Planners to continue working on village zoning district

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Jul 13, 2011 - 04:20 PM

The Mathews County Planning Commission will continue to work on developing a Village Mixed Use District for downtown Mathews, even though the developer whose request initiated work on the plan has withdrawn his proposal.

Planning and zoning director John Shaw told planning commission members at a work session last Wednesday that developer Walter Alford of HARC LLC had indicated he would no longer pursue plans to build mixed residential and retail units on property that currently houses Christie’s Auto.

In a letter, Alford said that the cost of the project, which includes purchasing property and partially demolishing some buildings, requires higher density residential development than the proposed zoning would allow, and he believes there is currently no market for additional retail or office space.

He objected to the commission’s three-minute limit on the amount of time he could speak in behalf of his proposed project, and said that after going to the planning commission’s work sessions and witnessing the three-minute limitation, "I will not pursue any further effort on behalf of our proposal."

Shaw told commission members they could continue to work on developing a mixed use district or they could defer action on it until some future date.