BY ANGELA HURNI
WEST NECK – Site work and surveying at Kingston Estates, a new housing development along West Neck Road, is underway, and, in coordination with turn lanes for the project, the city will improve the road frequently traveled by southern Virginia Beach residents and Kellam High School students.
Road work for the West Neck Road Phase IV project is expected to begin in October 2019, according to the city, roughly a year later than anticipated in a report released last year. Nearly $6.7 million is budgeted for the improvements, according to Laurie Murphy, an engineer who is the city’s project manager for the West Neck Road work.
“That road needed to be improved,” she said. “Since the developer is out there doing right and left turn lanes, we’re going to incorporate that into this project.”
Kingston Estates, previously known as King’s Landing, is a 153-unit subdivision being built by Chesapeake Homes. A & W Contractors is performing site work on the development. City records, information from the developer and an April report by The Virginian-Pilot give a sense of how the project is expected to shape up.
Stephanie Clark, online new homes specialist with Chesapeake Homes, explained that the work being performed by A & W Contractors includes earthwork, ponds, utilities and roads. “Soon, other contractors will mobilize to the site to install landscaping, signage, monumentation and franchise utilities,” she said.
When finished, Kingston Estates will consist of detached single-family homes in either ranch or two-story style containing three to six bedrooms, Kerri Woodward of Chesapeake Homes told The Pilot this spring.
The homes will be listed in the upper $400,000 price range and will be energy efficient with plenty of green features, open floor plans, and professional landscaping, according to the developer’s website.
According to a proposal for a zoning variance submitted to city planners, the development is located on 158 acres, and 90 acres will be preserved as open space with the rest reserved for home lots and public streets. The city’s comprehensive plan and guidelines for the transition area between suburban and rural areas of the city recommend that 57 percent of the property is open space. According to the planning department, the new development will meet that requirement.
The proposal indicated that the developer will offer a mix of passive and active recreation areas to include natural areas of woods and wetlands, wildflower fields, bike and pedestrian trails and a playground. There will also be eight small retention ponds within the development, and the existing Gray family home will remain on the property as detailed by The Pilot in April.
The West Neck Road Phase IV project consists of design and construction of a two-lane undivided parkway from Kellam High School to right before the curve where Kingston Estates ends. The 5,750 foot improvement will consist of paved shoulders for cyclists, pedestrian accommodations and drainage swales. There will also be four-foot paved shoulders on either side of the road and two 12-foot lanes.
Murphy said the 13-month road construction project will begin October 2019. She said the west side of the road will have “the shared use path which will stop at Signature Drive, and on the east side, it will tie into the shared use path at the Eagle’s Nest at West Neck.”
Murphy also said street lights will be added by February 2021 and landscaping should be complete by May 2021. She said public works plans to have a citizen information meeting about the road project in April 2018, when its plans should be 60 percent complete.
Chesapeake Homes is coordinating with the city of Virginia Beach on the improvements to West Neck Road.
“We have entered into a cost participation agreement with the city, whereby we will construct the improvements,” Clark said.
“The development of Kingston Estates will occur in three phases,” Clark said, and the anticipated move in date for houses built in the first phase is summer 2018. She also stated, “Although the pace of construction of the remaining two phases will be based on market conditions, we anticipate that the development should be concluded in about four to five years.”
Chesapeake Homes plans a grand release of home sites with purchasing opportunities in October.
With reporting by John-Henry Doucette.
© 2017 Pungo Planning Co., LLC