Several speakers showed up to a public hearing Monday evening regarding a request by builder Richmond American Homes of Virginia, Inc. (RAHV) to use less brick on townhouses and single family homes being built in the city, according to Manassas City Community Development Senior Planner Greg Bokan.
Vice Mayor Andrew Harrover said he voted to keep the public hearing open because the amendment request involves more than just reducing the amount of brick. Current proffers regarding the roofline treatments for the units provide for dormers or reverse gables on all units; the applicant, however, is proposing under the amendment that up to five single family detached homes not have any type of dormer or gable in exchange for decorative garage doors and additional landscaping.
Harrover said the goal of the council is to increase investment in Manassas, not decrease it
RAVH has said in past public hearings it would be difficult to stick with the original plan of using 50 percent brick on all sides (facades) of the home that face a public way in the current economic market, and the original plans were based on the idea that some streets had been called a public way when they are actually alley ways owned by the homeowners association. As a result, RAVH is issuing the amendment request to use more stone and upgraded siding on the exterior of the new homes instead of brick.
Still, some residents are opposing the request, saying the original plans call for a unified development to include a common architectural theme similar to Old Town (i.e. elevated, brick units), and they want to stick with the original plan.
"Using stone in addition to the brick would be fine, but not with less brick," said one resident at a recent public hearing on the topic.
RAHV has said they will make sure that the fronts of all units facing Wellington Road, Lake Jackson Drive and the neighborhood's only street (e.g. pubic ways) will have at least 50 percent stone or brick.
One resident at a recent public hearing voiced he feared the residential development will turn into "a sea of vinyl" like the back alleys of the Lee Square development.