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Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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VRE Summit is ready to go

You can get the details about the June 11 Virginia Railway Express Summit here at FAMPO’s Web site. You can email me questions at dtelvock@freelancestar.com and I will compile the questions for the panelists.

I will have a story about this event soon and probably again closer to the summit.

 

Post tags:

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/spotsygovt/2009/05/27/vre-summit-is-ready-to-go/

  • lgross

    1. Will everyone who has an interest be able to see all the
    questioned asked by others and their answers even if they
    cannot be at the forum?

    2. Will every question asked receive an answer even if there is
    not enough time for all the questions to be addressed at the
    forum?

    3. – Will the questions that are asked ahead of time be
    answered and available at the door for folks to read prior to
    the meeting?

    FAMPO has done a good job on their website but we should
    get folks questions asked and answered ahead of time so
    that the forum itself can deal with non-trivial questions and
    answers.

    Typically what happens in these forums is that there is not
    near enough time to deal with all the questions… and at
    some point.. the moderators say that “time is up” and the
    rest of the questions do not get answered and everyone goes
    home.

    Forums are also not so good for folks who can’t make them.

    The goal here – ought to be – for every citizen who has a
    question to get the answer to that question – whether they can
    be at the forum or not.

    Are we setting up a way for this to be accomplished?

  • gramps

    have this feeling that all this “forum” business and the sudden “airing” recently of the VRE master agreement is all for “show?” I have this peculiar feeling that Spotsy joining the VRE has about the same chance, with the BOS, as the proverbial “snowball in h***.”

  • gramps

    I used “forum” when I meant “summit.”

  • lgross

    A legitimate public process would allow citizens to see each other’s questions
    and to have all the questions that are asked – answered.

    If this forum is truly about informing citizens about VRE – then they need to
    make this commitment to fairly answer citizens questions.

    Otherwise, I end up with the same feeling about the Forum – a controlled
    event to highlight VRE and to get Press Coverage for it.

    This is all about having a legitimate public process on a controversial issue.

    This blog that I am writing in right now – does exactly what it should do and
    that is that it allows any citizen the ability to ask a question 24/7 AND it allows
    any BOS (many of whom who read this), the ability to answer than citizens
    question such that all citizens see that answer.

    I’ve participated in many forums and the problem is always that there are two
    many questions and a person is appointed to cut them down to a few.. and so
    even the folks at the forum don’t get all their questions answered and of
    course those Spotsylvania Citizens who cannot attend the forum are
    dependent on what questions the news folks choose to put in their article.

    If the folks who are putting on the forum … refuse to allow a method of
    asking and answering ALL questions – then we know what they are really trying
    to accomplish and it aiint a legitimate public process IMHO.

    I very much appreciate Dan’s efforts on this both his blog here and his
    willingness to M.C. the forum (and I presume to report on it) and I would urge
    him to also push to have all questions asked and answered in ADDITION to
    the forum.

    and.. I would invite any/all comments and criticisms on what I have written
    above.

    What I have aways supported is good government and in my view – good
    government is about keeping citizens informed and that means answering
    questions when they are asked.

    Ask yourself – WHY the LAW….. REQUIRES the BOS to hold PUBLIC HEARINGS
    in the first place.

    and normally such hearings are required to remain open until all citizens have
    had their chance to speak, ask questions and give their opinions.

    Forums do not do this., They are controlled events and that is what this event
    sounds like to me.

  • lgross

    will be posted here once I get assurances from
    the organizers of the event that each of them will
    receive an answer and that anyone who wants to
    see the questions and those answers will have
    access to them.

    the ball is in your court.

  • gramps

    And let us not forget one other important thing. It is the citizens who pay ALL the bills so that FAMPO, the BOS, the County, etc. have the resources to operate. I agree with lgross that this process MUST be open and ALL questions need to be addressed publicly. Anything less is a public “sham.”

  • lgross

    thanks Gramps. Now, if we can only convince “you
    know who” that the reason why we have a “free
    press” and why FLS has to do FOIA requests goes to
    the heart of keeping an honest and transparent
    government that is willing to answer ALL questions
    from their citizens.

