The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Whitehall addition passes planners
BY JEFF BRANSCOME
The Whitehall subdivision in Spotsylvania County is one step closer to adding 84 homes.
The Spotsylvania Planning Commission voted 5–0 Wednesday to recommend approval of the developer’s request to rezone 167 acres at Whitehall—off Herndon Road near Brock Road Elementary School—from rural to residential. Commissioners Mary Lee Carter and Scott Mellott were absent.
The Board of Supervisors will have the final say on the request.
If supervisors approve the rezoning, 84 homes will be built in Whitehall on lots of at least one acre. It’s referred to as a “cluster subdivision” and would be the final phase of the development.
Northern Virginia developer Basheer & Edgemoore has built and sold 24 of the 26 planned homes in the neighborhood’s first section. Those homes are on larger lots of about two to 12 acres.
The neighborhood will have 110 homes if the rezoning is approved. The developer has agreed to build no more than two homes on another 800 acres at Whitehall if the Board of Supervisors OKs its request.
The developer had originally planned to build 116 houses on 964 acres at Whitehall. It called for each house to have lots of two to 35 acres.
County staff said the new proposal will include about two fewer miles of roadway than the original plan and will preserve more land.
Some speakers at a public hearing at Wednesday’s meeting said they were concerned about traffic.
Planning Commissioner Robert Stuber noted that the neighborhood would have fewer homes, based on the rezoning proposal. And he said he thought having less road was a positive. “That gives the public less time to really build up speed,” he said.
Commissioner Cristine Lynch praised the proposal for reducing the neighborhood’s impact on the environment.
“I applaud your efforts,” she told an attorney for the developer.
Some residents disagree.
In a letter to the county, Michael and Gail Szczepankiewicz, who live in Whitehall, wrote that they oppose the rezoning. They said they think the smaller lots will reduce the value of the existing homes in Whitehall.
The Szczepankiewiczes also wrote that having less roadway is simply an attempt by the developer to save money and will reduce access to the woods surrounding Whitehall.
“In closing, does Spotsylvania County need another subdivision with an overly congested living area?” the couple wrote.
Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402