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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and Fredericksburg.com. This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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CDA could finance Mine Road extension in Stafford

This Google locator map shows the area in which Mine Road would be extended from Austin Ridge Drive to Courthouse Road. Click for a larger view.

The extension of Mine Road as a four-lane divided thoroughfare between Garrisonville and Courthouse roads in Stafford County will likely be paid for by a separate tax on the property owners within the Embrey Mill subdivision.

Stafford’s Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing Nov. 20 to consider approving a Community Development Authority within the 869-acre Embrey Mill subdivision, for which site work is now under way.

The CDA would issue revenue bonds that would pay for the three-mile extension of Mine Road from where it ends at Austin Ridge Drive all the way to Courthouse Road.

The Mine Road project, which would likely be built in two or more stages starting from Courthouse Road, is expected to cost about $20 million, said Clark Leming, an attorney working for Embrey Mill developers Newland Real Estate Group and North America Sekisui House.

The CDA bonds could also pay for additional public infrastructure in that stretch such as water and sewer connections, curbs and gutters, lighting, landscaping, sidewalks and more. The developers are asking for the authority to issue as much as $45 million in bonds through the CDA, though the amount sold may be less than that.

The bond payments would be covered by a special assessment on the property owners within the CDA district. At first that would mainly be the developer, Nash Stafford LLC, but it would later be the responsibility of homebuilders buying the lots and ultimately the owners of the roughly 1,600 homes envisioned for Embrey Mill. The assessment would be on top of the regular county real estate tax.

Stafford County would collect the assessments and transfer the funds to be paid to the bondholders, but would face no financial responsibility for the payments. The CDA would be a separate legal entity with its own board. CDAs have been used to finance infrastructure elsewhere in the state and region, including at Celebrate Virginia North and South.

The Mine Road improvements were part of the proffers attached to a 2001 rezoning at Embrey Mill, which is west of Interstate 95 between Courthouse and Garrisonville. It was envisioned all along that a CDA would be formed to finance the road work, Leming said.

The CDA funds would be a fairly small portion of the overall cost of developing Embrey Mill. Nash Stafford LLC bought the land earlier this year for $36 million and has estimated it will spend “upward of $200 million” on the significant site work in a hilly stretch of Stafford.

Embrey Mill, which is adjacent to the Austin Ridge subdivision, is planned as a major growth area of Stafford. Planned amenities include two public schools and a public sports complex with 12 fields and an indoor pool. The development plan calls for a series of walkable neighborhoods with a mix of housing types linked by a trail system.

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Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/businessbrowser/2012/10/25/cda-could-finance-mine-road-extension-in-stafford/

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