A new 96-home subdivision in suburban Richmond got the green light Monday from City Council, but there are still some trees standing in its way.
By unanimously approving a rezoning proposal, the council allowed for the development of Archer Springs, a 44-acre Southside neighborhood off Duryea Drive near Huguenot Road. Local homebuilder StyleCraft Homes is the developer. The company proposed the project about a year and a half ago.
The development drew opposition from nearby neighborhoods. “Save our neighborhood” signs dot Duryea Drive, and several residents expressed concerns about added traffic, tree removal and the density of Archer Springs.
StyleCraft principal Larry Horton will have to bring tree preservation and grading plans back to the planning commission before construction can begin. The tree preservation plan is aimed at protecting trees larger than 36 inches in diameter and 17 feet tall.
Councilwoman Kathy Graziano (District 4) praised Horton and StyleCraft’s cooperation, calling it unusual for a developer to comply with planning commission recommendations and community input but fail to receive a positive recommendation from the commission.
“I have never, ever heard of a tree preservation plan that the planning commission needs to approve,” Graziano said. “Before [Horton] can build his first house, he has to readjust his plans and save those trees.”
StyleCraft will be the project’s developer, agent and lead contractor. The company does not know when it will break ground, Horton said. He told BizSense last year that Archer Springs would cost between $7 million and $10 million to develop.
The project initially called for 102 homes but was scaled back amid pushback from the surrounding neighborhood, said Graziano whose district includes the Archer Springs area. She supported the rezoning plan.
Richmond’s planning commission last week voted 4-4 on the project’s rezoning proposal. The commission’s votes are only recommendations for the council to consider.
StyleCraft has developed more than 10 communities in the Richmond area. Its projects include New Market Village off of Laburnum Road in Henrico, which has move-in ready homes from $170,770, and Hungary Creek in Glen Allen, where homes start around $460,000.