Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Craigs Baptist Church looks to expand in rural area

Craigs Baptist Church wants to expand on 14 acres on West Catharpin Road. You can read the generalized development plan here. The property is directly across the street from the current church.The request to build the church in agricultural zoning is the subject of a public hearing tonight at the Planning Commission.

The church would be built in three phases with a worship center and indoor athletic gym, a private school and another place of worship. Together, the space will be more than 48,000 square feet. The estimated vehicles per day is 1,368 vehicles per day.



  • lgross

    Virginia Code, Sec. 15.2-2223.1 requires that Spotsylvania County establish one or
    more UDAs by July 1, 2011.
    UDA basic statutory requirements include:
    · One or more areas most be designated for a UDA in the Comprehensive Plan
    · Densities must be appropriate for “reasonably compact development”
    · Residential density must be at least 4 residential units/ gross acre
    · Commercial minimum floor area ratios must be 0.4 per gross acre
    · Projected population growth in the UDA areas must accommodate the localities
    growth rate for at least 10 years and not more than 20 years

    there’s still a lot of time to figure all of this out but this is one of those under-appreciated aspects of
    the 3202 legislation… a bit of a “sleeper”

    If the county follows the law – and it’s not subsequently repealed or gutted (it could be),
    theory.. the county needs to designate areas that can accommodate 10 years worth of growth..

    I can’t quite figure this part out:

    ….. ” identify at least 3,008 acres of UDAs to accommodate a
    population of 26,103 (2% growth).”

    my understanding is that the density must be at least 4 residential units per acre so that would be a
    a lot more acres than 3000.. unless they are proposing even higher densities…

    but I also thought I read in the legislation – here:

    “Future growth shall be based on official estimates and projections of the Weldon Cooper Center for
    Public Service of the University of Virginia or other official government sources.”

    which I think is likely to be a different number than 2% though the whole issue about how growth is
    projected in the first place is a murky critter.

    but this really sets a precedent for the county…. in terms of designating future growth in that in the
    past.. the county has basically responded to growth proposals… which sometimes occurred in the
    Primary Settlement Area (roughly where water/sewer is provided) but not infrequently in other parts
    of the county … For instance – Fawn Lake got it’s own water/sewer way the heck out on the fringes
    on the county near orange and all along the length of the pipes.. subdivisions have sprung up…
    contributing to the Route 3 corridor traffic as well as necessitating new schools out in that direction.

    There are some folks – even Smart Growth folks who advocate “nodes” or “villages” separated by
    rural … but I don’t think we are headed that way… as the reality is that we are substantially a
    bedroom community with a high percentage of long-distance commuters.. who live here and work up
    in NoVa.

    Which presents an interesting issue in that despite what some folks say about the development
    community and “sprawl” – they will tell you that they are responding to the “market” and I think it’s
    an open question as to whether folks who work in NoVa and come down here looking for a traditional
    sub-division …cul-de-sacs.. green grass front and back yards…. etc… will buy.. something that
    looks a lot like what is available up in NoVa (but still cheaper down this way).

    At any rate.. i thought the UDA stuff on the Agenda was potentially very interesting.

  • dantelvock

    Sure, it is interesting. I think the idea here is to have more than 4 units per acre. I’ll be listening to the debate on UDAs as well

  • lgross

    4 units is right on the edge of your traditional single family home on a lot… which is the “sweet
    spot” for most NoVa commuters.. Higher density than that.. means townhouses and apartments
    … which “normally” is not the kind of housing that mom & dad commuter-competemplating-a-
    family are looking for …

    So it might boil down to:

    1. – Can we ‘create’ urban-type development like Fredericksburg where commercial and residential
    are … “New Urbanistic” …i.e. apartments on top of Stores… etc…. even more “mixed-use” than
    what some traditionally view as “mixed-use”.

    2. – If we are successful at building “mixed-use” New Urban villages… will it attract NoVa
    commuters … more so than the traditional single family home subdivision?

    so this goes to the heart of the growth argument.


    because if the county designates super-dense UDAs as their response to 3202 and in the process,
    they designate little or no single family home subdivisions as part of the UDA… and the builders
    and developers come back and say that they can’t make it because their customers want single
    family home subdivisions an none are designated in the UDA/Comp Plan….

    there’s a bunch of ways that this can go…

    Mr. Vakos has attempted to go down the New Urban road with his Courthouse Development but
    that project does not look like it’s on a fast track at all….just the opposite.

    Tricord has shown a willingness but the County was less than thrilled with what was proposed.. even
    though it would have brought them some major road infrastructure….

    Truth be know.. this is getting into uncharted waters… for the County…

  • MAVRICKinc

    Dan, Larry: these are not uncharted waters. All you have to do is look at the changes our Board of Supervisors have put in place over the last 18 months. They started their march with the removal of 13 oversite and public service committees. If you were to dive into the Board’s Land-Use and taxing agendas over the last 18 months, you would see what I’m talking about. It’s really all a matter of public record. Put it on rewind and you’ll see what I mean.

    If your interested in mixed use development, take a trip to the Short Pump Mall arena on this side of Richmond. Or, take a look at downtown Charlottesvile. I used to drag main street that is now bricked over and allows only pedestrian traffic, but the Paramount theatre is still there.

    I even suggested, in writing, that Fredericksburg might want to entertain the idea of bricking over Caroline Street from the railroad station to the library. I was motivated only by the fact that should I go pub crawling on a Friday night and not fear for my life, should I decide to make an ass of myself, and attempt to navigate between parked cars with my designated driver in tow. No more roaring tail pipes or weaving in and out of traffic to make it to the front of the traffic line, if only to be stopped at the next light. Parking would be consigned to Fredericksburg’s parking garage that the city is still paying for. I digress

    Check with Spotsylvania County’s Planning Department website to better understand the County’s new vision. TRICORD and their Summitt Crossing proposal is still on the books, for want of capital and approprite proffers.

    TRICORD is currently negotiating with the County to reduce proffers to their liking. Once in place and a matter of law, we should be surprised to see TRICORD make its way back to the Summitt Crossing proposal; 5,900 high density housing sites.

    If you have any questions, you should get a copy of the minutes taken while the Planning Commission toured areas of future but not necessarily smart growth areas to be developed.

    I have my facts straight, but no one wants to listen, and that’s OK by me. The devil is still in the details. If you want to get off the merry-go-round, you’ll have to jump off first. If you fear the imagined consequences of jumping off, you would be better off staying on the ride. It’s just another circle that stops at the same point it started from.

    If you’re looking for answers, you will necessarily find them standing under your nose, and in open sight. All you have to do is connect the dots.