Brandermill Community Association

Newly approved residential on Genito Road to impact Swift Creek MS and Clover Hill HS

published: May 17th, 2022 by in Uncategorized

By Greg Pearson

BCA Board member

The Chesterfield Board of Supervisors approved a residential rezoning on March 9 for The Hamlet at Falling Creek on Genito Road that at buildout will add 22-27 more students to Swift Creek Middle School and 31-38 at Clover Hill High School. Along with Swift Creek Elementary School, that’s where Brandermill children attend public schools. The elementary-aged children of The Hamlet will be bussed to Evergreen Elementary School because SCES will be over its capacity when the new development is built out. 

Previously for 2026, county officials had estimated SCMS to be at 95% capacity if Cloverleigh was approved with 788 homes near Brandermill’s front door adjacent to Market Square. That proposed mostly multifamily development on 105 acres is still in the technical review status with county planners and won’t be considered by the Chesterfield Planning Commission until later this year. The additional 22-27 students would put enrollment near or slightly above its functional capacity. (See separate story on Cloverleigh.)

If approved by the county board, Cloverleigh’s additional students in 2026 were projected to be at 88% of CHHS’s capacity. When The Hamlet’s 31-38 students are added, it would inch toward its capacity.

It is expected that Chesterfield County Public Schools won’t be updating its future school population estimates until early 2023, according to Ryan Ramsey, senior planner for the county planning department. More than its impact on schools, Cloverleigh’s approval seems to hinge on rush-hour congestion — specifically on Old Hundred Road and the delays at the Route 360 traffic light.

The Hamlet 

The Hamlet is a mostly residential development located on 180 acres fronting on Genito just east of the former Southside Speedway. It backs up to the inbound lanes of the Powhite Parkway. 

Its name is derived from Falling Creek which cuts across the back end of the property and flows under the Powhite. Many long-time residents may remember the Falling Creek Reservoir in Richmond located north of the intersection of Chippenham Parkway and Route 10. The stream connects to there, and some 50-plus years ago the reservoir used to be a source of drinking water for the area before it became too polluted from nearby and later development. 

The Hamlet will have 45 single-family homes, 260 multifamily, and 60 townhouses. Both the single-family and townhouses will be for sale and for rent. Developer Middleburg Real Estate Partners will be constructing a minimum 6,000-square-foot clubhouse and fitness center, pool, dog park, and establishing an HOA to manage the community.

The 6 acres fronting Genito will be for commercial uses. Another 6 acres near the Powhite became zoned for commercial and industrial “to support” the adjacent Oak Lake Business Park. 

The developer committed to proffer $9,400 per single-family home and $5,922 per multifamily for transportation in the form of donated land, road construction, and/or cash. At buildout, the Hamlet is projected to generate 5,200 vehicle trips per day. Currently, the four-lane Genito handles 16,000 vehicles daily.

There is more development to the west of The Hamlet. Chesterfield is drafting plans for the Special Focus Area between the speedway and soccer complex. Tentatively, that will include three more soccer fields, a 1.5-acre playground, a 3,500-seat stadium, and a 15,000 square-foot multipurpose building. 

Also on Genito just west of 288, the Lake has broken ground on 103 acres for a waterpark and entertainment-driven mixed-use project. It envisions waterskiing, surfing, an amphitheater for outdoor concerts, 1,199 multifamily units, and 150,000 square feet of retail and office.

Knowing that traffic congestion will be building on Genito, Chesterfield is seeking a “full interchange” at 288, according to the developer of The Lake, Brett Burkhart. Previously, VDOT turned down that request, saying such an interchange is too close to the one at the Powhite Parkway/Old Hundred Road, violating its distance guidelines. County leaders counter that there have been other exceptions elsewhere in the state.

To access the Powhite or 288, The Hamlet traffic could head westward on Genito through Brandermill. To get to shopping on Hull Street between Brandermill and Woodlake, it would be shorter to go east on Genito away from Brandermill to Hull and then head west.

The Hamlet is what the county calls infill. That means there is other development around it, and often means little infrastructure is needed for roads, schools, police, fire, and libraries.

The rezoning was supported by the county’s departments of planning and transportation. The Chesterfield Planning Commission unanimously endorsed it, and at its public hearing, no one spoke in opposition to the case.