Part of the site of the former Nansemond River golf course will be the site of 195 homes following a unanimous city council vote on September 15 to approve conditional rezoning to change the Hillpoint Farms master plan.
Regardless of the vote, however, the houses would have come, since a previous council had already approved them. The original master plan approved in 1986 provided for over 2,400 housing units, and an amended master plan board approved in 1997 reduced that total to just over 1,800.
Development in the bustling Godwin Boulevard corridor will use 54 of the 138 acres of the old Nansemond River golf course for new homes and leave the remaining 84 acres for stormwater management and open space. The Hillpoint Farms Homeowners Association is reportedly managing these areas, according to a staff report regarding proposed changes to the master plan.
The owners had expressed concerns about the costs to the owners association of maintaining the open space and the pavilion.
However, Melissa Venable, owner of Land Planning Solutions and representing the plaintiff, real estate owner Mark Lambert of River Highlands LLC, said after reviewing the rough budget figures, the owner’s fees for the 195 new homes proposed as well as the community of River Highlands pledging to be part of the Hillpoint Farms Homeowners Association would bring in around $ 150,000 in fees per year. She also said that $ 20,000 to $ 30,000 would be needed to maintain the grounds of the new property, but that “a lot of dollars” would be available to maintain the lodge.
Venable said in an Aug. 17 Planning Commission public hearing that the owner wanted to build 155 single-family homes and no more than 40 duplexes or townhouses on the golf course lot, rather than building 193 single-family homes. elsewhere on the property. .
Hillpoint owners would increase the value of their home by adding the 84 acres of open space and adding an existing clubhouse to the community, she said.
Ray Orland, a Hillpoint Farms resident who said he was the seventh family to move there, wanted a minimum distance between detached houses, saying the houses were already too close to each other.
“I don’t want to withdraw from my neighborhood… and I don’t want to see them six and seven feet apart,” Orland said in a public hearing.
Venable said the owner of the property will work with the city’s planning department to ensure the new homes are consistent with Hillpoint Farms’ lot sizes and setbacks, noting that because the property is a zoned planned development district, it has no specific setback requirements.
In October 2016, the size of the golf club was reduced after an approved rezoning of 37.65 acres from the planned development district to the authorized residential urban district for these homes, included in the 1,813 units already approved.
The Hillpoint Farms master plan was last amended in December 2019. This approval allowed the relocation of 230 of the 394 proposed multi-family units to a 12.8-acre site in the eastern portion of the property which will have two points of contact. ‘access off Hillpoint. Boulevard. A site plan for the Port 58 apartments was approved on March 17 and they are currently under construction off Hillpoint and Godwin boulevards.
In 1986, council approved a rezoning application to create the Hillpoint Farms Planned Development Housing District, with the initial master plan providing for 2,448 housing units and no more than 513 multi-family units in the planned development. In September 1997, an amendment to this master plan reduced the total number of units to 1,813 and moved the location of the golf course to its site until it closed at the end of last year.
To date, 1,520 units have been built, are under construction or are accounted for as part of a development plan submission or an expected development plan.
Other elements of the package would be a kayak launch and could include areas that can be reforested, which Venable says has been identified for the owners association, helping to reduce maintenance costs and preserve wildlife areas. The golf cart trail will be converted to a multi-use trail for walking, hiking and biking.
“These elements will all provide a tremendous asset to the Hillpoint community,” said Venable.
Homes will not affect service levels, as the number of homes matches the original density provided with the planned zoning for Hillpoint Farms.
Lambert noted that he had been in the golf business for about 50 years and that when the course opened in November 1999, there were no homes at Hillpoint Farms. One of the issues with the golf course is that the people who played there came from other towns on the Hampton Roads and over the years there were no more than 10-12 members in the Hillpoint neighborhood.
He said a typical neighborhood golf course should attract a minimum of around 11% of its members from the community that directly surrounds it. That would have given him around 150 members, which, Lambert said, “would have gone a long way in supporting us.”
He and his three partners closed the course on December 31.
“The Nansemond River Golf Course, in fact, was a wonderful golf course,” said Venable. “But golf was not suitable for Hillpoint. Therefore, a transformation that can provide open space and amenities to an existing neighborhood by adding a little extra neighborhood, I believe, is a good compromise.