Town Crier Articles

Latest on Proposed Eastern State Hospital Surplus Land Developments
Posted on April 1, 2024 6:58 AM by Scott Ellis and Mary Cheston
Two major new developments are poised on New Town’s doorstep and are progressing through the James City County rezoning review process: Westwood Park and Cardinal Ridge. In order for either development to be approved, the James City County 2045 Comprehensive Plan will also need to be revised to change the area designation from public land (PL) to multiuse (MU). This Master Plan revision process is expected to occur concurrent with the rezoning actions. 
Neither site is scheduled yet for public hearing before the Planning Commission, since comments from County staff are still being addressed. Stay informed about these important zoning actions and do your homework with the plan links provided below in preparation for any future opportunities for public input.
Westwood Park Rezoning (Plan Number: Z-23-0004 / MP-23-0001
This is the ABVA development on 79.6 acres of surplus Eastern State Hospital land (Parcel C) that has been discussed since 2020. It will directly adjoin Charlotte Park and be accessed by an extension of Discovery Park Boulevard. Currently proposed at up to 86 single family homes, maximum of 125 multifamily/senior living units, and 40,000SF office/commercial buildings. A community pool, recreation area(s) and natural paths are included in the proffers for this area. As reported last year, the community would have its own homeowners association and not be associated with New Town.
Traffic studies are being reviewed and the JCC Stormwater and Resource Protection Office has required resubmittal to correct several items missing from the original proposal. As of mid-March, per the Planning Department, the revised application “is nearer to being considered complete.”
Cardinal Ridge (Eastern State) Rezoning (Plan Number: Z-23-0008)
This development of approximately 368.4 acres by D.R. Horton Inc., one of the largest U.S. homebuilders, was initially submitted to the County on November 15, 2023. Cardinal Ridge would be on Eastern State land to the rear of current Eastern State hospital buildings. Access would be via Longhill Rd., Galt Drive and Foster Rd. 
The proposed plan would allow up to 946 residential dwellings, broken out as: 
  • Apartments = 396
  • Cottages = 78
  • Townhomes = 139
  • Single family = 333
In addition to the residential area, the rezoned land would include:
  • Colonial Behavioral Health site (10.9 acres)
  • Hope Family Village (35.4 acres)C
  • Commercial space – (19.6 acres), and
  • Public use site, possibly a middle school (25.5 acres).
D.R. Horton has proposed development in six phases starting with an area of apartments and cottages along Route 199. The commercial area is hoped to be “a grocer-anchored center” along Longhill Road. The submitted project description concludes:
“The applicant is proposing a large master-planned development that is consistent with the surrounding land use designations of the area and roadway corridors. The project will also provide additional Public Land for future County use, active and passive recreational amenities, substantial upgrades to the public utilities to serve the project, turn lane improvements to serve the development, a looped public street with a 60’ right-of-way, and multiple large BMP impoundments to provide stormwater management for the development and reduce downstream to control stormwater runoff before releasing it back into the downstream waterway.”
JCC Planning Department has completed its initial review of the documentation and is requiring resubmittals in several areas. Two traffic studies have been completed and changes to major thoroughfares are anticipated. 
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