Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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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?


  • bhaas

    “The only other way to divide land is to file for a rezoning.”

    The above sentence is copied directly from Dan’s post. What is wrong with that approach? Why do we need special consideration for every doggone piece of property in this county? Why the special treatment for the Lake Anna area?

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    it was an interesting session to watch… and clearly – there are two solid votes against allowing more by-right density/subdividings and clearly 2 votes that would do it in a heartbeat and 3 votes sort of in the middle that can swing …depending..

    i don’t think Lake Anna growth is “sprawl” though as classically defined auto-dependent growth with twice a day commuting to/from work.

    There are a ton of resort/retirement communities that are primarily inhabited by kidless retirees empty-nesters living in upscale homes who drive around 5000 miles a year – most of it locally.

    they quite often own their homes outright and pay taxes far in excess of the services they need.

    That be said, I’m in general agreement with those that say if a subdivision is required, let’s do the rezone where the development will likely be better capitalized and much more likely to be a quality development with amenities rather than farm/forest cut up into ad-hoc lots that inevitably result in future complaints about roads and other facilities.

  • MGWORK (Marty)

    Simply said, if we don’t know what Supv. Marshall has in mind for the Lake Anna area or any other rural area, and he refuses to say or support his reasoning for advancing more sprawl in rural Spotsylvaia County what does Supv Marshall want us to believe or even understand about his postured position? The same thought occurs when Supv. Waddy wants $2.9 million or more, to pave his unpaved roads with 2005 referendum money. Back then it was $144 million dollars that was voted into transportation funding, and months after passage was discovered to be 45% short of what it should have been. Anyone ever read the Free Lanse-Star? If not, you might ask Dan Televock to pull this information up from the FLS archives.

  • MGWORK (Marty)

    Just one other thing. This is just the tip of the iceburg. It started with Marshall and Waddy’s 3 acre lots which has now progressed to this point, when the lid finally comes off the can.

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    t was an interesting session to watch… and clearly – there are two solid votes against allowing more by-right density/subdividings and clearly 2 votes that would do it in a heartbeat and 3 votes sort of in the middle that can swing …depending..

    i don’t think Lake Anna growth is “sprawl” though as classically defined auto-dependent growth with twice a day commuting to/from work.

    There are a ton of resort/retirement communities that are primarily inhabited by kidless retirees empty-nesters living in upscale homes who drive around 5000 miles a year – most of it locally.

    they quite often own their homes outright and pay taxes far in excess of the services they need.

    That be said, I’m in general agreement with those that say if a subdivision is required, let’s do the rezone where the development will likely be better capitalized and much more likely to be a quality development with amenities rather than farm/forest cut up into ad-hoc lots that inevitably result in future complaints about roads and other facilities.

  • MGWORK (Marty)

    Let’s use another math equation and see how much it’s going to cost County taxpayers in road construction, water and sewer and all things necessary to underwrite development AROUND the inhabitants of Lake Anna, in the next 10 years. Simply said, what is the cost to build an infrastructure all the way to Lake Anna? Is this the horse that pulls the cart or stands behind it?

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    not sure how this plays into the issue but it sure seems like a good approach .. if it is still an active plan….

    Of course Marty will probably see this as more nefarious scheming on the part of govt.. but…he’ll have to expand his suspicious cast of characters to include Louis and Orange BOS and the Thomas Jefferson Planning District…

  • MGWORK (Marty)

    Larry, you’re trying much to hard casting doubt on my credibility as much as you doubt your own. If you have grounds to dispute anything I have said, I wish you would get to the point and share with our audience why Supv. Marshall could’nt bring himself to share with us the basis of his “fight” to bring more development to rural Spotsylvania County, or do we have to cross over into Lousia and Orange Counties to get our answers? If they have the answers on why Marshall is pushing his agenda, without details, what should WE conclude? Nafarious scheming? Hardly. When I ask a question I expect one of two responses back.

    “I don’t know, but you can find the answer HERE.” Or, “the answer is… ” Is there something complicated about this approach?

