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Stafford approves rental units

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Two apartment projects were approved Tuesday by the Stafford County Board of Supervisors. 

The Celebrate Virginia North project will bring 192 apartments to the stalled development off U.S. 17, while the mixed-use development of Abberly at South Campus will see up to 288 units, with offices, shops and 25 acres for a community college campus.

Both projects were approved unanimously. Supervisor Cord Sterling was absent.

The everyday renter won’t be able to live at the Silver Cos. project in Celebrate Virginia North for at least three years. Instead, federal employees who train at the existing 50,000-square-foot facility on Celebrate Virginia Parkway will stay there. Trainees will be able to rent the two-bedroom apartments during their training programs instead of staying in hotels in other localities.

The developer has said it hopes the facility expands soon, though a contract isn’t in place. The new apartment complex would be gated.

Three years after the county issues occupancy permits, the complex could turn over to market-rate rentals. At that point, the Silver Cos. would pay $7,500 per unit in proffers to the county.

The company will also pay $2,999 per unit in transportation impact fees when it receives site plan approval.

The application was fast-tracked through county review because it’s a smaller piece of the previously proposed development that was rejected this summer. Supervisors and planning commissioners held a joint public hearing two weeks ago.

“We started with 700 apartments,” said Hartwood Supervisor Gary Snellings. “I think this is a good plan they put forth.”

Unlike the Celebrate Virginia North project that started off with many critics, the Abberly at South Campus project has seen few.

“I’ve never seen a rezoning come in with so much support before,” said Aquia Supervisor Paul Milde.

The approved development will be south of the Stafford Hospital on the eastern side of U.S. 1, with a pedestrian-friendly setup among its stores, offices and 288 apartments and townhouses.

It’s the first project to move forward under Stafford’s relatively new urban development zoning category.

The project’s applicant, HHHunt and Old Potomac Church LLC, have promised 25 acres to Germanna Community College, which has long eyed land for a Stafford campus.

Also as part of Abberly at South Campus, a community development authority would need to be set up by the county to fund infrastructure, Patrick said. Residents and tenants would likely be taxed as part of the CDA.

Tuesday was the last time the Stafford Board of Supervisors could vote on land-use issues, such as rezonings, before January. The board’s bylaws prevent it from voting on those after the November elections, before new supervisors are seated.

Katie Thisdell: 540/735-1975


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