The Franklin County Planning Commission approved a request to delay several road improvements scheduled to coincide with the construction of a new residential development near Westlake Corner at its Nov. 12 meeting.
The request to delay some of the road improvements came from Westlake Apartment Homes LLC that purchased half of Westlake Holding LLC’s proposed project to construct 25 single-family homes and up to 250 multi-family units along Village Springs Drive, Brookview Lane and Parkcrest Drive in Westlake.
Westlake Apartment Homes LLC plans to construct a series of 24 unit apartment buildings reaching a maximum of 250 multi-family units along Village Springs Drive.
The project was initially approved by the Franklin County Board of Supervisors last year with a condition that private roads Village Springs Drive and Brookview Lane be upgraded to be included into the Virginia Department of Transportation system once the first 24 unit apartment building was completed. Westlake Apartment Homes LLC asked to amend the condition to allow them to only upgrade a portion of Village Springs Drive up to VDOT standards.
“This change helps to facilitate the original development,” said Steve Sandy, director of planning and community development.
With the amendment, Village Springs Drive will only be upgraded from its entrance at Morewood Road to the entrance of Brookview Lane, which would not be improved. Sandy said VDOT required an updated traffic study on the intersection of Village Springs Drive and Virginia 122 before they would accept the entire road into the system. Alexander Boone with Westlake Apartment Homes LLC said the study and possible improvements were too cost-prohibitive at this point in the project.
Boone said a traffic study would be done once more than 72 multi-family units were constructed. Until then, efforts will be made to prevent turning movements into and out of the development onto Village Springs Drive. Sandy said this would be a temporary solution until the upgrades are made in the future.
Improvements to Brookview Lane and Parkcrest Drive are expected to be made once the plan for the proposed 25 single-family homes moves forward.
The planning commission also approved a special-use-permit to allow short-term rentals at a home on Poteet Road in Wirtz. Belle Garden Estate LLC requested the special-use permit to turn the former bed and breakfast once known as Katherine Grace Manor into an Airbnb.
New owners Isabelle and Jordan Russell purchased the property in 2018. In addition to being an Airbnb location, the property will continue to be used as a wedding venue.
The Franklin County Board of Supervisors will vote on both issues in December.