    You and Bill asked a question about how much gas tax revenue comes to Spotsylvania, sent to the State and how much the County receives in return. That question is 10 months old and you still don’t have an answer. What are we supposed to think?

    I gave up thinking about that a long time ago. You don’t have answers. You’re more comfortable drawing circles and moving us away from the scent and the issues.

    Please tell me you have been invited to Spotsylvania County’s “FOCUS GROUP” meetings, without minutes, and necessarily have the other half of the story the FLS can’t publish, because they don’t have permission to attend either.

    Larry, your well intentioned rhetoric, in behalf of The Company, is appreciated, but you’re not taking us anywhere that we haven’t already been and, done that.

    Maybe we should work on a different script. Instead of supplying us with your red herrings. Take a load off. Sit down with the rest of us, and see what red herring really tastes like. Once you get past the smell, it’s all downhill from there on. Any more questions? Or, do you have all the answers? I promise not to go too far from the subject or the issue.

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    took 4 days to get my previous comment approved for release, I’m told because I supplied a link. (the Lake Anna Development Plan)

    I guess that’s water under the bridge but if links are going to result in 4 days for approval.. I guess.. I won’t do many.. though I did ask why that same policy does not apply to other FLS blogs where I have supplied links …without delays in the comment appearing…

    At any rate – the point I was trying to make was that growth is going to happen.

    If we don’t plan for it .. then it will happen in ways that may not be the best and actually in ways that end up with negative consequences.

    We’ve been there and done that.

    So I stumbled across this multi-county Lake Anna Development Plan done years ago when Mr. Griffith was Planning Director – and it’s an interesting document because it recognizes that an area plan for Lake Anna is necessary if you’re not going to end up with the different counties taking actions that may be a cross ends to each of their interests.

    I thought the idea of putting together a plan to deal with the growth was better than not planning because it’s going to happen as long as there is land available… anyhow.

    (or perhaps the folks who live there think the cow has already left the barn).

    I don’t know what Louisa’s subdivision policies are – but perhaps it would not be a bad thing to know and if different then understand and recognize some of the consequences …. i.e planning

  • MGWORK (Marty)

    When I pull up a web site, dated to the year 2000, with Major Findings that include: “Development patterns of spraw threaten the rural charcter, the invironment, and the existing quality of life in the Lake Anna Watershed, I’m caused to wonder what Spotsylvania County has been sitting on for the past ten (10) years, that Supv. Marshall now wants to move ahead, when the issues of developing the Lake Anna community also rests with Orange and Louisa Counties,which you and Supv. Marshall failed to mention in your opening salvos to the press and this blog.

    The only question I now have is what do you know and how does that knowledge translate to 2010? Please don’t hold back. I’m all ears. The document refered to in your No. 7 is over 100 pages long, and all I had to do was read the 1st 10 pages to realize Spotsylvania County doesn’t know how to plan beyond the nose on their face. Too harsh?

    Where was the VRE Master Agreement 10 years ago, and who knew what the contract language spelled out, without a single citizen knowing anything about the contract, but voted for VRE because of gas tax revenues, that had nothing to do with the contract agreement, but sold to the public by the Committee of 500′s access to the FLS and the Spotsy BOS, without any mention of a sepate controlling contract to FLS readers and Supv. Logan’s staging and recording of his VRE community meeting .

    I could go on, but these are roads we have already traveled for years. You stick to your nefarious assumptions, and I’ll show up to debate otherwise, IF called on to do so. I think Vince got it right from the beginning, but he’s not telling.

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    I simply do not think that Spotsy is any better or worse than the surrounding counties and MPOs and Planning Districts on the whole.

    There’s good, bad and ugly but it seems that some of us spend most of our time on the latter two.. speaking in conspiratorial terms about FAMPO, Mr. Connors, the county Focus Group, etc, etc.

    I’m not all bent out of shape about the Focus Group.

    I think it can actually be a good thing if it leads to better county policies – like service districts for commercial development, more effective TDRs/PDRs, etc.

    I just don’t ascribe nefarious motives to any/all of these kinds of things.

