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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Harrison Connector Road? What’s the deal?

The last we heard about the Harrison Connector Road was on Jan. 13.

You can read it right here. Ignore my little doodle at the end of it.

The supervisors have had several closed meetings to discuss the future of this road, and their goal appears to be to start a "Special Service District" instead of a Community Development Authority. 

What’s the difference? The county has two special service districts now for Cosner and Harrison Crossing. These service districts ONLY tax commercial property in the district to pay for infrastructure. A CDA can "tax" both, but with a CDA it really uses a special property assessment on any property in the district.

A promise was made very early in the discussions for this road that no residential property would be taxed or assessed to build this road. But once the process started we found out that residential property was going to be taxed to build this road if property owners did not sign this agreement with Cafaro that would have not allowed them to change the zoning of their property to "benefit from the road." Hazel Wild Farm and New Life in Christ Church signed the agreements, and they were two of the original petitioners to start the CDA. 

To complicate the issue even more, the Attorney General opined that the ordinance for the CDA doesn’t really exist because it has a clause that allows a petitioning landowner to exit the CDA after it is created. Now because the church and Hazel Wild signed the Cafaro agreement to "exit" the CDA, the CDA is void, in the opinion of the Attorney General. In fact, the AG believes the CDA ordinance is void from the start just because of the clause. But the supervisors have not acted on this opinion yet.

Now that this has happened, read this letter from New Life in Christ Church.

Supervisors did not appear to talk about the road in closed session Tuesday, and no decision on how to move forward has been made yet. I’ve called Cafaro a few times and he says "your guess is as good as mine."

 

 

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/spotsygovt/2009/01/29/harrison-connector-road-whats-the-deal/

  • lgross

    I’m quite sure that most folks don’t know the
    difference between a CDA and a Service District
    which is very important when it comes to what
    properties will be included (or not) in an area with
    a supplemental tax to pay for infrastructure.

    Why was a CDA chosen originally rather than a
    Service District – as it sounds like the CDA was
    not the right approach given the circumstances.

    or.. could it be …that the CDA law itself in
    Virginia is not as well defined as it might be –
    which led to some different interpretations of the
    law.

    All this stuff is not only important for the Harrison
    Road Snafu but also for the Tricord proposal
    involving TIF financing.

    anyhow… good to have a competent news
    person working to get more of the story out.

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