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VRE back in 1985

I came across what I thought were some funny clips from the Board of Supervisors of 1985.

On Jan. 9, 1985, Spotsylvania supervisors discussed a study of a proposed commuter rail service (VRE).

"I’m not impressed at all," said Supervisor Emmitt Marshal in 1985. "I’m not going to spend our taxpayers’ money on that.  As far as I am concerned, they can ride a bike to work."

"Or a donkey" another supervisor muttered.

Then-Chairman Hugh Cosner said: "By the time you get that thing built, we’ll have Star Wars. We’ll be flying into Washington." Then he mockingly spread his hands and said "Beam me up."

Cosner said if VRE was brought to Spotsylvania "you would have so many houses up, you wouldn’t be able to see anything." 

Unfortunately the same articles says the VRE contract requires a 2-cent gasoline tax. It is/was 2 percent, not 2 cents. 

Then-Supervisor James Smith was the only member who favored VRE then, but he said, "I don’t see realistically where it is ever going to get to first base."

Thank golly these guys aren’t fortune tellers. :)

 

 Then, on Jan. 23, 1985, Marshall apologized for his comments. 

"However, I haven’t changed my mind about the project."

Cosner was absent. 

 

Post tags:

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/spotsygovt/2009/09/11/vre-back-in-1985/

  • lgross

    You can build all the Smart Growth you want
    around the VRE station but how do you keep that
    station from putting the surround rural land on
    sprawl steroids – including Caroline County?

    That’s why Mr. Logan want parking fees on the lot
    but VRE apparently said “no deal” and the
    language was removed – not by a vote of the
    BOS but by the CA… is that Kosher?

    You know who is going to be the most unhappy if
    Spotsy joins VRE? The last VRE station in
    Stafford because by the time it gets there – it’s
    going to be chock full of Spotsy/Caroline folks.

    ha ha ha

  • kelly058

    Larry–VRE didn’t remove the parking fee option from the agreement. It was pointed out that if Spotsy builds a parking lot they should be able to charge what they want. Why would they want to imply VRE could control local projects?

  • lgross

    Who removed the parking fee words from the VRE
    agreement and why?

    what I heard – perhaps you heard differently – was
    that Mr. Logan was told that the parking fee stuff
    would have to be removed from the agreement.

    Is that not true?

  • Minuteman

    Larry – I don’t accept the premise that adding a
    VRE station is the trigger for sprawl. We have
    plenty of dumb growth today without a train
    station. Land use decisions are still the province
    of Supervisors with or without VRE. The rezoning
    process and proffers are still intact whether or not
    we join VRE.

    To say that VRE will spur sprawl is like saying a
    new road increases traffic congestion. Or a new
    library increases demand for books. Or a new
    school increases demand for classrooms.

  • lgross

    I have some thoughts… in response.. but I think what I’m
    going to do here.. is give others a chance to weigh in on this
    and also hopefully to get an answer as to how the parking
    provision got dropped at the last minute at the hearing.

  • lgross

    okay.. let’s just talk about growth potential in general
    without getting into what kind.

    To look at the build out potential around a future VRE
    station – draw a 5 mile circle and total the acreage and
    you’ll get more than 10,000 acres… take half of it 5000
    acres (subtract out wetlands, steep slopes, etc) then
    multiply the 5000 by 3 (for 1/3 acre home lots) and you
    get 15,000 lots then multiply by 2.4 (average household
    size) and you get a feel for the build-out potential around
    Lee’s Hill.

    That’s not an outlandish number – if you believe the
    FAMPO/Census projections that Fred/Staf/Spot will double
    in population from 300K to 600k. Lee’s Hill could get much
    of it.

    With VRE- the county is signing on to some very
    expensive infrastructure improvements sooner rather than
    later and we know that VDOT is not going to provide them
    - we know that.

    Once that station is up – the BOS is going to be hard-
    pressed to tamp down demand for homes – especially in
    Caroline.. sort of sweet revenge for all the years that Spotsylvania rode for free in the burg!

    Will a VRE station …. ATTRACT residential growth to the
    Lee’s Hill area no matter whether we classify it as smart or
    dumb? do bears do it in the woods?

    I think the cost of a consultant study to get an answer to
    that question could be money well spent.

  • gramps

    and I will say it again. Unfortunately, with or without VRE, Spotsylvania’s “defining” issue for the next 25 years is going to be VRE! My own view is that I do not care one way or the other whether Spotsy joins or not and I suspect a pretty good number of other residents really feel the same way.

