A split-level entertainment complex with a bowling alley, two restaurants and arcades won approval from the Chesterfield Planning Commission last week to place a 29-foot-tall bowling pin on the roof.
The pin is proposed to be made of “interlaced steel and aluminum,” Uphoff Ventures LLC representative Andy Scherzer told the commission.
“It won’t be a garish light bulb.”
The $17 million facility will employ 100 full- and part-time workers, have an annual payroll of $1.8 million and is projected to generate at least $153,000 in annual tax revenue to the county.
The 52,000-square-foot indoor recreation and dining facility is on the southwest quadrant of Commonwealth Centre and Brad McNeer parkways. (You can see a Google Map of it here.)
The two-level facility, to be called Uptown Alley, will have 40 bowling lanes, two restaurants, arcades and space for private parties.
The 12.4-acre site in Commonwealth Centre is already zoned appropriately and has planning staff approval except for a 29-foot-tall bowling pin to sit on the roof. The developer is asking for the pin because the building site sits low compared with surrounding businesses.
The pin will be lit, but Planning Director Kirk Turner assured the commission there would be “no light that causes a glare on adjacent properties.”
Because the site elevation is low, the top of the pin will be slightly lower than the nearby Commonwealth 20 Theatres.
Although Joyce Rowe, president of the Brandermill Board of Directors, said her community hadn’t been consulted, the commissioners seem to believe the pin would not be visible from either Hull Street Road or Route 288.
“We have to be visible to the public to be successful,” said developer Steve Uphoff, who also owns 44 Uppy’s convenience stores, including 30 in the county.
“It will be a high quality entertainment center,” stressed Scherzer.
In casting the lone dissenting vote, commission Chairman Russ Gulley sided with county staff, saying the planning guidelines were being bent to allow additional colors for architecture and signs. Staff proposed the pin be situated on the ground.
Uptown Alley will be located in Matoaca District, and its commissioner, Wayne Bass, said the issue was an example of why Chesterfield doesn’t attract enough commercial development. “We’re bickering over one sign on a roof,” complained Bass.
In other development news, the commission unanimously approved that the Shoppes at Westchester be allowed to increase the maximum size of its largest retailer from 70,000 square feet to 122,000 to allow for a prospective home improvement/garden center. That retail/office complex is on the western border of Westchester Commons, the major retail complex in the Watkins Centre.
The name of the home improvement retailer wasn’t clearly identified, but both Lowe’s and Home Depot were cited as examples. Both those retailers have locations near Chesterfield Towne Center just four miles to the east.
Staff recommended denial because the Rebkee Company didn’t “adequately address architectural standards.”
Following a work session on planning fees for private kennels, staff and the County Attorney’s Office are reviewing the definition of a private kennel and what the appropriate fee should be to have one in a residential area. Currently, people living in a residential area have to pay a $1,000 fee to apply to become a private kennel when they have more than two dogs.
According to Assistant County Attorney Tara McGee, many of the violations heard by the Board of Zoning Appeals are for owners with three dogs.
“The fee is so high that applications today are not being filed,” said Turner.
County staff is recommending “flexibility to adjust this fee anywhere between $100 and $1,000.” The current regulation attempts to resolve concerns about noise and impact on neighbors. The review was ordered by the county board of supervisors.
A request by the Commonwealth Foundation for Cancer Research to get tentative plat subdivision approval was deferred until Oct. 24. The 62.4-acre site is sandwiched between Queensmill and Route 288, and representative Bill Johns expects to get a second access road granted by the Virginia Department of Transportation to the development in order to build 98 single-family homes.
Greg Pearson is the publisher of the Chesterfield Observer, where this story first appeared. The Observer is a BizSense news partner.