Our Thoughts on the Walker Drive Proposal

The nebulous Walker Drive development at the gateway to downtown Warrenton will be voted on by the Town Council on Tuesday, June 11th, at 7 p.m.

Despite its lack of detail (which resulted in the Planning Commission recommending denial back in February), it looks to be marching towards approval by the Warrenton Town Council. In fact, several Council members telegraphed their ‘yes’ votes in a FauquierNow article earlier this spring.

Our take? We think that there is a lot of confusion and hope wrapped up in a flawed proposal. And IF the town is determined to approve the project… it should get a better deal (with more specificity) for its residents. Here are just a few of the issues with the current request:

1) Despite a media campaign with illustrative sketches of a movie theater and entertainment facility, this proposal does NOT actually include a movie theater or any entertainment facility. The application does not even provide a site layout or information about locations of buildings, types of uses, parking, street sections or connections, elevation of the buildings or the ultimate architectural design of the buildings.

2) More than a third of the project is multifamily condos and apartment buildings. Whereas the existing zoning is for industrial which includes some commercial uses, which is meant to support job growth and the tax base.

3) The proposed landscaping and screening along Rt. 29/17/15 Bypass and Walker Drive is inadequate and does not specify how the Gateway Corridor will be protected.

The main result: the Town is encouraging a large increase in residential development, and doing so without obtaining adequate proffers to cover the increased impact on Town resources.

We encourage the Town of Warrenton to follow their comprehensive plan, to push for a better proposal and to definitely obtain for the community the entertainment and other opportunities they seek, and to not settle for vague hopes and intangible guarantees.

Public Hearing Details:

Public Hearing Tuesday, July 11th 7:00pm.
Town Hall, 18 Court Street, Warrenton