    However, just like old fox hounds all someone has to do is drag the scent around and the dogs start baying.

  • lgross

    well… spilled my coffee on the foxhound thoughts…

    very funny and very true. and couldn’t quite tell if in that
    scenario I would be the one of the braying or the fellow
    waving the scent rag… not sure I want to know…viewing
    myself as a braying hound.. is not a wonderful thought
    although I suspect Matt Kelly and others would pronounce
    me guilty as charged.

    After the challenge from minuteman on what effect VRE
    would have on “dumb” growth.. I found myself going back
    and thinking about some of the issues that focused
    people on growth originally and then the 2% growth
    concept.

    I wonder how many folks know where the 2% growth idea
    came from originally.. and why 2%… why not 1% or 3 or
    5?

    I wonder how many folks remember the Outer Connector
    issue – and concerns that it would explode growth in
    western Spotsy and Orange.

    i wonder how many folks concerned about water/sewer as
    an enabler of growth realize that a sewer line runs all the
    way to Fawn Lake in Western Spotsy.

  • MAVRICKinc

    Before weighing in, I thought it best to get a roster of the players and who they really are.

    If Minuteman and Matt Kelley are one in the same person I can better understand how his thoughts are framed and just how far the pendulum swings in either direction on just about any matter of resolve and solution.

    Matt, it’s your turn, and I’ll assume you can’t assign the answer to your young son, if in deed you are Minuteman.

    And if this is the case, I will again let you know again, I’m not political or running for office.

    A simple “yes” over your moniker will be sufficient.

    If this is the case

  • Minuteman

    Larry,
    As always, a thoughtful response.

    The one consistent theme of the Spotsy Sups,
    especially over the past few years, is an intense
    reluctance to approve residential projects.
    Whether its the smartest of smart growth or the
    dumbest sprawl, there’s a lot of handwringing
    anytime a developer comes forward with a house.

    It’s my opinion that some Sups might use the
    VRE as an excuse to further restrict residential
    development over the fear of “rampant housing
    growth.” So, I just don’t see any new pressure on
    the Sups to approve new growth just because
    they joined VRE.

    Now, I think you and I would agree that its
    inevitable that the county will see some new
    growth over the next few years. Where do you
    want the growth? I’d like to see it within that 5
    mile radius of a train station you described. That
    makes more sense than new houses in the
    pristine, unspoiled, rural districts led by Waddy
    and Marshall.

  • lgross

    Minuteman… we agree. Lee’s Hill is a logical place for it but to be perfectly honest,
    I’d rather see it master-planned as a single UDA where the county can then develop
    accurate information about the scope and scale of the required infrastructure, cost
    data, and mechanisms for the new residents of Lee Hill to pay for it -not county
    taxpayers.

    I also hope that if they are going to build a VRE Lot that they also think about a
    significant carpool lot because even the growth is going to be using vans and buses
    as well as VRE.

    There needs to be a transit plan and there needs to be bike and ped trails for folks
    to get to that VRE station.

    I’m worried also that there is a GA study committee with strong support to end cash
    proffers and impose a uniform impact fee that rumors are will be less than 1/2 of
    the current proffers.

    That would be a deal-killer for many of the BOS on any/all rezones. (I would hope)

    but remember Haymount? A Caroline County development that was offering easy
    access to VRE (once Spotsy approved it)…?

    there is a lot of undeveloped land just over the county line…

    I need to add a correction here also.

    I had previously alluded to Mr. Logan as the person who ask for parking fees in the
    VRE proposal.

    That was incorrect. It was another BOS who had asked for that and I’ll leave it up to
    him to self-identify or not per his preference.

    but I was wrong.

  • kelly058

    Larry–I don’t post under any other name but my own. I REPEAT No one from VRE said the provision on parking had to be removed. Spotsy asked that if they funded the parking lot locally they would want to charge for parking. As you know if federal money is used that does come with FEDERAL, not VRE, restrictions. The point was made that VRE can’t tell a locality how they can fund a local project. If Spotsy wants to charge for parking that is their decision NOT VRE’s so why have it in the agreement? SPOTSY withdrew the request. Clear enough?

  • lgross

    Matt – I was not the one who questioned if you
    were using other pseudonyms. I knew you did not
    and for as long as I’ve seen you blog – you’ve
    been totally upfront about who you were.

