apartments, is nearby.

The villas will have two- three- and four-bedrooms with multiple floors.

Selling prices are expected to start above $300,000, Walton said.

“Our team includes engineers, designers and a landscape architect to help develop something attractive, desirable and with a unique well landscaped environment that is has a destination community lifestyle feel,” he said.

The property is zoned R-2 Medium Density Residential and is undeveloped. The surrounding properties are zoned AR Agricultural Residential, R-1 Low Density Residential, R-2, PRD Planned Residential Development; PCD Planned Commercial Development; PID Planned Industrial Development and I-1 Low-Intensity Industrial.

Gregg Zody, director of community development for Bedford County, said the proposed development fits in with the area as there are townhouses in adjacent developments.

“I would say there is always a concern about the impact of additional residences on our public infrastructure including water and sewer, roads, public schools, first responders, etc.,” Zody said.

The documents define a townhouse as a grouping of three or more attached single-family dwellings in a row and each unit that has its own front and rear access to the outside. No unit is located over another unit and each unit is separated from any other unit by one or more common walls.

“Forest is a growth center in Bedford County,” Langley states in his application. “This project offers a medium cost point, low-maintenance housing option for this area. … These units will not change the character of the community as nearby developments are a mixture of single family detached housing, duplexes, townhouses and apartments.”

Kelly Vaughan, a Lynchburg resident, said the area is already overrun by townhomes.

“They are popping up left and right and taking away all the gorgeous land and trees,” she said. “You can hardly go down any major road and not see new townhomes being constructed. It’s gotten pretty ridiculous, honestly.”

Stephanie Bond, a resident of Madison Heights, agreed and said the wildlife in the area is running out of living space and building more townhomes is destroying the area’s natural beauty.

“It’s just really sad and unnecessary. It also makes for awful traffic,” she said. “So much so that people who live here want to move away.”

A traffic plan has been submitted to the county and to the Virginia Department of Transportation for review. The proposed development will not require turn lanes, the documents state.

Walton said the study does not show a negative effect to Perrowville Road and the entrance to the community will be well-landscaped.

According to Zody, a school official said Forest Middle School — post-expansion — Jefferson Forest High School and Forest Elementary School have the capacity to handle the additional development.

The Bedford County School Board is currently studying an elementary facility report that addresses maximum capacity issues. Possible solutions could include expansion of the existing school or construction of another school in the Forest area, documents state.

“At the price point that these units are offered, the developer expects few school age children to reside in this community,” Langley wrote in his application. “Impacts to schools should be minimal.”

Conditions for the proposed development include that lighting associated with the townhomes must be directed downward and away from adjoining properties and evergreen trees be planted in a 20-foot buffer yard along all property lines.

Rachael Smith covers local businesses and nonprofits. Reach her at (434) 385-5482.

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Rachael Smith covers local businesses and nonprofits. Reach her at (434) 385-5482.

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