Supes defer on Glen Oaks appeal

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The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, July 5, deferred a decision on Glen Oaks, a cluster of about 30 new homes to be built near the Glenmore neighborhood south of Route 250 in eastern Albemarle. The plan reached the board on an appeal from the Planning Commission, which in May rejected the rural development plan over groundwater issues.
    “The concern was that the concentration of the cluster was in an area that is a difficult groundwater area and was very close to the Running Deer subdivision, which has experienced some groundwater problems,” Supervisors Chair Dennis Rooker says.
    Sterling Proffitt, who lives in the adjacent Running Deer neighborhood and spoke at the meeting, says one in four residents in the neighborhood has had well problems.
    A groundwater study conducted by hydro-geologists hired by the Glen Oaks developer, KG Associates, showed there wasn’t a problem, says KG’s Don Franco.
    But Rooker says groundwater can be complicated and difficult to predict. “If you have larger lots you’re more likely to find a good well site. As a practical matter it doesn’t make sense to cluster right beside an area [that has had well problems],” he says.
    Wells are the only water option for Glen Oaks, which would sit just outside the County’s public water service.
    The board discussed options with Franco, including reducing the number of houses and building a more conventional development with larger lots. The developer will revise the plans to create five two-acre lots, with the rest being 21-acre lots (where houses are distributed farther from Running Deer).
    To accommodate conventional development, KG Associates may need a special-use permit to cross a stream between the eastern and western sides of the site. This would put the matter before the Planning Commission again in four to six months, Franco estimates.
    Franco also says  KG will drill monitoring wells to gather information about the ongoing groundwater conditions.
    Neighbors are concerned about water, Running Deer resident Proffitt says, but they would be satisfied with a compromise. “Sometimes eating one slice of bread and digesting it is better than choking on the whole loaf,” he says.

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