Northampton OKs Rezoning for Mini Golf, Retail

0
99

By Stefanie Jackson – The Northampton County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night approved the rezoning of four parcels near Cape Charles from town edge 1 to town edge-commercial general, allowing new commercial development on Route 13, near the new traffic light.

The new businesses that could open at the site include a barbecue restaurant, a mini golf course, and a retail space, such as a dollar store.

The applicant was Solitude ES LLC, owned by John Small, of Machipongo, for the rezoning of property that is already surrounded by other businesses, including the Cape Charles Food Lion and shopping center across the highway and the bank next door.

Two additional parcels at the same site, also owned by Small, are already zoned town edge-commercial general and contain a restaurant and an ice machine.

Only one comment was received during a public hearing on the matter – a letter from the Town of Cape Charles, written by interim zoning administrator Katie Nunez.

She stated that the town could not fully support the proposed development without more details and the completion of a traffic impact study by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Traffic was the top concern of Supervisor John Coker, who lives in and is familiar with the Cape Charles area. During the summer, traffic is heavy on the property to be rezoned, due to the presence of the ice machine frequented by visitors.

John Salm, the engineer working on the project, said that much of the chaotic traffic there is caused by two “uncontrolled entrances” composed of gravel. The entrance closest to the new traffic light will be closed, and the second entrance will channel traffic entering the property.

The site is expected to draw 862 vehicle trips per day – not enough to trigger a traffic study, which would require 2,000 trips per day, according to Northampton County code. However, VDOT could require a traffic study after it receives the application to permit the new entrance, he said.

Salm added the ice machine is currently being leased, but in the future it possibly could be moved farther back on the property, near the retail store.

He also confirmed that a stormwater management plan will be implemented to address possible runoff into the nearby creek.