  • MAVRICKinc

    It was at the BOS’s May 26, 2009 meeting that I received word that the VRE Master Agreement had been posted on the FAMPO website last Friday, for the first and only time FAMPO has put this Agreement on line and into play. You can either press the “here” button woven into this blog or call up fampo.gwregion.org/virginiarailwayexpress.html. When the site opens up you will see a menu on the left with a red background…hit REPORTS AND STUDIES… which will offer up the next screen. but you have to toggle down to “Virginia Railway Express Facts and Documents…enter…toggle again down to the bottom of this screen and you’ll find July 2007 VRE Master Agreement. Read or download the first 20 pages; next ten pages contain only signatures.

    There is listed also “Extension of VRE Service to Spotsylvania County Analysis of Capital Improvement Funding Sources” which should necessarily become required reading.

    Just below this is “Extension of VRE Service to Spotsylvania County Analysis of Pros and Cons.” Be sure to read “Future Transportation and Land Use Efficiencies where it is cited that “They also cite the fact that DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW SPOTSYLVANIA STATION CAN BE COMPLETED IN CONJUNCTION WITH A SET OF FOCUSED LAND USE DEVELOPMENTS, SUCH AS THOSE OFFERED BY TRICORD AT SUMMITT CROSSING.” Please read on for the balance of things to come.

    In today’ FLS- Charles W. Payne, Jr., council for the likes of Hugh Cosner, in many and diversified projects and agendas, provides us with some very sound advice, under title of “Contracts: No Matter How Tedious, READ THE FINE PRINT.”

    I’m not against the multimodle Transportation concept. We can play that record all day and still not have a clue what our elected officials are handing over and doing with our money. However they NOT we are making contracts with CSX, VRE, Amtrac, special interest etc,etc, etc., without reading the fine print. Now that it’s published, no one gets to say or complain they are surprised with the vote of seven BOS members.

    I still maintain the citizens of Spotsylvania County need there own lawyer to read and decipher the contrat language and provide us with a second opinion on what really serves in our best interest.

    This has nothing to do with a Freedom of Information dialogue. I’ve received too many letters from County Government officials saying here is the information you have requested, with the exception of 30 documents that represent County priveledged discourse and beyond public inspection. It really only amounts to being found out and the price we’re caused to pay for another version of Southern comfort and a fried FOIA.

    It’s an echo I keep hearing from our distant past when Bills of Attainer were found to be unconstitutional, but morphed into what we can now describe as Strategic Legislative,and Litigation Strategies which are lawful in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    Hold a Bill of Attainer next to a Strategic Legislative. Litigation Strategy and you will not see a difference between the two.

    It’s sort of like putting the shoe on the other foot. Bills of Attainder were used by the English Crown over our colonials, which became part of our Revolutionary War.

    Now the shoe is on the other foot and we get to produce our own Constitution and Bill of Rights. Madison takes the Bills of Attainder off the books as unconstitutional.

    While Bills of Attainder may have been kicked to the curb, it languished around for years until our Constitution became nothing more than a mile marker we throw out every now and then to make some obscure point of what its like to live in a democracy or in the back isle of our favorite movie theatre.

    For the record I believe the FLS and Dan Telvock have and represent a real conflict of interest with their participation in moderating Spotsylvania County’s business model to field many questions that may never make it to the light of day.

    You have to remember that our BOS and Spotsylvania County chose not to put the VRE Master Agreement on their website. If we can’t talk to, but only at our elected officials. somethings missing and it could be what serves in our best interest.

    I’m at 83%. I’ve already read all the documents listed above and more. Just take care to see whether someone elses vision is somthing you care to live with for a very long time.

  • lgross

    a lot depends on how it is done but to this point.. I’m not very encouraged.

    My view is this: I fundamentally believe that a good public involvement process is a huge
    benefit.. because it should help point the BOS in the direction that people want it to go..

    and the problems begin.. when public involvement is considered a “problem”.

