Sunday, December 10, 2023

York County To Study Alternate Entrance To Tranquility Construction Site

YORK – Could relief from truck traffic be en route for the residents of Springfield Road? York County Administrator Neil Morgan has tasked the county’s engineering contractor, AH Environmental of Newport News, to study a way to create an entrance to the Tranquility construction site from the north side of the property.

“They have promised us their draft report sometime in late June, so I

hope to have an update no later than July,” Morgan told the York County Board of Supervisors May 16. 

AH Environmental will assess the feasibility of constructing a temporary access road from Hawk’s Nest Drive.

“This would allow construction vehicles to access along the north side of the new development and mitigate use of Springfield Road for construction vehicle access,” according to the consultant’s work order.

A solution can’t come soon enough for residents whose narrow, rutted road is currently the only way onto the 84-acre site.

Henderson, Inc. and Ryan Homes are building Tranquility,  a luxury senior living development, on the site just off Route 199 near Water Country USA. More than 200 units are planned. Build-out could take five years.

“The road has been inundated with large vehicles to the dismay of the citizens who live along Springfield Road,” Supervisor Walter Zaremba said. “I would hope there is some acceleration in the contract to get the study done quickly to support the citizens who live there.”

Right now, there are only two ways to get to the Tranquility site. One is the spine road that bisects King’s Creek Plantation, a timeshare resort adjacent to Water Country USA. Trucks are not using this route because it is considered a private street and construction traffic is expressly prohibited.

That leaves Springfield Road, just east, a potholed stretch of asphalt lined with modest homes. The road is not wide enough for cars to pass if trucks are oncoming.

In February, a parade of residents spoke at the Board of Supervisors meeting asking for relief. By one resident’s account, as many as 60 trucks a day had been using the road. Truck traffic had torn up the roadway, created dust, and noise.

Tranquility is planned as an age-restricted community for people aged 55 or older. No one under the age of 19 would be allowed to live there. At buildout, Ryan Homes plans 213 units, a mix of single-family detached houses, duplexes, and triplexes.

Once completed, the community is projected to generate more than $500,000 in property tax for the county annually. Unlike most new housing developments, it would generate no additional children for the school system. The roads within the community would be private, meaning the county would not have to pay to maintain them.

Site preparation began in earnest last year. Complaints began almost immediately.

When homes are finished –  and it may take as long as five years to complete –  the development will be accessed via Tranquility Drive, the spine road in the Kings Creek timeshare resort, and the entrance now being used by construction traffic will be gated.

In the meantime, a new temporary entrance on the north side of the site would offer relief, if it gets built. Such a road would need environmental permits. It’s also not clear at this point how much constructing a temporary road would take, how long it would take, or who would pay for it.

Morgan expects to brief the board of supervisors on what the study finds at its July meeting.

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