By Karen Jimmerson
In the coming months, Purcellville Town Council will review the application for the high-density Catoctin Creek apartments off Hirst Road (“Planned Development Housing” or PDH zoning), as well as commercial developments within town limits. The issue of growth in Purcellville is more complex than just growth or no growth. The real issue facing the town is how to attract and direct – or resist – certain types of growth in order to serve the community interest.
The Comprehensive Plan’s vision is to increase the commercial tax base to 30 percent in an effort to offset the residential tax burden. But the dilemma is how to achieve that without becoming over run by retail development. The Stupar property – the proposed site for the apartments – is currently zoned CM-1, which allows for light commercial development. The Valley Commercial Center off Hirst Road, where the Police Station and Purcellville Copy are located, is an example of CM-1 zoning. The Hirst Road Charette indicated that such zoning is fitting for the Hirst Road corridor and would have a minimal effect on the by-way. The town has few properties suitable for PDH zoning or commercial development, as there is interest in what the impact from nearby land uses will be. The primary rationale for zoning is an effort to “protect” residential neighborhoods and inappropriate development for a particular area. … Continue Reading