Free Lance-Star reporter Amy Umble covers Stafford County schools and other education issues

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Summerfield proffer reductions still on the table in Spotsy

The Spotsylvania County Planning Department staff is recommending that the developer of the planned Summerfield subdivision be given another chance this year to request lower proffers for the project.

Landowner Marion E. Hicks submitted an application in July asking the Board of Supervisors to decrease his proffers—voluntary contributions to offset the development’s impact on county services—by $1.4 million, from $3.5 million to $2.1 million.

Hicks had previously sought a reduction of about $1.9 million, citing poor market conditions. Supervisors denied that request in March.

County staff noted that the new application’s cash proffers are 42.5 percent higher than the previous request. The updated proffer maintains the original plan to upgrade Hudgins Road.

The staff is recommending that supervisors at their meeting Tuesday declare the latest proposal for reduced proffers substantially different than the denied application. That determination is necessary for the application to move forward in the public hearing process—first with the Planning Commission, then with supervisors—because it has been less than a year since the previous proposal was rejected.

If supervisors deem the new application substantially the same as the old one, it won’t be eligible for consideration until March.

Land-use attorney Clark Leming, who is representing Hicks, said he hopes the board will act quickly because of the landowner’s age. Hicks, a former Spotsylvania supervisor, is 90.

Supervisors approved the 127-home Summerfield rezoning—along with the original proffers—in 2009. The land is off U.S. 1 near Kingswood, just south of Fredericksburg.

Leming filed a lawsuit against Spotsylvania earlier this year over its refusal to reduce Summerfield’s proffers, but he has asked that the suit not be served at this time.