    So I did have faith!

    as to the VRE Parking issue. If I understand
    correctly… putting the parking provision in the
    VRE agreement would have not been relevant
    because neither VRE or the member jurisicitions
    that comprise VRE can prohibit other members
    from charging for parking.

    correct?

    and if Spotsylvania chooses to build that station
    with non-Federal funds… they can charge for
    parking without a problem?

    correct?

    Thank You for clearing this up.

    now about that gas tax subsidy…….

    :-0

    thanks.

    So the whole issue was a misunderstanding as to
    the need to put in that provision… in the first
    place so it was removed.

  • kelly058

    Correct.

  • lgross

    If we can charge for parking – I’d have a lot less
    concerns about VRE causing an explosion of
    growth outside of the immediate vicinity.

    I wonder what Pitts and Skinners attitude is about
    charging for parking?

    That would seem to be a key indicator issue to
    affirm their commitment in support of Smart
    Growth and to protect the county from the
    pressures from “dumb(er)” growth.

  • lgross

    If you had the ability to do whatever you wanted
    with regard to charging for parking (including
    charging non-Fred folks only) …

    what would you do?

    Bonus Question: Is it possible to charge for ALL
    parking at the Burg VRE lots and provide
    vouchers for Burg folks who would park at the
    parking structure since the 2% gas tax is a State
    Tax and not a Federal Tax and it was this money
    used to build the parking structure (I think).

  • lgross

    ahhh… I just got the import of the title.

    Okay what is the non-simple answer?

    sorry I’m a bit slow on the uptake.

  • kelly058

    Larry–Nothing to read into the title. If a locality takes on a project like parking and funds it through local sources, General Funds, proffers, ect., they have the right to charge what they want for its use. When you bring in outside funds, Fed/State, they come with restrictions as you know. Charging for parking at VRE stations has been discussed but would require local action. You would probably have to charge everyone the same amount due to Fed restrictions. VRE staff doesn’t like it becuase they view it as a fare increase. It is not a new discussion and will probably be brought up again at some point.

  • MAVRICKinc

    Matt Kelly provides to Larryg/Lgross that he doesn’t post under “any other name than his own” So, what names are his own?

    Larry, you are the one who brought up the distinction beween Minuteman and Matt Kelly/;Matt Kelly58.

    If Matt Kelly is not Minuteman in disguise, when can we expect Minuteman to disclose or become more transparent in the role he plays in assessing the fallout of County Governments, and how they conduct business.

    My inquiry is based on the single fact that at all times, when I logged in on the FLS website or its Blogs, it was always under under title of MAVRICinc. Hense, the reason you call me MAV.

    However the FLS made a unilateral decision to replace my sign-in to MGWORK on every comment I’ve ever had occasion to make under title of MAVRICKinc.

    Simply said, I still sign in with MAVRICKinc, under my login number and it still comes out MGWOREK at the other end.

    Since I don’t have any secrets, perhaps Minuteman will let us know who he is and the designs he has in contributing to this blog site and any other.

    It’s called FAIR PLAY. The rules are simple. No one gets a bush to hide behind.

    Once clarified, to my satisfaction, not yours, I’ll proceed to advance the notion that “smart growth” in Spotsylvania County is nothing more than an illusion, and more importantly, who knows the difference.

    If I’m not mistaken, Matt Kelly gets to answer the question or Minuteman gets to chime in with his real identity, or not, for reasons only Minuteman can prescribe.

    Think of it as sitting at a single table, where no one is a stranger, and working toward a common goal and result.

    It makes for a lot less paper work or paper trails, unless that’s the game that’s really being played./

  • kelly058

    MGWork–Not quite sure where you were going with your last post. It seemed to imply that you believe I post under different names. Let me be clear, the only name I post under is MattKelly.

  • lgross

    ” MGWork_ on Sep. 12, 2009 5:07 pm)
    Before weighing in, I thought it best to get a roster of the players
    and who they really are.

    If Minuteman and Matt Kelley are one in the same person…”

    MAV has a problem with people using pseudo names – so you’re in
    the clear Matt… but Minuteman is in deep doo doo.

  • gramps

    I personally put the old fool out of his misery just a few minutes ago. Goodness knows we can not have the “natives” aggravated by such things as pseudonyms. So get used to using my real name from now on.

