Williamsburg City Council voted no on a proposal presented by Platinum Management LLC to develop 232 apartments and townhouses in the historic downtown area. The proposal, for 18 acres at the corner of Penniman Road and Page Street, sought a rezoning from business to mixed-use to accommodate the development. The property, owned by Bluegreen Vacations Unlimited LLC, had initially intended to host around 400 timeshare units, but has since shifted focus to marketing the properties for alternative uses.
The developers envisioned constructing three buildings comprising 182 multifamily apartments and 50 townhouses with garages. However, concerns were raised during a public hearing, particularly regarding increased traffic congestion, impacts on local schools, and the potential alteration of Williamsburg’s character. Criticism also emerged over the perceived unaffordability of the proposed apartments for many local residents, with rental prices starting at $1,800 per month for one-bedroom units.
Despite arguments in favor of the development as a high-quality mixed-use project, the City Council ultimately voted 4-1 to reject the rezoning and special use permit. Vice Mayor Pat Dent emphasized the need for controlled growth, expressing concern over the proliferation of rental units in the city, while Council member Barbara Ramsey questioned the project’s alignment with the comprehensive plan, noting the limited commercial component.
In contrast, Council member Caleb Rogers, the sole dissenter, highlighted the reduced intensity of the proposed development compared to the previous timeshare plans, emphasizing its potential to address affordable housing needs and stimulate investment in underserved areas.