CAMDEN — Camden County officials have signed off on a plan for a residential subdivision at the site known as the Camden Business Park on U.S. 158.
The Board of Commissioners approved the plan for a 39-lot subdivision known as Camden Station at its meeting Monday night.
The 25-acre tract at the rear of the Camden Business Park was rezoned to village residential last February. The village residential zoning district allows for higher density development than the county’s other residential districts.
The property is owned by Robert Krainiak, brother of Commissioner Randy Krainiak. Commissioner Krainiak has been recused from discussion and votes on the proposal.
In arguing for the rezoning and the project’s development, county officials have noted that the property is located off U.S. Highway 158, has access to county water and sewer, and is at the edge of the “core village” of the Courthouse Township. The site is also next door to commercially zoned property.
At a meeting a year ago, county commissioners heard objections to the rezoning from citizens who were concerned that the development could contribute to overcrowding in the county’s schools. Citizens also questioned whether the location is appropriate for housing.
County officials have said Camden needs more high-density housing. They also have said allowing some housing next to the the business park could spur commercial development there because it would provide a customer base.
The village residential zoning district requires 15 percent of the land be maintained as open space. Because of that rule, Camden commissioners also approved an amendment to the county’s definition of “urban open space.”
“Urban open space is a new concept for us,” Dan Porter, the county’s director of Planning and Community Development, told commissioners.
The concern is not to create too much impervious surface, Porter said.
Based on discussion at a meeting of the Camden Planning Board, the board revised the definition of urban open space to include some additional features that would not contribute to the expansion of impervious surface.
County officials are cautious about impervious surfaces because they can worsen problems related to stormwater runoff.
The plan for Camden Station calls for construction to begin this year and occupancy of some homes to start in summer 2022.
The subdivision is expected to add $12.6 million to the county’s tax base and generate about $95,000 a year in tax revenue.
The developer plans to include 32.4 percent open space and recreational space, which is more than twice the requirement in the county’s ordinance.
Mark Bissell, an engineer for the project, said plans for the open space include picnic shelters with grills and community gardening areas with benches,
The Camden County Sheriff’s Office opposed the subdivision plan, citing concerns about increased call volume and difficulty responding to additional calls with existing personnel.
No one spoke against the subdivision during a public hearing held during the meeting Monday night.