    I think FAMPO is a needed group. I’d like to see them direct elected and will advocate for that but in the meantime, accusing them of bad conduct is not going to do anything productive in my mind.

    That’s why I asked if you thought Louisa or Orange or the Thomas Jefferson Planning District was particularly better or worse than Spotsylvania/FAMPO in the way they do business.

    I truly don’t know… but I’m not going to assume – without some evidence that virtually everything that Spotsy/FAMPO/Focus groups/BOS is up to no good.

    That’s all.

    I basically believe in our governance.. good, bad and ugly and seek to encourage “better”.

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    re: what do I know about the 10 year year old Lake Anna Plan?

    not much but I thought that coordinating a plan for the area was a worthwhile approach to growth as planning is usually better than not planning.

    so I support that idea .. and the possible revisit and update or at least consideration of it simply because if Louisa decides to subdivide land and bring water/sewer to the Lake.. and Spotsy does something different.. it may not be the best approach.

  • bhaas

    Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be elected to the BOS and have all these so-called “plans” thrown at me? I think it might not be very pleasant, considering the import of the decisions I might partake.

    As Marty has so vocally expressed, I, as an elected official, would be troubled by this “Focus Group” closed meeting policy. As an elected official, I think I might be tempted to insist that some “sunshine” be cast on their activities. I think that might be in line with Commonwealth law.

    In line with my “elected” responsibility, however be it lowly local, I think I might find some difficulty with the fact that the general asembly has found it necessary to “stack the deck” by creating entities like FAMPO (and others) with governing boards consisting of only local elected officials. That does seem incestual on it’s face.

    Alas, I am not an elected official; nor am I likely to ever be one. However, as a tax payer; a status from which no one has suggested I should be exempted, I would like to suggest that our current elected officials pay attention. Spotsylvania County has grown beyond the bounds that only require “part time” governance at it’s highest level.

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    Planning is good. Planning is why we have expanded infrastructure on Route 1, Southpoint an Harrison Road that occurred concurrently with the new Commercial – as opposed to how we did Route 3 originally.

    When you don’t plan, what happens is what happened to Route 3, incremental, AD Hoc decisions that eventually ended up with development occurring such that now – the only way to upgrade Route 3 is lots and lots of money – that we do not have so it just sits there – a monument to unplanned growth.

    I’m not thrilled with closed meetings myself but I do not think this country is materially worse than other counties in that practice. In fact, in you go to the Virginia Commission of Open Govt website, you can get an eyeful of other counties much worse behaviors.

    It needs to get better – but I don’t think we get change by a constant drumbeat of across the board condemnation, veiled accusations of conspiracies and nefarious conduct by individual BOS and organizations like FAMPO.

    Because when one is perceived as a hard core critic of everything the county does – they stop listening to you – and you no longer have an opportunity to change anything.

    If you want change – in my view – you have to give credit when credit is due; show that you’re willing to look at both sides of an issue by examining both the pros and the cons, etc. THEN when you file a complaint – it has merit and credibility.

    So I am turned off by tome after tome that is 100% criticism and accusations of conspiratorial and nefarious conduct – repeated over and over.

    I think it is counter-productive and ineffective and self-marginalizing.

    that’s my 2 cents.

  • bhaas

    Yes, planning is good as is apple pie and ice cream. Just because a plan has been prepared does not automatically make it a good plan. Good plans require input from all sides of the street. And that is where the current focus group closed sessions run afoul in my thinking.

    The problem with FAMPO, as I view it, is that it is governed by the same folks that govern the localities FAMPO is supposed to serve. That tends, IMHO, to open the door for stagnant thinking.

    However, I bow to wiser heads; I only wish they would use their wisdom more effeciently.

  • MGWORK (Marty)

    Larry, what you want us to think is counter productive, ineffective and self marginalizing.You said it best in your No.11; “I truly don’t know…BUT I’m not going to ASSUME-without some evidence that VIRTUALLY EVERYTHING that Spotsy/FAMPO/FOCUS GROUP/BOS is up to no good.”

