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Stafford board OKs rezoning, clears way for Shelton Knolls

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The Stafford Board of Supervisors approved in a 4–3 vote Tuesday rezoning 47 acres from agricultural to suburban residential in order to make way for a 94-home development off Shelton Shop Road.

The 47-acre site is located just north of the Shelton Woods subdivision, a 95-home development, at the corner of Courthouse and Shelton Shop roads. That development was given the OK in March when 68 acres were rezoned from agricultural to residential.

Supervisors Meg Bohmke, Paul Milde and Robert Thomas voted against the Shelton Knolls community.

“My concern is that we are not doing anything right now, as a board, to preserve the rural character of Stafford,” Milde said.

Cord Sterling, supervisor for the Rock Hill district in which the development is going to be built, said that preservation would be a good thing to consider for the future, and that the development is within a designated urban surface area, a preferred place for growth.

“This provides that public infrastructure to be put out there,” Sterling said.

Both Shelton developments would feature homes in the $400,000s to mid-$500,000s.

The board also approved a conditional-use permit allowing the subdivision 1.97 dwelling units per acre. Previously, the permit called for 2.25 dwelling units an acre.

The developer has proffered a total of $3.1 million of in-kind and monetary contributions that would offset impacts of new development to the county. For each house, the developer would pay about $32,900, which is less than the county’s current proffer guideline of $46,900.

The in-kind contributions are related to transportation. The proffer calls for a right-of-way for the future widening of Shelton Shop Road, a 100-foot buffer setback in between the development and the road, and a walking trail through the setback area.

The cash contributions will go to school projects at Mountain View High School, parks and recreation improvements to Mountain View recreational fields, transportation projects for Courthouse Road and construction of a fire station off Shelton Shop Road.

Another subdivision item brought to the board’s attention was a 93-acre parcel attached to the Embrey Hill development located on the north side of Courthouse Road and south of the new Embrey Mill residential neighborhood.

The acreage is designated as a commercial area, which includes senior housing and commercial apartments. North Stafford Associates owns the land and believes that those types of units are not profitable in Stafford County, so the proposed amendments would eliminate age-restricted housing and commercial apartments, which are homes built above businesses.

The proffer amendments would increase the maximum number of non-senior housing units by 100 units, increase the number of multifamily homes from 301 to 453, and decrease commercial apartment and multifamily units from 176 to 24.

The board voted unanimously to defer the decision for a later date in order to discuss three things with the developer.

First, they wanted to make sure that if the commercial residential units were dropped that the commercial buildings would still be built.

Second, that the proffer amount for apartments reflect the current value per dwelling at $9,590 for schools.

Third, change the building design to only have one- and two-bedroom apartments.

On another matter, Supervisor Laura Sellers was the only member to vote against a streetscape-improvement project in front of the Stafford courthouse and administration building. The project is federally funded, but Sellers said it sends a bad message.

“I just can’t support it at this time,” Sellers said. “[It says] yes, we are strapped for money, but we are going to spend it on sidewalks.”

Jessica Koers: 540/374-5444

jkoers@freelancestar.com

 

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