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Phase one site plans are currently under review for the 306-unit Laurel Park housing development on 60 acres adjoining Highpoint, which will be located at the end of Laurel Street off Orange Road in the town of Culpeper .

The Culpeper Planning Commission provided an update on the project during a working session on March 29.

Once proposed to be built in three phases, Laurel Park is now expected to develop in two phases, starting with 84 single-family homes and 89 townhouses for a total of 173 new residences. The Culpeper City Council rezoned the property, bordered to the south by US Route 29, for the higher density earlier this year.

The Laurel Street extension will provide access to the neighborhood via a roundabout leading to Lily Lane and Laurel Park Drive on the north side, parallel to Apricot Drive on the south and seven cross streets, in accordance with planning and zoning . The development will have 19.2 acres of open space, a park on the west boundary, two pocket parks on the east side and a center green in the middle.

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Laurel Park will have two community basketball courts and a capacity of nearly 1,400 parking spaces – a mix of garages, driveways, on-street parking and off-street parking. The extended Laurel Street will be widened with sidewalks, curbs and gutters installed before the first certificate of occupancy is issued, city staff told the planning commission.

Improvements to the Orange Road intersection, including dedicated turning lanes, will be completed near the end of the first phase. A total of 746 parking spaces will be provided in the initial phase along with one of the basketball courts and pocket parks.

The city’s multi-agency technical review committee continues to review the phase one site plan also still under review by the Department of Environmental Quality.

Asked by the planning commission what the homes in Laurel Park would look like, city planner Ben Holt said the renderings are included in the project narrative, adding that the developer is not tied to them.

“I anticipate it would look like most new home construction we see right now,” Holt said.

Planning commissioner Jeffrey Mitchell championed pedestrian safety in the upcoming development. The posted speed limit will be 25 miles per hour, which means motorists will drive at 37 mph, he said. Mitchell suggested setting it to 20 mph.

Holt said the roads would be public streets with a standard 25 mph display.

Planning Commission Member, Councilor Meaghan Taylor had questions about the Orange Road deceleration lanes and whether they would be long enough to safely accommodate cars waiting to turn onto Laurel Street.

Roddy Reyes of Bowman Consulting, representing the plaintiff, said the turn lanes would meet the VDOT’s minimum standards of a 100ft right turn lane with a 100ft taper and a 100ft left turn lane with a 150 foot taper and a 200 foot transition from Elizabeth Street, across Orange Road.

Across the city, a separate site plan to launch the Greens on Lake Pelham housing development was resubmitted after the project went dormant after its initial submission in 2006 during the housing crisis.

The latest plans show 58 single-family housing lots on 23 acres, two open space lots totaling 0.654 acres, and three stormwater management areas. A 10-foot-wide golf cart path is proposed from the Culpeper Country Club property to Golf Drive, according to city staff.

The project is located at the north end of Sunset Lane, Country Club Estates to the northeast and bordered by the country club golf course. Access to the homes would be via Sunset Lane and Golf Drive.

Mitchell wondered how residents of the development would walk to businesses near Madison Road. He encouraged the addition of golf cart paths and other pedestrian features.

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