HHHunt seeks rezoning for 500-home Charter Colony expansion

Sample elevations of the proposed detached cluster-style homes that would be in Charter Colony West. (Images courtesy of HHHunt Communities)

After selling the last of the 2,000-plus homes that make up its Charter Colony development, one of the area’s biggest homebuilders is planning an expansion that would add nearly 500 more.

HHHunt Communities is seeking zoning approval for Charter Colony West, a 495-home addition to Charter Colony that would fill 157 acres along the east side of Route 288 just north of the Woolridge Road interchange.

The development would consist of 120 townhomes and 375 detached homes described as “cluster-style,” with lot sizes of no more than 4,500 square feet.

HHHunt filed plans for the project in January, according to an overview on its website. Requests for a rezoning and a connectivity waiver are slated to go before the Chesterfield County Planning Commission at its regular meeting today.

In a report to the commission, county planning staff recommends approving both requests, though planners say in the same document that they cannot fully support them because HHHunt’s plans do not adequately address the development’s impacts on transportation infrastructure and traffic safety. The development is projected to generate 4,500 daily trips on average.

A conceptual site plan of Charter Colony West.

The county’s cash proffer policy for covering such impacts calculates the development’s total impact, based on its number and style of homes, at about $4.23 million. HHHunt maintains it is investing that much in planned road improvements, including an extension of Charter Park Drive through the site, but staff argues that off-site improvements would amount to only $500,000.

Jeff Geiger, a Hirschler attorney representing HHHunt, said the company is requesting credit for the extension and other improvements, including an off-site traffic signal at the development’s main entrance at Charter Park and Woolridge. Charter Park would be extended to connect with Old Otterdale Road to the north.

“From the applicant’s perspective, we’re building the county a thoroughfare road that the county has identified as a need, and we’re providing the capacity that they need for the network,” Geiger said. “In exchange for that, we’re providing a road that goes beyond what is needed to serve our community.”

He added, “We believe that we’re improving the network and requesting credit for building the county road.”

Despite that dispute, staff recommends approving the case as a whole, with final approval coming from the Board of Supervisors. If the case proceeds today, supervisors would take it up at their Sept. 22 meeting.

The townhomes would be grouped in clusters of seven units or less.

Planned as a western extension of Charter Colony, the project would continue the development pattern of the larger community, with sidewalks, street trees, internal pedestrian connections, a bikeway and shared-use paths, and an amenity area with pool and recreational features.

Home frontages would vary in appearance, with no more than seven townhomes grouped together. Home sizes and price points are not specified in the documents.

The property consists of four parcels under different ownership. According to its website, HHHunt is under contract to purchase the land, which it made an offer on “upon learning the property was on the market and that others were considering its development.”

The county most recently assessed the four parcels at $1.92 million collectively.

The project is the latest for HHHunt, which in addition to Charter Colony is responsible for other master-planned communities such as Wyndham, Wellesley and Twin Hickory in Henrico, as well as the 1,000-home River Mill near Virginia Center Commons.

Farther north along 288 in Chesterfield, HHHunt recently secured approval for more than 2,000 homes beside Westchester Commons. And across the river, it’s also developing a 520-home, age-restricted development next to the Capital One campus in Goochland County.

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