One Yorktown developer thinks he has the solution to creating affordable housing within James City County.
Elliott York of the Yorktown development firm American Eastern, Inc. has submitted an application to the county’s Planning Commission to construct 45 family homes near the intersection of Centerville and Longhill roads. The request will be heard during the commission’s regular public meeting Wednesday.
“This proposed project helps to fill a growing regional need of affordable housing in James City County,” consulting experts for the project wrote in an impact statement included in meeting documents. “[The development] will provide a model for the development of affordable housing in James City County.”
Each of the 45 homes will be classified as “affordable” or “workforce” housing, according to meeting documents, and if approved will be constructed on roughly 16 wooded acres in the county’s Forest Glen neighborhood.
James City County’s website currently lists four available affordable housing options, which include Ironbound Square near New Town, Chestnut Grove in Grove, Liberty Crossing in Lightfoot and the Village at Candle Station in Norge.
The county defines “affordable” housing as property with a monthly rent equal to or lower than 30 percent of a household’s monthly income. The household must earn between 30 and 80 percent of the area’s median income, which was $53,889 between 2011 and 2015, according to county data.
The county’s second designation of “workforce” housing would be available for those earning between 80 and 120 percent of the area median income and would be priced at 30 percent of a household’s monthly income.
According to county Senior Planner Savannah Pietrowski, the site is currently zoned for only one housing unit per acre. York’s proposed development would be nearly three times as dense — at 2.79 units per acre.
But the commission may allow for more units per acre in this case, because the homes are designated workforce or affordable housing.
“In order to get the higher density, there are certain incentives that are provided,” said Pietrowski. “It has been identified in our Comprehensive Plan and Strategic Plan to find ways to provide more affordable housing.”
According to Pietrowski, floor plans for the homes are not yet available for the proposed development. York was unavailable to comment for this story when contacted Monday.
Wednesday’s meeting will be held at 7 p.m. inside the James City County Government Complex, Building F, 101 Mounts Bay Road.