KING WILLIAM — King William County’s growth has been slow in recent years compared to its neighbors but the trend is set to change when more than 1,500 new homes are built.
The rapid residential growth concentrated in the Central Garage district will be accompanied by a commercial expansion, the county’s Planning Commission heard on Jan. 11. Planning Director Sherry Graham said Dunkin’ is likely to submit a proposal soon while plans for a Wawa and a Starbucks are proceeding.
Graham also discussed the possibility of a YMCA and a Dairy Queen restaurant coming to King William.
The Planning Commission’s 2023 annual report stated the county’s population was 18,186 in 2022 and saw a 1.04% growth from the previous year. The county’s population increased by 1.32% in 2021, and 1.34% in 2020.
King William has grown by 15.31% since 2010, when the county was home to 15,935 people.
Darrell Kellum, vice chair of the Planning Commission, said King William’s population growth rate in recent years is low compared to neighbors such as New Kent, which grew by 7.5% between 2020 and 2022. Kellum said school enrollment numbers have dropped from about 2,200 to 2,000 in recent years.
“As a planning commission I know we currently have 1,500 homes approved on the books in major subdivisions so that number could change,” he said.
King William is likely to become one of the fastest-growing counties if all of the housing that is currently approved is built, Graham suggested. “Once they start, I don’t see it slowing down,” she said.
In August, the Planning Commission backed a preliminary site plan for 30 carriage homes in the Central Garage area, at the corner of Route 360 Richmond-Tappahanock Highway and Kennington Parkway South.
Other developments have also been proposed for the area, including an apartment complex on Route 30 across the highway from King William Park, along with a development that would include apartments, townhouses, single-family homes and two commercial tracts at the northern intersection of routes 360 and 30.
The Virginia Department of Transportation began studying the Route 360 corridor last summer as part of a arterial management program to address potential safety issues and future congestion as the area grows.
Graham said she plans to meet Schools Superintendent Charles Wagner to update him on proposed future housing that would impact school division numbers.
Meanwhile, plans for a Starbucks and a Wawa in the Central Garage area are making progress. “Hopefully we’ll see construction on that fairly soon,” she said of the Starbucks.
“Dunkin’ Donuts should be submitting something fairly soon,” she said. “We know they are definitely going to be here.”
The Wawa application has been held up by access issues as the store finalizes plans with the Virginia Department of Transportation for a new entrance.
“We’ve had talk of a YMCA,” Graham said. “We’ve had talk of a Dairy Queen but they haven’t submitted anything.”
David Macaulay, Davidmacaulayva@gmail.com