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Weekly Meeting Roundup: 6/19 We sit through hours of meetings, you get info in minutes

County government really likes meetings, they have LOTS of meetings. But who can attend them all? BTW spends hours a week at meetings so you can spend minutes getting only the important details. We want to make it easy for the public to stay abreast of what is happening in our county.

Board of Supervisors Meeting 6/20

This is the only meeting BTW covered this week but it was a doozy, clocking in at almost 5 hours. There was a lot on the agenda and a lot of discussion, including the Aquia Towne Center Tax Incentive issue that BTW covered, read more about here. BTW is still investigating the issue, look for a second piece on the ATC deal very soon. Rather than cover the ATC information that was discussed at the meeting here, look for that info in the upcoming post as well.

Public Comments: Folks really turned out to speak at this meeting, many in reference to the proposed increase in funding to the ATC project. At a typical meeting there are around 3 to 4 speakers at the most but at this meeting there were 18! One comment that was especially resonant was from Maya Guy, who begged the BoS to be more open and communicative with their constituents. She said,” With all due respect, you guys have got to do better. You have good willed people trying to figure out what is going on….{you need to} explain to us what is going on.” Well said, Maya. Kudos to everyone who took time out of their busy lives to go speak directly to the board.

Committee Reports: Some items of note from the Supervisors reports

Ms Maurer reported that the Jeff Rouse center is going like gangbusters. It is well over budget for member revenue, it is attracting out of town league play and is generating revenue. Great news!

Mr Snellings reminded those in attendance that the Armed Services Memorial Dedication is on July the 15th in the Courthouse parking lot.

Mr. Milde stated that VDOT set a firm start date for the Courthouse interchange construction, Monday July 10th. Fox News5 will be broadcast live from Stafford at Embrey Mill that morning to cover the story.

Construction Report: The Garrisonville road widening has completed all utility relocations, and installation of storm sewers is continuing.

The Poplar Road / Mt View Road project will see Novec relocating utilities in August followed by Verizon will begin in September. Embrey Mill Road is now passable and just needs to be approved and entered into the VDOT system

Winding Creek Rezoning: (Click for Agenda Item Information) BTW did a write up about this project that would bring 97 homes to Winding Creek Road. Fortunately, the 500k in proffers that were initially pulled to go to the PDR program but came from school funding, has been given back to schools. A presentation reacquainting everyone with the facts was given by staff, who recommended approving the project.

The measure passed 4-3, with MIlde, Bohmke and Maurer voting no. It is important to note that Ms. Maurer and Ms. Bohmke voted against the measure in large part because of the increased impact that would be felt at Winding Creek Elementary and on our community as a whole. Mr. Milde voted against it because the PDR provision had been removed and he has made it very clear that he will not vote for any rezoning unless a PDR provision is made.

Falmouth Village Commercial rezoning Click for Agenda Item Information): This project will allow some limited commercial use of a couple of lots off of Carter and Gordon Streets in Falmouth. The measure passed unanimously.

Sycamore Grove Rezoning: (Click for Agenda Item Information): The site for this project is down by the airport, along Centreport Parkway, see image below.

This is a multi-use rezoning, meaning the plans include both residential and commercial. This project has a lot of issues and presents a huge challenge to the developer and their representation, Charlie Payne of Hirschler Fleischer. First of all, the property is very close to the airport and parts fall into the fight zone for aircraft. Also, parts of the property fall into the flood paths for 3 different area dams. There are wetlands and two bald eagles nests on the property that need to be protected. That’s like everything and the kitchen sink. The development will include 170 single family homes and 150K square feet of commercial space. There is 133 acres that will remain as open space and would not be developed. It was recently reviewed by the Planning Commission and they unanimously voted against recommendation. The Stafford Regional Airport Authority has also come out as stringy against this developmentHowever, the developer has stated that they will develop the up to 105 homes allowed by-right which means the county would get nothing in proffers at all. This project will be deferred until the July 5th meeting.

Change in Proffers for the Stafford Retirement Community (Click for Agenda Item Information): This is a request by the owners of the property to increase the number of Assisted Living beds offered in the community, since these type of living arrangements are in higher demand. The number of beds allowed on the property in total would not change and the property would also continue to offer Independent Living beds. The amendment was approved 6-1 with Mr Snellings casting the dissenting vote.

Cool Springs Mini-Storage Facility rezoning (Click for Agenda Item): There will be a total of 77K square feet in 10 different buildings of storage. The project was approved by the board unanimously.

Changes to the Comprehensive plan and ordinances involving Transfer of Development Rights: There were two different resolutions put in front of the board. Basically, these items are intended to help allow more properties to qualify to transfer their development rights to the county. This is not the same program as the Purchase of Development Rights program or PDR, where the county buys development rights to the county but in all other ways it is the same. These resolutions passed 6-0 with Mr. Snellings as absent.

Authorize use of Proffers to help pay for Moncure Elementary rebuild: This item was not on the agenda but had been raised for discussion. The Moncure Elementary rebuild is about 1 million over budget and it was proposed that school proffer funds be used to help cover these costs. Ms. Sellers raised the concern that there are far fewer new seats going into the school than she had been lead to believe and wanted to review with SCSP before the decision was made. The item will likely come up on the July 5th agenda for approval.

Next week is a busy one with the School Board, Planning Commission and Joint Schools Committee all holding meetings.