The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Spotsy OKs 49-home subdivision
A 49-home subdivision on 315 acres along Ni Reservoir has been added to the ever-growing list of approved housing projects in Spotsylvania County.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 5–1 to rezone the property, near the intersection of Piney Branch and Catharpin roads, from agricultural to planned rural residential. Without that rezoning, just 10 homes would be allowed on the land.
Supervisor Timothy McLaughlin cast the dissenting vote on the Fortunes Landing development, and Supervisor Benjamin Pitts was absent from the meeting.
The subdivision, which the Planning Commission endorsed last month, will have 17 homes fronting Ni Reservoir, in addition to an 18-acre home site with land for farming. The average lot size will be about five acres, and the smallest homes will be 2,400 square feet.
Ken and Kathleen Fortune, who own the land, expect the houses to sell for $650,000 to $1.5 million. No more than 15 homes can be built annually.
Lawrence Welford, president of Welford Engineering and a representative for the developers, noted that the Fortunes are moving into a state-of-the-art home on the other side of the reservoir—directly across from Fortunes Landing.
“Obviously, they have a vested interest to see that it’s done with high quality,” he said, adding that all homes will be energy efficient.
The developers will pay almost $259,000 in cash proffers, which are voluntary payments to offset a development’s impact on schools, roads and other infrastructure. That’s about $1 million less than local guidelines recommend.
Still, county staff recommended approval of the project, saying it will provide long-term financial benefits to Spotsylvania.
At a public hearing on Fortunes Landing, three of the five speakers said they supported the rezoning. That includes Spotsylvania Greenways Initiative board member Mark Vigil, who lauded the developer’s plan to pave recreational trails along Catharpin and Piney Branch roads.
Welford said the trails will be built on a state right of way and therefore maintained by the Virginia Department of Transportation.
McLaughlin, the supervisor who cast the lone dissenting vote, voiced concern that the county would have to maintain the new trails. County Attorney James Benkahla said he didn’t think that would happen, but that he’d have to look into the issue.
The developers have also promised to build a 15-acre public park with a small amphitheater.
Supervisors have approved three other developments in recent months with a total of more than 2,500 homes. The developers of those projects, all of which have commercial components, did not offer cash proffers.
The board recently tabled a decision on another 1,060-home development off U.S. 1 near Cosner’s Corner. Supervisors are scheduled to consider it again in November.
Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402