By Lola Carlisle, VHCA Board Member and Jack White, VHCA Board President
Briarcliff Terrace Apartments has been a quiet apartment community east of the CVS (and east of Arlington Pl.) since the 1960’s. For the last couple of decades, it has been very stable – mostly Latino, with lots of kids – and (according to anecdotal police observations) very little crime. Its relatively isolated site – accessible only from Briarcliff Place on the south and Rosedale Drive on the north – has been one reason for limited social interaction with neighbors on other streets; there’s also been very little conflict. The children in the community have been a notable and valued presence in both the SPARK and Inman communities.
Over the last half decade, the area has also attracted an increasing amount of attention from builders interested in redeveloping it; there is no other large tract of land remotely similar to it left in VaHi. Most of these inquiries – at least the ones we’ve known about – have not moved forward, but we have recently learned of one that may. A developer is considering purchasing the property and building a large collection of townhomes.
Had a specific proposal been made – if there were anything in writing – we’d share it. There’s not, but it appears that a change to the NPU’s Comprehensive Development Plan (the CDP) and the land’s zoning may be in the works. Both will get extraordinary scrutiny at the neighborhood and NPU level.
The land is zoned R-4 but has been apartments for years. Any townhome proposal is likely to propose a decrease in the number of units and a sharp increase in density. The latter, if it occurs, would require the changes noted.
Absent any drawings or details or a site plan, there’s not much more to say at this point. VHCA’s planner (Aaron Fortner) and land use attorney (Bob Zoeckler) have reviewed what few specifics there are. We expect to hear more in the next month, and we will share it when we do.