    There is a reason why the law requires “hearings”.

    I’ve always been curious as to what things REQUIRE a public hearing and what does not.

    Do you know?

  • MAVRICKinc

    Larry: What’s been done to this point in time is to keep some very important decision documents hidden from the public for in excess of 2 years. Now we’re a week away from asking questions and making informed decisions on the real workings of VRE and their Master Agreement without a clue what this contract and County commitment to the VRE agenda even reads like.

    You and every citizen in Spotsylvania County have every right not to be encouraged by the process that has wormed its way to a “hearing” scheduled June 11, 2009 to take questions on the VRE proffers that come with joining their ranks.

    Can anyone in this region claim to have put these documents into play years ago to present time? Let’s start with our own Board of Supervisors first. The answer is NO. The Committe of 500 (50) never brought this information to the public, while publishing their reasoning why a 2% gas tax should be reason enough to join the VRE family. The Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce and City Counsil have never made reference to the VRE Master Agreement or offered it up for public inspection. The Stafford County Board of Supervisors have never made mention of these documents and contract language.

    On May 22, 2009 these documents were posted on the FAMPO website, for the first time. If you were to pull up their site you would also see who FAMPO’s major players are and the Who’s Who for making decisions for us on just about everything falling under the heading of Transportation AND Land-Use agendas.

    Public involvement is a problem, but only for those who want to be your friend and share their vision of what the good life COULD look like, with everyones support and tax dollars.

    If the law requires hearings, why would you ask me what qualifies for public hearing and what does not?

    Public hearings are tantamount to “due process.” If you hit the ball and its in the field of play, you can never get back to home base again unless you touch 1st, 2nd, and 3rd base first. Miss anyone of these bases and you’ll be out before reaching home plate.

    Hearings are strategic in nature. How many times have you heard any member of the Board of Supervisors, Planning Commision or Planning Dept. ask County Attorney Strohman, or someone from his office, if a hearing was or would be required to advance their agendas?

    If you have questions of the BOS on the issue of VRE, I suggest you start with a read of the VRE Master agreement and see what pops out at you from between the terms, conditions and pages of contractual language.

    If that doesn’t work for you, you may want to consider calling Hap Connors (Second Vice Chairman-FAMPO Policy Committee), County Administrator Doug Barnes; Matthew Kelly (Past Chairman and Treasurer of FAMPO) or Mark Dudenhefer, Chairman of the FAMPO Policy Committee) for their read of the VRE Master Agreement and how it fits into the June 11, 2009 hearing when the document has only just been published and posted, for the first time, for public inspection.

    I’ve got lots of questions and have asked the BOS on numerous occasions for answers but to no avail.

    The Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors have retreated to their island fortress, leaving the FLS, Dan Telvock and one other guy to stand guard at the fortress gates and allow only those with a half load of information to enter.

    Remember always that democracy only allows you 3 minutes to speak your piece. The Committee of 500 (80) gets 5 minutes to replant their thoughts and principles into the minds of those who would lead, from one election to the next.

    I’m at 71% of market share and will retreat to my afternoon nap. We’re having pizza later…we’ll save a piece for anyone hungry enough to sit at the same table.

    There’s more, but you already know that. Wave high to Dan and Bill next time you see them next.

  • lgross

    perhaps if I ask …what things the BOS can
    decide that don’t require public hearings?

    ;-)

    there are more than a few folks who believe that
    things like education, public safety… and public
    infrastructure such as transit (which they equate
    to VRE) are legitimate subsidized public services –
    the financial “details” of which are ….just
    “details” and they trust the BOS to not pay more
    for it than other jurisdictions might.

    The fact that VRE serves a bunch of jurisdictions –
    who value it even if it’s not the total solution to
    transit is persuasive. After all .. would Fairfax,
    Arlington, Prince William, Manassas, Stafford,
    Fredericksburg, etc – do something stupid and
    wasteful to their citizens?

