Lake Thrasher Landing will bring 1,400 new housing units to Chesapeake over next decade

CHESAPEAKE — A new mixed use development replacing an existing landfill on Lake Thrasher Parkway will bring more than 1,400 housing units to the city’s Greenbrier area over the next decade.

The Thrasher family has been contemplating the project for years; it will be at 1217 Lake Thrasher Parkway, adjacent to the new Lake Thrasher community off Elbow Road.

The development — Lake Thrasher Landing — will include 265 single-family condos, 365 townhome condos, 472 apartments of various size and a town center mixed-use district with first floor commercial space and up to 304 more apartment units. The development also will include a self-storage facility, two existing cell towers and 170 acres of open space. Three lakes exist on site, and the applicant proposed a public space for the site of the landfill that could include a farmers market, amphitheater and restaurant.

The Planning Commission recommended denial in March, but Planning Director Jimmy McNamara said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting that additional modifications were made after the commission met, including the increase of townhome units, a proposed public park and additional pedestrian and biking facilities. Planning staff had recommended denial due to insufficient connections with adjacent communities, impacting traffic and emergency response.

Several council members voiced support at Tuesday’s meeting for the project before voting 8-0 to approve. Amanda Newins, Don Carey and Jeff Bunn said they were voting in support because it’s a project the neighboring communities want despite concerns of connectivity and school capacity impacts. Council member Debbie Ritter abstained due to a professional relationship with an individual associated with the project. The official vote was to rezone 363 acres of agricultural and residential land for a planned unit development.

The project will be developed in phases over the next decade. The first phase can begin following the city’s final approval of construction plans, with at least four years before the start of the second phase and eight years before the start of the third.

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Only a couple out of a dozen who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting opposed the project, citing negative impacts to roads and already overcrowded schools. At the Planning Commission meeting, some who opposed the project also noted environmental concerns with the landfill, drainage issues and water quality.

Several residents of the adjacent Kemp Woods community and the new Lake Thrasher subdivision said at Tuesday’s meeting the mixed use development was the culmination of working with the Thrashers for years to come up with an ideal project that will also relieve them of their unobstructed exposure to the landfill.

Lake Thrasher Landing will be on the same property as the former Elbow Road Farm Construction and Demolition Debris Landfill, which operated between 1980 and 2003. It officially closed in 2011 but the property owner receives inert land fill material for disposal.

Though such activity doesn’t require a permit from the Department of Environmental Quality, the owner doesn’t have an approved site plan and the city considers it to be an illegal use of property — the focus of ongoing litigation between the two. But the litigation had been paused since approval of the project means an end to operations at the landfill, which will now cease within 15 months.

The new project will be adjacent to the Retreat at Lake Thrasher, another planned unit development approved by City Council in 2022 that includes 100 acres of nearly 500 units of age-restricted housing. Both developments will be accessed from Lake Thrasher Parkway, which will connect Kempsville Road and Centerville Turnpike, and new traffic signals will be installed at the intersections.

Natalie Anderson, 757-732-1133,