  • MAVRICKinc

    Matt: I haven’t insenuated anything. The question is, if you and Minuteman are not one in the same, all you had to do was say NO. I thought it was really a simple and yet easy question to ask and be answered.

    Don’t mind your response being political but YES or NO was all that was needed and I believe I made that abundantly clear from the outset.

    So, who is MINUTEMAN and will he please come forward, with the understanding everyone else in town knows who he/she is. Why should I be the last to know?

    He/she likes to take pot shots from cover, but the disguise provides for no accountability to those who would shoot back, or is this just a comedy routine that gets played out by the hometown boys having their fun at someone elses expense?

    So far, all the players in this little group have identified themselves, or maybe I should just look up the secret handshake.

    Come back, who ever you are.

  • MAVRICKinc

    Gramps don’t you also log on as billh as well? Just kidding. You’re always going to be GRAMPS to me no matter what disguise you decide to wear for the day. Most of us can hear you coming a mile away.

    I find it refreshing when someone can clear the air with a single sentence. And NO, there is no known remedy for my communication afflictions.

  • gramps

    MGWork/Mav/et al… Nobody but you cares one whit what is MM’s legal name. PLEASE, PLEASE give this mantra a rest, you are driving us crazy!!!! It is really simple, think about it and then cease and desist.

  • lgross

    now you’ve gone and done it… thanks a lot Haas.

    add me to the list of folks who don’t give a whit who is posting. I like it when they self-identify but I
    also understand when they wish not to.

    It’s an individual preference and I’m more interested in their opinion than who they are.

  • gramps

    to the days of yesteryear and the original subject of this blog. It is 1985 and several BOS have just had a “yuk-yuk” session about VRE.

    Had they had any foresite in those days they would have passed a resolution right there and then that would have banned Spotsylvania’s participation in such a “crazy idea.”

    Even though it might be unenforcable today, I wonder why they did not even introduce such a resolution? They clearly thought it was not a good idea and they had to know that other counties and cities were considering joining. Did those folks miss a “golden opportunity?”

  • lgross

    back in 1985, commuters were looked upon as invading locusts who one could
    make money selling worthless land to.

    …. ” As far as I am concerned, they can ride a bike to work.”

    “Or a donkey” another supervisor muttered.”

    no one really cared because VDOT was in charge of building the roads and locals
    could make money selling stuff to them… to furnish their homes, etc.

    Now, of course the tables have been turned…

    Some of those sups around in 1985 still like the idea of being able to make
    money selling rural and to them, however.

  • Minuteman

    I had no idea my anonymity – or identity, actually –
    would be the subject of so many posts. My
    apologies to those who have to endure another
    tedious distraction. I have personal reasons to
    remain incognito and they will remain personal.

    Maybe this is how Bruce Wayne feels!

  • lgross

    you anonymity is fine with me.. I hope you continue
    to share your opinions..

  • MAVRICKinc

    MINUTEMAN: The guys didn’t have to make excuses for your need to remain anonymous.

    At least Bruce Wayne went public, but that’s only something we find in comic books.

    I’m not asking for your reasons to remain incognito or whether you have very real and personal reasons not to identify yourself. I’m OK with that, much the same way as Larry, Moe and Bill are satisfied with the fact they know who you are, but are not telliing.

    This is the kind of response I normally expect to hear from someone who has a very real conflict of interest, while maintaining a public presence, and claiming to know what “others” think, without a head count or accountability.

    That remains OK with me. I really have no need to know, except, when you decide to go public, with only a shadow to show for the effort.

    When it comes to putting your money where your mouth is, I’m able to reasonably conclude your credibility is compromised. Mind you, I didn’t make the rules, and you will always be considered an exception to the rule by those who know you best, for reasons well beyond Queensbury rules of engagement or knowing whether you know what you claim to know.

    You are safe with me and I will not ask again. So, I hope you will not be offended by responding to your prattle, as just that, in a world of perceptions that don’t always come true.

    For the record, I’m not calling you out, nor need to know who you are, with all your baggage.

    You are invited to be the eyes and ears of a circle of interest, that continues to work best in the same circle they started from.

    By the way, thank you for clearing this up. I was worried you might come back with a different answer.

  • gramps

    Now I am supposed to know the legal identity of MM? Nothing could be further from the truth. And, I could care less about MM’s identity. MM, you should ignore completely the “craziness” that has been growing here. BTW, I “came out of the closet” because every one knew my real name anyways and I found out how I could do it painlessly.

