Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Colonial Williamsburg files application to remove these downtown parking spaces. Here’s what the Planning Commission discussed

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation submitted a special use permit to remove 11 parking spaces from Parking Lot 4 which includes 310 W Duke of Gloucester St. (WYDaily/ Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps)
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation submitted a special use permit to remove 11 parking spaces from Parking Lot 4 which includes 310 W Duke of Gloucester St. (WYDaily/ Screenshot courtesy of Google Maps)

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation submitted a request for a special use permit to the city’s Planning Commission to remove 11 parking spaces from the P4 parking lot and close off access to Nassau Street.

“The applicant states the removal of spaces and closure of access on Nassau Street will allow for ‘future Historic Area programming,’ highlighted in red on the site plan below,” according to the memo. “As part of the request, the applicant is reconfiguring and improving the P4 parking lot.”

The 11 parking spots would be permanently removed from 310 West Duke of Gloucester St., 345 West Francis St. and 105 South Nassau St. The foundation also wants to close off access to Nassau Street.

The improvement includes new concrete curbs, drainage improvements and a brick sidewalk for pedestrians.

If approved, the parking’s layout would change the current number of parking spaces from 140 to 129 spaces.

“The reduction of parking spaces would allow us to reduce the footprint of the parking lot and use the parcel off Nassau Street, Tax Parcel 466-0A-00-027, for future Historic Area programming,” according to the applicant’s narrative statement. “This parcel is zoned CW and would support future use as an interpreted historic site.”

Neil K. Ellwein, director for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Engineering & Construction, noted the property was examined in 1957 “using rudimentary archaeological techniques,” recording 18th century building fragments that were sealed under a “temporary, 1963, and later a bituminous, 1965, parking surface.”

“Archaeological techniques and the social and historical questions guiding them have evolved in the interim,” he wrote. “The P4 Parking Rehabilitation Plan presents an opportunity to excavate further, to weave this property into a better-developed narrative, and to offer new interpretation and possible reconstruction of a property with national significance.”

In a Sept. 10 memo sent to the Planning Commission, Principal Planner Erin Burke wrote the Planning Director or the Planning Commission can require a traffic impact, public utility and fiscal impact analysis–––and ask City Council to fund the studies.

“Staff does not feel that any additional studies are needed to make a decision on this request,” Burke added.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation requested the special use application be “tabled pending further site investigations” she wrote n the memo.

The next public hearing for the special use permit was originally scheduled at the Williamsburg Planning Commission’s next meeting on Oct. 14.

But at the Williamsburg Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday, Chairwoman Elaine McBeth said the public hearing for the special use permit originally scheduled for Oct. 14 has been removed from the commission’s agenda.

“Moving froward the public hearing for Oct. 14 has been removed from our caseload here,” she said. “There will be no public hearing unless something else comes up there’s no need for a public hearing that day, Oct. 14 so we may have a bonus work session in October so we can try to move forward to continue our work on the comprehensive plan.”

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Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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