    So many folks will look at these things and
    conclude that the idea of Spotsylvania joining VRE
    is a “no brainer” .. which in a paradoxical way is
    an apt description of the idea in the minds of the
    opposition.

    I just would like to see an honest public process
    where the important facts are made available to
    all citizens so they can make up their own minds.

    It could well be..after all the facts are out.. and
    people have a chance to think on it that they’d
    weigh in with their ideas on how to do it better
    (taking into account the interests of those who
    don’t use VRE)….

    but it appears that the folks who favor VRE are
    really afraid to get the facts out to the citizens in
    the first place.

    in the long run – such a response is a losing
    proposition in my view..because it builds more
    distrust in the citizenry … and that’s a toxic thing
    to elected governance.

  • gramps

    that lgross, MAVRICKinc, and I are the only posters on this blog thread concerning VRE. In the past, before the Master Agreement became public, any blog concerning VRE would bring the pros and cons out in a fury of postings. In fact, it would usually also bring out Matt Kelly and/or Hap Connors and other local pols to join in the “fray.”

    Now we have 12 postings and the silence from the “others” is absolutely deafening.

    Perhaps the “others” think we three are “nuts.” Or perhaps they are hiding under a rock somewhere afraid to expose themselves now that the Master Agreement has been exposed.

    The bottom line appears to be, from my view, that a large majority of Spotsy folks just do not care about the VRE issue; they have other more pressing issues at the moment. As for the local pols and “activists” like the Committee of 500 (?), I find their silence at this time very, very interesting and downright peculiar. As for FAMPO, that “august” body was set up politically by the GA and one look at it’s board makeup will convince you that it isn’t going against the grain on any issue.

    As for the public airing of ALL questions and their answers at the FAMPO hearing…GOOD LUCK!

  • lgross

    Yes.. isn’t it?

    The VRE topic has been hot and heavy on
    FredTalk and on the “what do you think”
    comment areas on LTE and the regular FLS
    articles and judging from the comments… there
    are strong feelings on both sides.. and … some
    misinformation that when challenged often
    results in a similar silence.

    Give Matt Kelly credit. He is willing to makes
    comments under his real name and debate on
    the merits much more so than our esteemed BOS
    folks who mostly “lurk” …

    they have the perfect opportunity to dialog with
    their fellow citizens – on the merits, dispel myths
    and work to provide the info people are asking
    for and in general …dispel any notion that they
    could be accused of being aloof or arrogant.

    I notice that the County Attorney is listed as a
    panel member?

    Isn’t this the same guy that shut down Dan on a
    question of going into closed session on an issue
    that appeared to not qualify .. and the same guy
    that some posters have claimed that he said that
    having a referendum on VRE is “illegal”?

    Gramps – you are right.

    the unfortunate thing about elective office
    IMHO..is that after awhile ..some elected get
    more and more aloof AND they betray a sense of
    arrogance in their dealings with tough issues.

    I still give them credit for the many other positive
    things that have been accomplished in the last
    few years… but on this issue – this is not their
    best moment.

  • MAVRICKinc

    I have it on good authority the VRE deal has already been cut. The staging being set up for the vote. Three (3) will be for the VRE contract and three (3) will be against, leaving only one of the seven supervisors to “flip” for the VRE agenda. This makes for a nice, neat, tight package every one can be proud of and not knowing anything about the VRE Master Agreement.

    Bill, Larry and Dan: While I can hear the roar of your engines and the rumble of your “glass-pak mufflers, you may want to consider using your cut off swith to your muffler system and ease back on the gas.

    What you’ll find is that your engines are idling only in neutral. Pop the cluthch and you’re not going anywhere; forward or back.

    I’m more inclined to believe you have both feet on the brake and stand as guardians to the ways that have always been in this part of the workd; age old business as usual.

    What Bill finds as “interesting” serves only to put our attention and focus away from the real issues and where only the truth can be found.

    12 postings are called on to make a difference but all Bill gets back is this roar of silence. Not sure who the “others” are that may want to call us crazy but if we did pull up the VRE Master Agreement and put it out for public inspection, would be to find those who would prefer not to be found out, since the VRE is a very important part of Land-Use agendas in Spotsylvania County.

