Historic growth: BOS approves Biscuit Run
At 1 o'clock this morning, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors approved developer Hunter Craig's Biscuit Run development, the largest development in County history, which will include a minimum of 3,100 new houses on the 828-acre property along Route 20 South, plus a 400-acre County park, reports Charlottesville Tomorrow.
While many at the public hearing– which did not begin until 11 last night– called for a more extensive environmental impact study before the development was approved, and others expressed concern about increased traffic on Route 20, the BOS voted unanimously to allow rezoning of the property, a decision that was surely helped along by Craig's whopping $41.15 million proffers offer.
According to supervisor David Slutzky, Biscuit Run may be the lesser of two evils. A proponent of shutting down growth in the rural areas of the County, Slutzky sees the development as a way to steer the thousands of people moving here into designated growth areas. He also points out that Craig could have built as many as 1,400 houses on the property by-right if he had wanted to.
"Over the last 10 years there's been an average of 290 new residential units built per year in rural areas," Slutzky told the Hook today. "We've basically had a Biscuit Run built in the last decade," he says, "and in the last four years 43 percent of building permits were in the rural areas– that's a disaster!"
As Slutzky sees it, if people are going to be moving here, we might as well take control of the development to accommodate them. "I'm happy with the decision," he says. "I don't want to have the County grow so much, but the sad reality is that people are moving here, and they need a place to go."
In the end, Slutzky and his fellow supervisors decided that Biscuit Run was as good an example of the County's pedestrian-oriented "Neighborhood Model" as they could ask for.
"This will be the gold standard for the neighborhood model plan," Craig promised at the meeting.