RSS feed of this blog

Former Spotsylvania supervisor sells land to home-builder

MORE: Read more Spotsylvania County news

A national home-builder paid almost $5.1 million for about 50 acres just off U.S. 1 in a deal completed after Spotsylvania County supervisors agreed to lower the proffers on the property.

Atlanta-based Beazer Homes Corp. purchased the property from former Spotsylvania Supervisor Marion Hicks late last month. The company plans to have a model home ready for a grand opening in February, said Sarah Heenan, a regional marketing manager for Beazer Homes.

Up to 83 detached homes and 44 townhouses can be built on the Spotsylvania side of the property, which is about 36 acres. Another 68 townhouses can be constructed on the approximately 14-acre Fredericksburg side.

The site is off Hudgins Road on the west side of U.S. 1 near the Kingswood subdivision. The total taxable value of the land alone is $951,000, or about $4.1 million less than Beazer Homes paid for it.

The sale occurred a little more than a month after the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors approved a $1.5 million cash-proffer reduction for the Spotsylvania portion of the Summerfield development. Hicks’ attorneys said the original proffer amount rendered the land unmarketable.

Proffers are per-home fees intended to offset the cost of growth on roads, schools and other infrastructure.

Attorney Clark Leming, whose firm represented Hicks, said in an email that the sales price “was negotiated long before and independent of the proffer amendment.” Leming is part of a county committee—which also includes five local developers—that has been asked to recommend changes to Spotsylvania’s proffer policy, which currently recommends that developers pay $33,285 per detached home.

Hicks filed a lawsuit against the county in 2012 after the supervisors rejected his request for a $1.9 million proffer reduction. The suit was dropped after supervisors in April cut the proffers from $3.2 million to $1.7 million.

Hicks, who is in his 90s, has lived on the land for more than 60 years, attorney Patricia Healy said at a meeting in April.

She said he was under contract to sell the property to a developer when Summerfield was approved in 2009. But the developer bowed out, Healy said, “leaving Mr. Hicks with no buyer or market for the Summerfield property, with its economically infeasible cash proffers.”

Supervisors last year approved several large mixed-use developments with no cash proffers.

Critics of the fees say they are a tax that is passed onto home-buyers. Others say proffers are necessary to pay for needed infrastructure without raising taxes.

County planning staffers had recommended against the proffer reduction for Summerfield.

The Beazer company has built homes in several local subdivisions, including Stafford Lakes Village, Fawn Lake in Spotsylvania and Pelham’s Reach in Culpeper.

Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402