City Council held a public hearing Monday night to consider allowing builder Richmond American Homes of Virginia, Inc. (RAHV) to use less brick on 107 single family homes and townhomes being constructed on the west end of Hastings Marketplace.
The company's request is for the residential portion of Hastings Marketplace, located between Wellington Road and Lake Jackson Drive, and viewed by many as the "gateway to the city" from the Prince William County Parkway.
Brick is a common architectural theme in the City of Manassas but the builder is seeking to use less of it; in its place they want to use stone and upgraded siding on the exterior of the new homes.
The company also built the Villages at Wellington properties and said stone was a popular choice among customers and they would like to provide it for future customers.
Some residents oppose the request, saying that 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 who also voiced concern about removing enhancement shrubs along Lake Jackson Drive at Monday's Public Hearing.
According to city documents, the builder maintains it will be difficult to stick to the original plan of requiring at least 50 percent of every house facade (exterior wall) facing a public way to be brick or stone in the current market, but said they will make sure that the fronts of all units facing Wellington Road, Lake Jackson Drive and the neighborhood's only street will have at least 50 percent stone or brick. RAHV representatives said a reason for the amendment request was that some streets had been called a public way when they are actually alley ways owned by the HOA.
One resident who spoke at the public hearing Monday night said this is the 14th set of amendment requests regarding the site since 2006 and "we want to stick with the lower density, higher quality plan the city and the residents came up with."
Some residents are also not in favor of allowing changes.
"Proffers are here to protect the community and make sure we get long-term value," one resident said. "Richmond American Homes, [and] the architects in Denver will leave, and the citizens of Manassas will have to live with what they have left behind."
The table below provides a summary of the applicant's proposed changes to the proffers:
|Amount of brick provided||Full beaded, single panel siding|
|Roofline treatments||Decorative garage doors; additional landscaping|
Current proffers regarding the roofline treatments for the units provide for dormers or reverse gables on all units; the applicant, however, is proposing that up to five single family detached homes not have any type of dormer or gable in exchange for the above enhancements. This, the builder said, would allow for less monotony.
The City Council voted to close the Monday night's Public Hearing and remand the issue back to city staff for further review. Another Public Hearing is expected to be reopened in the next few weeks.
About Hastings Marketplace:
The Hastings Marketplace residential development will consist of no more than 141 single family homes, townhouses and condominiums. About eight of the townhome units will be three or four-story work/live units that will have both a residential and a one-story commercial component, similar to properties in Old Town. This design is for an artist who would want to live above their art studio.