The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Annadale zoning is agricultural again
BY DAN McFARLAND
Orange County supervisors have rezoned property once planned as the site of the Annadale retirement community to agricultural at the request of its new owners.
Following the positive recommendations from the Planning Commission and a public hearing Tuesday, the board voted unanimously to approve three actions requested by Philip and Merrill Strange. They included amending the comprehensive plan’s land-use map to return the four affected lots from residential to agricultural conservation designation; removing previous proffers that had never been triggered; and rezoning the property back to agricultural.
“My grandparents bought Annadale in 1928,” Philip Strange explained, “and it stayed in the Strange family until the mid-’90s, when my aunt sold the farm.”
In July 2006, Silver Active Adult Communities, Annadale LLC won approval of its plan to rezone the 244-acre tract on U.S. 33 just west of Gordonsville from agricultural to planned development residential, in exchange for extensive proffers. The proffers, which were staged with phases of the development, included a payment of $25,000 each time a building permit for one of the 290 planned residential units was obtained, and construction of a community and recreational center that would include a swimming pool and tennis court.
No building permits were ever requested or issued, and the property was foreclosed on in 2010.
The land was repurchased in July by Philip Strange and his wife, Merrill, and they proposed to restore it to its original use as a residence and farm.
“My wife and I are not developers,” Strange said, “and we would like to remove the proffers and down-zone the property back to agricultural use. I believe Orange County is better served by putting this parcel back into agricultural zoning.”
Noting that the application had the backing of the town of Gordonsville, as well as the county planning director, Planning Commission and “several constituents who have asked that we support this,” Supervisor Shannon Abbs moved for approval of the requested actions, and the motion passed unanimously.
Following a second public hearing with no speakers present, the supervisors also voted to modify the current county ordinance regarding use of credit cards to pay taxes, fees and charges. The change was needed to update the county ordinance to comply with changes to the state code limiting the amount of credit card fees charged to the exact amount being charged by the credit card company.