Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Condemnations on hold?

After a four-hour closed session, Spotsylvania County supervisors decided to wait until after Jan. 15 before they decide whether to condemn property needed for the Harrison Road Connector project near the Spotsylvania Towne Centre.

Supervisors were expected to schedule a Dec. 9 public hearing on the condemnation of nine properties owned by five people, but the item was removed from their consent agenda. The consent agenda is a list of items that supervisors typically vote on at once that usually do not involve discussion.

Fifteen minutes before midnight, Cafaro Co. representatives entered the board room and signed a piece of paper that says the following:

“If plans, without a notation prohibiting their use for right-of-way acquisition, and an amended appraisal specifically addressing Gonzales Parcel 23-8-D, are submitted to the County by Spotsylvania Mall Company (Cafaro Co.) on or after January 15, 2009, SMC will not be in contravention of the timeframe contained in the proffers for which condemnation requests have been received by the County as of October 31, 2008. That is, the County then will accept SMC’s submitted condemnation requests (which have been received by the county as of October 31, 2008) as timely, complete, and satisfactory, and hereby waives any claim that SMC is not in compliance with Section V.C of the proffers. Further, the timeframe set forth in Section V.E. 1 of the proffer shall not begin unless and until the plans without the notation and such appraisal are received by the County. Plans without notation and such appraisal shall be submitted no sooner than January 15, 2009. That is, the County will have 60 days after the date it receives the aforementioned plans and such appraisal to pass a Board resolution authorizing condemnation of the subject properties; and SMC hereby waives any claim that the County is not in compliance with the timeframe contained in Section V.E. of the proffers for initiating condemnation.”

What’s that agreement mean?


Apparently, there must have been a problem with the appraisal for parcel 23-8-D and Cafaro Co. needs to resubmit it. The proffers, which are the voluntary agreements Cafaro Co. and supervisors made back in 2006 when the mall rezoning was approved, state that Cafaro Co. had to have by Oct. 31 the entire list of properties it wants the county to condemn to construct the connector road. 

The agreement says that if the amended appraisal comes to the county on or after Jan. 15, then Cafaro will not be in violation of the proffers. Once the plans are resubmitted, the county then has 60 days to hold a public hearing on the condemnations and pass a resolution in favor of the condemnations. The agreement does not give a final date by which Cafaro Co. must have the amended appraisal to the county. It just says "on or after Jan. 15, 2009." 

The Dec. 9 public hearing will not occur, and it might not be until near the end of winter before supervisors do have a public hearing and vote on the condemnations.

For some additional background read this and this and this.