    Bill, you were provided a copy of the VRE Master Agreement months ago. What did you do with your copy. Did you read it? Did you draw any conclusions from this document that youy would like to share with us ALL?

    While we’re all much to busy, we do care. I sent my copies of three documents I downloaded off the FAMPO website (VRE Master Agreement; Spotsy Funding and Spotsy Pros and Cons).

    While I don’t expect a response back, I did leave them with a question that only they can answer. Everything published by the Committee of 500 on the VRE agenda and their reasoning why we should join is confined to a single selling point; 2% gas tax. The VRE Master Agreement doesn’t even mention a 2% gas tax but both agreements will need to be signed by our elected officials before take-off.

    Considering that I showed up at Hap Connors town Hall Meeting, with Matt Kelly in attendance to moderate any question I chose to ask about the VRE Master Agreement, its contents, contract language, terms, conditions and constraints, I received back only rhetorical responses, like “that’s still a work in progress.”

    Please consider that holding back from the public very important documents of understanding and the very foundation of making informed decisions does not make for happy campers.

    Bill, the reason no one appears to care is because their elected officials chose to keep this documentation out of sight from there constituents. If these documents were of no importance to the BOS and their real parties of interest, why didn’t Spotsylvania County post the document on their website, instead of FAMPO’s website. How close can any of us get to Spotsylvania County’s version of plausible denyability?

    How can anyone in this County care about anything when they don’t even have the necessary information available to make an informed decision, much less ask some hard questions.

    You are about asking questions you already know the answer to but can’t bring yourself to believe we are nothing more than foregone conclusions.

    Larry: You too are stuck in neutral. You have copies of the VRE Master Agreement but choose to stand on the sidelines, going aound in circles.

    Your remarks are charged with everthing that has to do with the businees at hand:VRE Master Agreement. Details are things you would prefer to know nothing about, but delegate and charge to our leaders, for want of their sensibilities, to conduct our business in our best interest.

    You ask the question…”would Fairfax, Arlington, Prince William, Manasses, Stafford, Fredericksburg, etc- do something stupid and wasteful to theit Citizen?” The simple answer is YES. Take the last 30 years of trust we put into fiduciary, Banking and realistate factions and see what we get for your money.

    If VRE is, in your words a “no brainer”, I’m sure you have discounted the fact that what you don’t know won’t hurt you, unless or until you step outside from behind your closed doors, if only for a moment.

    Trust and distrust are qualities that can only be earned and accounted for. Somewhere in between you will stumble onto what it feels like to being found out, one way or the other.

    Believe me when I say, I trust everyone until or unless they give me good reason not to trust them.

    It’s as simple as asking a question you already and should necessarily know the answer to, Listen and look at the outrage, name calling, blanched complexion, perspiration falling from the forhead, flushed face, and the silence that comes just before he or she leaves the room, without an answer.

  • MAVRICKinc

    Just for the record this blog doesn’t exist in a vacuum and certainly includeds more players than we could possibly imagine. Spotsylvania County, its BOS members, County Attorney, and countless members of the County and owing their allegiance to someone elses “vision” of what’s comming next and where we will be standing in line when it comes.

    I like to think of this blog as a watering hole; first come first serve only. It’s a cattle call, and those standing in the back of the herd will just have to wait their turn, which may be never.

    If you get a chance, take in some of FAMPO’s meetings; Policy making or Technical. They are more than just interesting and serve best as a single and untapped source of information about what’s next on the Region’s agenda and the role citizens play in the outcome of their thinking and what’s being served up next, within the borders and framework of our Region.

    If you don’t get out much and have access to a computer terminal, you will find it very easy to pull up the FAMPO site. You might want to dedicate more than a few moments to looking and seeing what’s inside their website. You might even consider the site as required reading.

