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Gated complex given approval
Fredericksburg Planning Commission recommends approval of The Haven at Celebrate Virginia


Date published: 4/16/2010

BY BILL FREEHLING

The Haven at Celebrate Virginia won preliminary approval from Fredericksburg's Planning Commission on Wednesday night.

The Planning Commission voted 4-3 to recommend approval of a special-use permit for the 232-unit luxury apartment complex. City Council has the final say. An April 27 public hearing is scheduled on the matter in front of council.

The Planning Commission recommended allowing The Haven to have gates that restrict access beyond the clubhouse area to anyone other than residents and guests. The city's Comprehensive Plan doesn't allow gated communities, and there had been much discussion leading up to the vote.

Commissioners Roy Gratz, Vincent Ramoneda and Roy McAfee dissented. Gratz read a prepared statement at Wednesday's meeting expressing concern that The Haven could cost the city money if more school-age children end up living there than has been projected.

Gratz also objected to the gated access--which the developer said is desired by residents seeking security amid a high-density commercial district. Gratz worried that Celebrate Virginia South might turn into a high-density residential complex rather than the commercial "economic engine" promised when the Silver Cos. won rezoning.

Go to blogs.fredericksburg .com/businessbrowser to read Gratz's comments.

The Haven would be built near the Virginia Credit Union off Gordon Shelton Boulevard. The developer is South Carolina-based Johnson Development Associates, which has built numerous other Haven communities, mostly in South Carolina.

Johnson Development needs the special-use permit because the land's PD-C zoning requires that for any residential project. The Haven would be built on about 13.5 acres. No more than 10 percent of the 541-acre Celebrate Virginia South complex can be residential.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com