    Larryg…regarding that 1985 business, thanks for the explanation…sounds like the good old boys made theirs and then fought to keep others from doing the same. Except it got out of hand recently, eh? BTW, I am still quite curious about what really happened behind the scenes at that recent VRE public hearing.

  • lgross

    ditto .. I have no clue who MM is nor do I really care.

    re: the “business” at the hearing

    I was informed that it was not Mr. Logan who
    requested the parking fee language in the VRE
    contract mod proposal.

    It was removed because there was a
    misunderstanding about the need for it to be there or
    not – as explained here by Matt Kelly.

    that’s all I know.

  • gramps

    Okay…I saw that discussion between yourself and Matt.

    I think there still remains a question why the “parking” explanation was not made public at some time during the public hearing? It seems to me, that would have been appropriate. Did it not happen because the CA thought it not important?

    And finally, the explanation comes from a member of the F’Burg city council and member of the VRE board, etc; NOT from one of Spotsy’s officials. Is there anyone else that finds this odd?

  • lgross

    odd explanation? yes.

    and now thinking about it.. if that verbiage was not relevant and would not have
    any impact on the agreement – why did it have to come out at the meeting
    prior to the hearing?

    I do not know the law on modifying the text of a proposal that is the subject of
    a hearing but I remain troubled by this. First, perhaps due to my own
    incompetence, I cannot find the original draft agreement with the parking
    verbiage on the county website where the agenda for that meeting was.

    that bothers me. was it like that originally and the one the BOS agreed to act
    on a different version?

    Even if it is legal to change text, it does not sound kosher because the purpose
    of the hearing is to hear people’s comments on proposal and the supporting
    information – the draft agreement.

    If the words are going to change.. then it could have the effect of rendering the
    citizens comments moot and not germane which I would think not a particularily
    ethical way to receive comments from citizens.

    but who knows? Unless one is a lawyer and you really know and understand
    Virginia law – you’re options amount to grumping and little more.

  • lgross

    odd explanation? yes.

    and now thinking about it.. if that verbiage was not relevant and would not have
    any impact on the agreement – why did it have to come out at the meeting
    prior to the hearing?

    I do not know the law on modifying the text of a proposal that is the subject of
    a hearing but I remain troubled by this. First, perhaps due to my own
    incompetence, I cannot find the original draft agreement with the parking
    verbiage on the county website where the agenda for that meeting was.

    that bothers me. was it like that originally and the one the BOS agreed to act
    on a different version?

    Even if it is legal to change text, it does not sound kosher because the purpose
    of the hearing is to hear people’s comments on proposal and the supporting
    information – the draft agreement.

    If the words are going to change.. then it could have the effect of rendering the
    citizens comments moot and not germane which I would think not a particularily
    ethical way to receive comments from citizens.

    but who knows? Unless one is a lawyer and you really know and understand
    Virginia law – you’re options amount to grumping and little more.

  • kelly058

    Actually the parking issue was a last minute throw in by the BOS from their las work session before the public hearing. In the years of on and off discussions this issue was never brought up before and it was thrown in without any consultation with VRE. As noted before, Spotsy can charge for parking if they want to, within the parameters noted, so there was no need to include it in the agreement. Taking it out did not materially change the agreement so that is why it does not rise to the need for another public hearing. I do hope you all would agree that my interest and involvement in regional transportation gives me a reason to participate in this conversation.

  • lgross

    still bad form though… at the least .. explain to folks what was going
    on…and why ..would have taken all of 2 minutes.

    I have zero problems with Matt Kelly participating in ANY venue as I agree,
    you have clearly demonstrated your interest and commitment to issues that
    affect and are important to our region.

    I’ve heard some of the comments about a city guy being involved in
    country affairs and I don’t buy it. I’d actually like to see more of our own
    BOS out here sharing their opinions. Maybe you can convince Hap do a
    blog like you do… maybe put a VRE Poll on it …. heh heh…

    :-)

  • gramps

    Matt, of course you have reason to join in on this blog or any other that you choose. For crying out loud if it were not for you, we might still be groping around for some of these answers. Thank you for helping.

    The really ODD thing is that no one from the official county family has offered any insight here or elsewhere to my knowledge. It is almost as if the attitude in the CH is it’s none of our business. Well, I have news…this is one citizen that will not be voting for the incumbent when the time comes.