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Senior community plans advance

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A proposed age-restricted community with 130 homes and town houses near Harrison Crossing won the Spotsylvania County Planning Commission’s endorsement on Wednesday.

The Board of Supervisors will have the final say on the Villas at Harrison Crossing, which is being proposed by Richmond-based Cornerstone Homes.

The Planning Commission voted 6–0 to approve the project. Member Scott Mellott was absent. The commission was initially scheduled to vote on the project last month. But it tabled a decision after commission member Richard Thompson expressed concern that Five Mile Road—where the development would be located—is too narrow for fire trucks.

The development lies in the Courtland District, which Thompson represents.

Acting Deputy Fire Chief Jay Cullinan responded to his concern in a recent memo, writing that the road has sufficient room for emergency vehicles. He included a picture of two fire trucks sitting side by side at the narrowest portion of the road.

“While the roadway is narrow and lacks significant shoulders between the pavement and the ditches, it is not unlike many other roadways in Spotsylvania, which are utilized by emergency vehicles on a regular basis,” wrote Cullinan, who added that emergency vehicles routinely travel on Five Mile Road.

Cornerstone Homes is requesting that the 32.7-acre property be rezoned to “planned development housing” for the community. All but 26 of the 130 homes would be limited to people 55 and older.

In 2008, Cornerstone received the county’s approval to build an age-restricted development with 148 condos at the same site. The developer says he has changed those plans to reflect current market conditions.

Thompson, the Planning Commission member, said he’s doesn’t like the idea of more homes on what he called a “little road.” But he said he voted in favor of the project because it reduces the number of homes that can be built on the land.

County planning staffers, who are recommending approval of the project, say it will generate less traffic than the original plan.

Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402