A manufactured housing project — pre-built homes — could be coming to the area including Franklin, Beauregard and Lee streets in Danville.

The Danville Planning Commission voted 6-0 to recommend City Council approval of the project following a public hearing during the commission’s meeting Monday afternoon.

Gary Wasson, CEO and executive director of the Danville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, said the plan is to build a model home first for potential buyers to see what they can purchase, and hopefully build a total of five homes that would be moved to the sites.

“Our hope is to develop the model home to show people what can be done,” he told commission members.

They would be targeted toward people making 120% or less of the city’s median household income of about $54,400 per year, which is roughly $65,280 annually or less.

“This is not the traditional affordable housing a lot of people think about,” Wasson told commission members.

The authority would sell the homes and the Virginia Housing Development Authority would finance the transactions.

The project is an opportunity to build new homes for first-time home buyers and fill up vacant lots in the Monument-Berryman area, Wasson said.

But Danville resident Gus Dyer expressed concerns that allowing manufactured homes in the neo-traditional residential district could give the category a bad name in the future.

“I’m concerned about [bringing] manufactured housing into the neo-traditional category,” Dyer said. He added it could lead to the neo-traditional residential district being stigmatized.

Dyer said he met with Wasson, Director of Housing Education Kimberly Walker and Ernecia Coles, executive director of the Danville Neighborhood Development Corporation.

“We came to a consensus that we should move forward with modifications,” Dyer said. However, photos of the manufactured homes presented to the commission were different from the ones shown at his meeting with Wasson, Walker and Coles, Dyer said.

Sonja Ingram, field services manager for historic preservation group Preservation Virginia said of the project: “It’s important that the city seek public input.”

Wasson told the commission after Ingram spoke that he planned to meet with preservationists and go over the designs of the house.

Each house would be about 1,192 to nearly 1,500 square feet, Wasson told the Danville Register & Bee after the meeting.

Walker said the Center for Housing Education would provide homeowner education for buyers.

In three separate motions, the commission voted 6-0 to recommend:

  • a code amendment to allow for manufactured housing in the neo-traditional residential district;
  • rezoning eight parcels from old town residential to neo-
  • traditional residential district;
  • a special-use permit to permit manufactured housing on the rezoned parcels.

Crane reports for the Register & Bee. He can be reached at (434) 791-7987.

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Crane reports for the Register & Bee. He can be reached at (434) 791-7987.

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