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Commissioners shoot down Vint Hill affordable housing

Thursday, Dec. 5 | By Kipp Hanley

Planning Commissioner Adrienne Garreau
The Fauquier County Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend denial of a special exception and rezoning for an affordable housing project in Vint Hill on Wednesday night.

Abdingdon-based non-profit People Inc. is trying to renovate a section of run-down buildings on Bludau Drive and convert them into approximately 65 condominium/apartment-style units.

Several people – most of them from the neighboring Vint Hill residential neighborhoods – spoke in opposition to the plan before the commissioners voted.

The Fauquier County Board of Supervisors will hear the application in January. This summer, the supervisors unanimously approved a zoning text amendment that would allow affordable, supportive and transitional housing in Vint Hill via special exception.

People Inc. Vice-President of Development Brian Phipps said he wishes that the organization would have made contact with the respective Homeowners Association adjacent to the Vint Hill parcel before the planning commission hearing. Phipps said People Inc. will reach out to the neighborhoods in the next month in order to placate residents' concerns.

While it would be income restricted-housing, there are no housing vouchers or section 8 stigmas that should be associated with the parcel, said Phipps. A family of four can make up to $60,000 a year and still live there, said Phipps.

"We don't want to do anything the county would disparage at all, or that would stunt housing," Phipps said. "We could tell there was a lot of uncertainty and concern about the [proposed] community."

For the rest of the story, please pick up a copy of next Wednesday's Fauquier Times.

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