|The Lincolnia CBC.|
The amendment would facilitate plans by HHH Properties Corp., the owner of the Plaza at Landmark shopping center, to transform the aging strip mall into a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly town center.
The Lincolnia plan designates the Landmark Plaza area as an “opportunity area” within the CBC, where higher-density development would be encouraged. That area could have 3,400 residential dwelling units and 574,200 square feet of office, retail, and institutional uses. The tallest buildings – 12 stories – would be closest to I-95.
The CBC is centered around the intersection of Little River Turnpike and Beauregard Street. The amendment recommends a new grid of streets within the opportunity area and additional bike and pedestrian facilities.
The Board of Supervisors also adopted two revisions to the Lincolnia amendment that were recommended by the Planning Commission on July 10:
- No affordable, market-rate housing in Lincolnia will be eliminated.
- Lincolnia Road will remain a two-lane minor arterial roadway, and there would be a realignment of the N. Chambliss Street/Lincolnia intersection.
During the board hearing, Marshall Ruben, the president of HHH Properties, told the supervisors, the plan amendment will lead to the transformation of Landmark Plaza into a walkable town center with plenty of open space. “We’re excited to start making this vision a reality,” he said.
Task force chair Daren Shumate acknowledged traffic congestion is the biggest problem in Lincolnia and expressed confidence that the agreed-upon solution will be helpful.
Alan Ackerman of the Duke Street Station homeowners sssociation, and the only task force member to vote against the amendment, disagreed. He told the BoS, “the only justification for this project is to address traffic congestion at the intersection of Little River Turnpike and Beauregard. This plan would make it worse.”
Deborah Fraser, a resident of Stonegate at Landmark, which is across Beauregard Street from Landmark Plaza, said “higher density will overwhelm the area and create more traffic.”
Task Force member Debi Gerald, who has roots in Lincolnia going back three generations, urged the BoS to support the amendment. She suggested a name for the green space in the town center: the Grassy Knoll, which was the name of a chicken hatchery that was there when Lincolnia was rural.
Mason Supervisor Penny Gross recalled that when she moved to Lincolnia 46 years ago, there was a farm stand on the corner of Little River Turnpike and Beauregard Street where there is now an office building.
“This is an extraordinarily busy intersection and has been for years,” Gross said, and as rezoning happens, there will be additional opportunities to improve the transportation network.