    I’ll stop here for the moment. I’ve sent the VRE Master Agreement and the two additional documents, to just about anyone and everyone who might have the slightest interest in adding more pieces of the puzzle, if only out of curiousity.

  • gramps

    MAV…let me set the record straight here. My FIRST look at the VRE Master Plan came when Dan Telvock emailed me a copy just a few weeks ago. I DID read all 30 pages of that document (the July 07 version) and I commented on the content on Dan’s blog.

    You may be correct that I am “stuck in neutral;” in any event you have the right to your opinions. But, I too have the right to my opinions; and one of them is you are full of yourself!

  • lgross

    I second that opinion.

  • lgross
  • MAVRICKinc

    Bill, Larry: based on your most recent comments, I’ll assume you have nothing further to contribute to the VRE issue. How you wish to distingush your civic rights over any other is a call only you can make.

    The angry exchange you needed to put here in writing, allows me to conclude you have chosen to leave the room without answering a single question.

    Your presence is not going to make the VRE Master Agreement disappear. After all, it’s been around for years and we’re only now seeing how it reads and the consequences of signing on the bottom line.

    Dan Telvock put this agreement on his blog on May 1, 2009 for ALL to read. Since neither of you have any questions about this document, I’ll assume you also chose not to share it with anyone on your block. So, we’ll count you two as a YES vote for VRE. That about does it for me. You guys have a good day. It’s my nap time.

  • MAVRICKinc

    Must sincerely thank you for putting me on to this website. Had no idea my BOS presentaions ever made it to cyberspace.

    Pulled up BOS minutes of their January 9, 2007 meeting. While VRE found its way to the minutes, the VRE Master Agreement was never posted for inspection, but highlighted what was coming. You’ll find me on pgs. 3 and 4 under public presentations. The read is rather easy. All you have to do is follow the term VRE and page down to what was and still is.

    For the record, I already know I’m a pompous ass and pretty proud of that brand. Took me years to cultivate this first impression. You have no idea how many people concluded I was not approachable, because of this fragile perception that all I had to offer was lots of talk, while all the time I was really listening to every thought anyone has to offer.

    So, if you can conclude I’m full of mysef, I’ve achieved what I set out to accomplish in the first place; what you really think and where you are on the field of play.

    Thanks again for sharing. If you don’t already know my email address is MAVRICKinc7@msn.com. You’ll find me in the telephone book just in case you want to shout into my ear. When you’re finished shouting, I’ll return the receiver back to my ear. I’m not political, you are. Don’t take sides. All I do is connect dots, play with puzzles and look for missing pieces. I’m just a piece of the puzzle and part of the solution. Nothing more, nothing less

  • lgross

    you can use that technique Mav on any website…
    like FAMPO and the VRE website also.. and
    fredericksburg.com…

    it’s in fact a better search than the one that FLS
    provides …

    the trick is to get good with key word/phrases on
    the search…

  • MAVRICKinc

    Larry: thanks for the input. Much more to share but you’ll find me first on Dan’s latest blog. You guys, including Bill have already supplied us with a map. Gramps we’re on the same page.

    I’ve asked Mulhern for his UDA maps and power point presentation to the Planning Commission on UDA agendas. The presentation was quite revealing. Reminded me of a Texas two step, but spoke volumes to what’s coming on the June 9, 2009 BOS meeting.

    I’m about 3 quarters thru tinyurl.com The site is truly a historical document of where used to be and how it plays out to current times and resolves.

    I had to leave town for my grand daughters graduation, so I’m playing catchup.

    Just in case it got lost in translation, I’m in agreement with Gramps assessment of the UDA equation and its impact with the VRE Master Agreement.

    I decided not to respond right away to Dan’s latest invitation to the UDA agenda.

    Still collecting data that will necessarily continue with Larry and Bill’s observations. Also working on my questions for the BOS hearing scheduled for the 11th and my monthly presentation to the Board on the 9th. FAMPO website continues to be a wealth of knowlege and history of what’s coming to Spotsylvania County’s LAND-USE and Transportation agendas.

