By LISA MACNEIL
Attorney Darryl Johnston appeared before the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) at the regular meeting on January 12, 2021 on behalf of the Benge Development Corporation. In November 2019, Benge was denied a Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPAM 1902) by a vote of 4-1 that would have allowed the company to develop the southeast corner of Oak Hills Golf Course for small-footprint homes and townhomes.
Benge revised the request to amend the Future Land Use Map for a 27.79-acre tract, located on the North side of Northcliffe Boulevard, approximately 1344' west of Puritan Lane from Recreational to Residential. The new CPAM includes larger homesites and a 100-foot buffer between the proposed area and the Oak Hill subdivision. The buffer will remain zoned as Recreational to prevent future development.
This time, the BOCC voted 3-1 to approve the amended CPAM. The board’s newest member, Beth Narverud voted against the request, and Commissioner Steve Champion was absent from this meeting.
Narverud expressed concerns over the current traffic situation along Northcliffe, particularly during the beginning and end of the school day, and also along Keysville Ave. Area residents have complained about speeding on Keysville in previous meetings.
The property was previously approved for conference and tourism facilities under the PDP/Recreational zoning category which allows for resort residential uses for 52 extended-stay villas, 18 additional residential lots, 120 motel rooms, a 500-seat conference center with restaurants and a 40,000 square foot retail and an educational center. Narverud believes these amenities situated around Oak Hill Golf Course was to enhance the golf course, “Making it a world-class destination.”
Although no rezoning application has been filed, the language in the request states that Benge has chosen to divest from those entitlements and proceed with a residential-only plan.