Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Summerfield makes it to the city; Transflo discussed behind closed doors?
Fredericksburg City Reporter Emily Battle has the scoop on the Hicks family returning to City Council for approval to build townhouses off of some prime real estate off Rt. 1.
This project abuts Kingswood, an approximately 500-unit subdivision. Residents who live in that subdivision did not want Hudgins Road extended into their subdivision. When I talked to smart-growth experts about this, they said not having a through-road into Kingswood that connects it to Summerfield will end up creating a bigger problem in this area for the future.
That was just one issue raised with this project that easily passed in August.
One would think the city would want to keep this parcel commercial, especially since on the county side supervisors approved a housing project.
At this point, supervisors were approving just about everything, including a project Transflo, that seems to now be creating serious problems for some city residents.
In Battle’s story about Transflo, there were some alarming points Spotsylvania residents should read.
I remember when Transflo came to the county and this project was really presented to be an innocuous presence. But the Planning Commission didn’t think so. Spotsylvania’s Board of Supervisors approved a special-use permit for the Transflo facility last August, despite the fact that the county’s Planning Commission had unanimously recommended denial.
Commissioners felt so strongly about this project that one even spoke at the public hearing.
What I do remember happening was commissioners asking about hazardous materials that would be transported and what would happen if the trains blocked road passage at the same time of an emergency. Fire and Rescue Chief Chris Eudailey told supervisors that there is a mutual aid agreement with the city, whose jurisdictional line is about 400 feet from this project. Here is an interesting memo about the fire dangers.
Battle’s story says:
In response, city fire officials asked that the truck traffic from Transflo to Interstate 95 be rerouted to stay out of Fredericksburg. Fire Chief Edwin Allen said similar materials are already trucked through the city, but the Transflo facility added an additional 160,000 gallons a day to State Route 3, increasing the chance that a disaster could happen.
“The city has nothing to gain from this additional hazard coming through,” Allen said.
Spotsylvania didn’t have that much to gain, either. County staff reported at a planning meeting that the facility would generate only minimal new tax revenue, along with six to seven jobs.
City officials asked if the county’s vote on the permit could be delayed to provide time to address their concerns about response capability, but Spotsylvania didn’t honor that request.
I have checked all the documents associated with this proposal and nowhere in them is there anything that is from the city asking the vote be delayed. Numerous times supervisors have met behind closed doors to discuss revoking a special use permit without any specificity to whose special use permit it is.
What does City Councilman Matt Kelly think about this?