    Whether you like or not we share some part of the same page and Larry is starting to become as wordy as I am. Just remember to thank Dan and his editor for enlarging this blog site. As you already know, all parties of interest tune into this dialogue/blog but prefer to remain anonymous.

    Pawn one to Kings four.

  • lgross

    One of the troublesome little phrases with UDAs
    is:

    ” Require the Comprehensive Plan to designate
    growth areas sufficient to handle 10-20 years of
    residential and commercial growth.”

    http://www.hbar.org/media/media-21868.pdf

    more specific ” areas sufficient to handle”

    this applies more than some vague words or
    imaginary lines on a map with no funded CIP.

    what it means is it you designate a UDA and a
    developer proposes a project – the county cannot,
    in theory, come back and say “sorry, we don’t
    have the infrastructure sufficient to support your
    project” just as, in theory, if a developer
    proposed a conforming project in the PSA and the
    county said “sorry, we don’t have water/sewer
    available”.

    the difference is that the UDAs up the ante for all
    infrastructure…schools..libraries, roads, etc.

    which if one thinks about this…is an opportunity
    for the county to put into place funded CIPs
    supported by “availability” fees much like
    water/sewer is funded by “availability” fees
    (separate from the monthly usage charges).

    Now because Va is a Dillon Rule state, the county
    could not just create this fee structure.. except on
    a voluntary proffer basis… but they could send a
    message back to Richmond about how to
    improve the UDA law by formal approval of
    infrastructure fees – otherwise known as impact
    fees and adequate public facilities fees.

    but the initial responses from at least some of
    the PC members has a bit of a “fear and
    loathing” aspect to it… some of it driven, no
    doubt, by a fear of the unknown.. and
    unintended consequences.

    but for a county that has had it’s share of growth
    issues… I think we should be doing more than
    having the Planning Dept attempting to convince
    the PC that a more disciplined approach to growth
    could have real benefits both from a level of
    service viewpoint and a tax rate viewpoint as the
    focus of the UDA law was to address the high
    costs of growth due to not focusing it where
    infrastructure is and will be provided.

  • MAVRICKinc

    Larry: Your June 8, 2009 comments might be better posted on Dan’s blog site covering UDA agendas.

    This blog is dedicated to the VRE equation, not the County’s UDA agenda.

    Just didn’t want your shared comments on the County’s UDA agenda, to be lost in this blog site, when it would better serve us all if it were posted and appeared on Dan’s/ FLS blog covering what he had received from staff on UDAs.

  • lgross

    I actually think the UDAs have a lot to do with VRE and “getting cars off the road” as is the
    oft cited benefit from the VRE cheerleaders.

    Some of the hoopla is that is why the northern jurisidictions support VRE.

    Which is pretty bizarre logic because the reason the northern jurisdictions like VRE is that it
    provides an alternative to suburban (like Spotsy) citizens from driving and clogging up their
    streets.

    So.. VRE is a (somewhat defensive) strategy for the Northern jursidictions to “keep cars off
    of THEIR roads”.

    But VRE in Spotsylvania won’t take cars off of Spotsylvania roads – despite the cheerleaders
    if the Spotsy folks riding on VRE live not near the but instead out in the “sprawling”
    subdivisions and every day – twice a day -they will be using Spotsy’s roads to get to and
    from their homes and the VRE stations.

    so the claim that VRE “takes cars off of roads” applies to the Northern Jurisdictions and it
    applies to I-95 but not to Spotsylvania.

    Spotsylvania citizens who don’t use VRE and who actually do live AND work locally – you
    know the real Smart Growthers… they won’t necessarily see more dividends from VRE ..

    and the idea that ” oh but those folks will get money for roads”…

    let’s be serious – a million dollars will not build even one mile of roadway like Route 3.

    The Route 3 widening will cost more than 30 million dollars and it’s basically 2 miles.

    But if Spotsylvania is serious about VRE and UDAs then they might do well to do more
    talking up of the necessity of combining VRE with UDAs.

    so.. UDAs and VRE are.. related… in my mind.

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