A recently purchased swath of Powhatan County woodlands is set to be partially subdivided after all.
The buyers behind a $3.5 million purchase in November of two tracts totaling 567 acres along both sides of Manakintown Ferry Road south of Huguenot Trail are looking to rezone 89 acres for 14 home lots.
The lots, between 5 and 9 acres, would be developed as a gated community with private road access off Manakintown Ferry Road. The property is near the established King William Woods subdivision, which consists of 2- and 3-acre lots.
A rezoning request to allow the subdivision received support from the county planning commission last week, despite a petition opposing it signed by 26 residents, who cited concerns with traffic safety and housing density in regard to whether the area could support additional septic systems.
The request is set to go before county supervisors for a decision March 27.
After the property was purchased Nov. 22, the buyers’ agent, Richard Bower of Joyner Fine Properties, said they did not intend to subdivide the properties. However, the family behind the entities that bought the two tracts – Huguenot Woods LLC and Manakin Woods LLC – said they are rezoning the 89-acre portion for long-term planning purposes and plan eventually to sell the parcels over time.
The LLCs are owned by a family in California whose oldest daughter attended undergrad at UR and is pursuing master’s degrees at UVA. She and her husband plan to build a residence on the land, said her father, Greg Amaral, who shares ownership of the LLCs with his daughter and her three younger siblings.
Amaral said their family has been in the agriculture business in California for generations. He said his daughter was seeking similar surroundings, while also making an investment with her siblings.
“She grew up on big properties and open space, so I encourage her, if she can, to replicate that kind of existence out there, and that’s what she wants to do,” Amaral said.
The family plans to call the property Canterbury Farms, in honor of the Huguenots who emigrated from Canterbury, England, and occupied the land in the 1700s. The gated community would have a homeowners association with requirements to protect the neighborhood, Amaral said.
“My daughter and her husband have ties to Richmond and their goal is to build a house and raise their future family on the property,” Amaral said. “Their hope is that their children and grandchildren can raise their families there one day.”
The family is working with Cameron Palmore of Midlothian-based civil engineering firm Balzer and Associates. Midlothian attorney Philip McDaniel is the registered agent for the two LLCs.
The 567 acres previously belonged to members of the Denny family that owned the larger Monacan Farm, said to have totaled more than 1,100 acres. The Denny family purchased the farm between 1948 and 1950.
The land is across the street from another piece of Monacan Farm that Bower sold in 2014. 1000 Huguenot Trail, a 184-acre tract that includes a two-story, 6,100-square-foot brick house built in the 1720s, was sold with an adjacent 460-acre parcel at a combined price just over $5 million.