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Change sought in plan for land

The developer of Colonial Forge in Stafford County wants to change some of the promises made before it acquired the project. 

But even though the land changed hands, the proffers—a developer’s commitments to the county to offset impacts—are still attached to the property, county staff noted at a public hearing before the Planning Commission Wednesday evening.

That public hearing remains open for several more weeks as the county and developer continue to discuss specifics of the project.

Colonial Forge is part of the larger Augustine development, off Courthouse Road. The northern part of Augustine is built out as single-family homes, and the southern area is not yet developed but is zoned for non-residential uses.

The 210-acre Colonial Forge is the center portion, zoned R–3 to allow a mix of 573 residences, including single-family houses, multifamily and town houses, with a community clubhouse.

Combined, the three areas can’t have more than 927 dwellings, according to proffers passed in the early 1990s.

The property owner is North Stafford Associates LTD Partnership No. 2, represented by attorney Clark Leming of the firm Leming & Healy.

“The whole idea from the beginning is there’d be integration between the different components, but given the different ownership, that hasn’t occurred,” Leming said.

The company is asking to remove proffers that mandate commercial space to be added at certain times during the development of the homes, as well as a requirement to build four ball fields on 12 acres in the Augustine South development, which still needs infrastructure improvements and also has a separate owner.

But the need for athletic fields has been a recurring discussion over the past year as Stafford plans its own and works with developers to fill the gap.

This week, staff recommended requiring a cash proffer of $942,000 instead, which would help offset the impact to parks and recreation facilities.

“Giving it up is just a hard one to even consider,” said commission chairman Mike Rhodes.

Two residents spoke about traffic concerns; Leming said he’d clear up misunderstandings with them.

The Planning Commission will make a a recommendation on the change, but the Board of Supervisors has the final say.

Leming said the previous developer submitted substantial proffers years ago, including transportation improvements and the site for Colonial Forge High School.

At stake are 80 residences that could be built if the restrictions on commercial development and land dedication for fields are removed.

The public hearing was left open until Oct. 9 to allow Leming and the commission to continue to discuss the proffer changes.

Katie Thisdell: 540/735-1975


Stafford Planning Commission Chairman Mike Rhodes said a record may have been set on Wednesday for the number of people speaking on one topic, after a public hearing had been held.

That hearing on the 610 Park Ridge project was held last month, and drew seven speakers that night, mostly residents concerned about traffic impacts.

This week, 12 people spoke at the beginning of the Planning Commission’s meeting to continue their opposition to the project. Several represented homeowners associations near the 9-acre site at the intersection of State Route 610 and Parkway Boulevard.

Proposed are six businesses that could include a bank, pharmacy, gas station with convenience store, an automobile service facility, and two commercial pad sites for offices or retail. Some may have drive-thrus.

No decisions were made on the project. It was deferred to the Oct. 23 meeting.


Also Wednesday, the commission approved a conditional use permit for a CVS pharmacy.

The chain already has a drug store at the intersection of Onville and Garrisonville roads, but road widening projects are affecting the company’s land. The Virginia Department of Transportation acquired right of way there.

CVS has plans to build a new 14,000-square-foot single-level building with a drive-through, set further off State Route 610. The existing store will remain open during construction, and then will be demolished. Both will operate 24 hours a day.

The Planning Commission asked that promotional signs be similar to what they approved recently for two new drugstores elsewhere in the county, a Walgreens on both U.S. 17 and at Cool Springs Road.

Commissioner Steven Apicella suggested the county take a strategic look at the effects on existing businesses of several road widening projects.