Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Breaking Blog News on HCOD-Design Standards

Supervisor Hap Connors, who was present at last night’s community meeting on the Highway Corridor Overlay Districts Design Standards said today that he supports the revisions because "good design is good business."

However, after hearing the concerns that people raised last night, he said he plans to recommend the following changes:  


  • He will ask planners to scale back the highway corridor overlay districts to those just in the primary growth area. This will remove most rural highway overlay districts. Staff proposed a total of 17 districts.

  • He will recommend streamlining the special-use permit process. It is unclear how planners can do this with current staff levels.

  • He will recommend incentives to businesses/developers that adopt the new standards. One incentive he mentioned was that planners could fast track the permit process.

Will this be enough?



  • lgross

    Wouldn’t it have been so much better to have heard fro the business community BEFORE it got to this point ???

    When companies like Tricord say that they were not originally invited – it gives me pause.

  • hapconnors


    This process has been going on for two years. Planning staff has met with developers and others repeatedly. And we are still meeting with people to make this thing work, because it will only help their bottom line (per Chris Hornung, of Silver, who confirmed last night that they can levy higher rents) and benefit the county as a whole.

  • lgross

    I know that sometimes these things are not what they appear but who made the case that developers had been involved and gave examples of changes made from developer feedback?

    And if the process was actually done “right” then why such major changes now?

    It’s easy to throw rocks on this so I’ll try not to by pointing out the success that some developers have had by meeting with the public on controversial proposals.

    Basically you have a decision as to whether you are going to deal with opposition ahead of time or later at public hearings.

    What you’d like at the hearings -is developers who were part of the process and support and have ownership in the work product.

    You’ll still get some opposition but it will be clear to all parties that a collaborative process was truly done.

  • lgross

    I think one question to ask here is that would these advocated changes be necessary if a MAJORITY of the business community was satisfied with the original plan?

    My view is that a good process is one where the resulting recommendations are supported by those affected by the proposed changes.

    No – businesses are not going to vote against their own interests and to pay more money just to be paying more money but I think businesses are people also – who want to do the right thing.

    They are also part of the Spotsylvania Community – right next to us in the Food stores and Churches and their perspective is important when it comes to … cost-effective – approaches to “better”.

    Many developers just are opposed to expensive changes that put them at a competitive disadvantage – not good changes.