Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
Supervisor Emmitt Marshal Pushes For Rural Growth Again
Supervisor Emmitt Marshall was urging supervisors to pass zoning changes today that would create the potential for 690 new lots near and around Lake Anna.
Marshall last year was successful in passing zoning changes that allowed for 3-acre lots on agricultural land instead of 5- and 10-acre lots. Although only 26 divisions have been made since the changes were adopted, the potential to create more than a thousand new byright lots is there.
Land near the lake is zoned RA, or Resort Agricultural. Marshall was pushing for an option that would allow 5-acre lots with a 10-lot cap. Right now, the zoning does not allow for any subdivisions of land. A landowner can only divide their land for a family member and that requires an application and fees.
The only other way to divide land is to file for a rezoning.
Marshall was not revealing why he feels so strongly about creating this new growth that five other supervisors said would be sprawl.
Marshall at one time raised his voice and Planning Director Wanda Parrish, saying that when the planning department brought forward Marshall’s proposal for 3-acre rural divisions last year, she said there is the potential of many new byright lots exists without saying how long it could be before that many lots are created, if ever.
Parrish did not answer Marshall, but she could have said quite simply that it is impossible to say how long it could take for every person with more than 6 acres in agricultural land to apply for a 3-acre division.
Marshall continued to argue for the growth.
Supervisor Gary Jackson said it doesn’t matter how long it takes for any of these homes to be built. As soon as one home is built in rural Spotsylvania without government approval through a rezoning or special use permit, then it is byright growth that comes at a cost to all taxpayers. He said the proposal is supporting growth that does not pay for itself.
“I think it is disingenuous to say ‘Well, another board will have to deal with it,’” Jackson said. “We are making long-term decisions here and the cost will be paid. Let’s not play games with the cost; it is a real cost.”
Marshall continued to fight for rural growth by the lake. He said the county makes a lot of money off of home on the lake and most of the people who live on the lake are retired without kids.
Supervisor Hap Connors said he was confused with what the impetus is for Marshall’s proposal because residents were against more growth on and near Lake Anna three years ago. Residents were concerned about the overall health risk for the lake from development run off.
Supervisors decided to table the issue.
Who are the people who own RA lots near the lake who want to divide the property? Why does Marshall always speak for them?