Henrico County seal

With its approval of a rezoning request and provisional-use permit Tuesday, Henrico County supervisors in effect reversed a 2007 rezoning that permitted the construction of two hotels and a 240,000-square-foot retail development off Interstate 295 on East Williamsburg Road.

As new commercial development has taken place elsewhere in eastern Henrico in the subsequent decade, a New Jersey developer ready to close on the 80-acre parcel intends to build a large residential development with a small village shopping center.

The property could have as many as 230 town houses and 43 single-family homes under developer Salvatore Cangiano’s conceptual plan, with the new zoning in place.

The plan also calls for the development of a drive-through restaurant and 24-hour convenience store with a gas station fronting Williamsburg Road. The provisional-use permit is required to operate the 24-hour store under the new zoning.

Varina Supervisor Tyrone Nelson said he expects the project will meet the demand for residential development in his district.

“We’re going to see residential growth there over the next decade,” he said. “I think it’s a good use of the land.”

The county originally approved a rezoning request for a development project proposed by the Tetra Group, but its development plans never materialized after the company went bankrupt several years later.

A staff report says the new development concept is not wholly consistent with the county’s 2026 Comprehensive Plan, but “given recent commercial development trends, deviating from the land use recommendations could be appropriate.”

The Henrico Planning Commission last month unanimously recommended the approval of the rezoning and the permit application.

Assistant Planning Director Jean Moore said the development plan is similar to what had been proposed in 2007, but the requested down-zoning reduces the amount of commercial development that is allowed. A proffer also submitted to the county precludes the construction of hotels.

Moore said the changes could be better for the community surrounding the project site.

“It’ll be in keeping with the single-family homes in the area,” she said about the lower-intensity zoning. “It will meet the concerns about the hotels and reduce the amount of commercial development to a community-scale retail center.”

The county will need to approve a plan of development before construction can begin. An agent for the developer said he expects the approvals will be granted in time for construction to begin in late 2019.

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