    Simply said, YOU don’t want to know what’s going on behind closed doors. The foundation of any argument you wish to make is only half the story, and that will always be OK with you. We’re you inclined to step across the line YOU have drawn in the sand, maybe you could be a better source of credible and critical thought. Since you are not willing to cross that line, while standing back and throwing conspiracy theory at anyone who cares to know what’s going on, on the other side of the line you continue to draw in the sand.

    So, if half the story is OK with you, and you refuse to go any further, what are the rest of to think; that your world is flat and ours isn’t?

    YOU marginalize us by saying “Because when ONE is PERCEIVED as a hard core critic of EVERYTHING the county does- THEY (BOS) stop listening to you (US)-and YOU (US) no longer have an opportunity to change anything.

    Giving someone credit for doing what they were elected to do, dsoesn’t provide much of an incentive to make things better, or move any closer to change, that’s been sitting on a shelf for 10 years without cause or effect, except to prop up a perception you would weild for the sake of winning an argument where there are NO WINNERS.

    When conflict of interest and material misrepresentations, by omission or admission make there way to the stage, the only thing you will be expected to do by the Company, is draw the curtain closed. You are invited to stand in the wings, left or right of stage and read lines to your cast of characters, but I nave no reason to believe they’ll hear applause, as YOU draw the curtains closed.

    If you want and need to be the white wash, you might want to consider applying another coat of paint. Your script is starting to show through, and appears to be tattered around the edges from picking it up and laying it down in the same place for so many years. Being a foregone conclusion doesn’t really work that well for you, Change requires traction. When the traction is gone all anyone can do is spin their wheels and roll around in the dirt. After all, isn’t civilization anything more than rolling around in the dirt?

    Simply said, I know you can do better than this. So,stop with the excuses and disclaimers you always put at the end of an idea, and dare to walk on the other side.

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    Bill – planning is simply thinking ahead … planning means looking at your finances before signing up for more debt – if in doing so, it hurts your credit rating.

    When I see the budget people sit down with bond counsel and start going through the numbers – that’s planning Guy.

    FAMPO leadership is incestuous – yes. I’ve lobbied for direct-elected and i’ll continue to and if enough of us do that – sooner or later, we may have an impact. Who knows…

    it’s better to advocate for those changes than to curse them for their current condition.

    By the way, I’ve also encourage them to get the answer to the gas tax question.

    One more thing – do you remember when the county looked at UTSDs – where the state would turn over local roads and pay them money (like they do with cities like Fredericksburg) and what did the county do?

    As I recall, the county said that they got a better deal with VDOT doing the roads.

    Tell me how they decided that. do you think they had an analysis that showed the costs ?

    Let me ask one more. If they did not have an analysis that showed those costs – how did they know it was a worse deal?

    I think they know. I’m pretty sure an analysis was done by a company called TischlerBise and William Allen but I can no longer find it.

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    Marty – I think your all negative approach is counterproductive unless your goal is just to throw mud.

    You won’t get anyone in the country to listen to much of anything you say because you have such an obvious anti-county agenda.

    what exactly is your goal with your rhetoric ? I don’t even read most of what you write anymore because it just plain mean spirited and biased and full of vitriol.

  • MGWORK (Marty)

    So Larry, why are you asking me what my goals are when, when you don’t even read what I write? So my approach is negative, and your not knowing what the other half of the story is OK with you?

    My goal is really very simple an straight forward. You prefer circles and polite conversation, and I just want answers to questions that are really basic and often times quite simple. You prefer not to know. My preference is knowing what’s going on. If you want to make a mud pie out of that, I’ll supply you with all the dirt and water you will ever need, except for the fact you don’t like to get your hands dirty.

    I’m not looking for anyone in the County to come up with answers to my questions. I know, because for the past 5 years I’ve been showing up and the BOS just sits there, wondering when I’ll stop and go away. They even tried to legislate me out of my monthly presentations by changing their By-Laws.

    Anti-County agenda? Who are you trying to kid. I didn’t see you showing up for BOS scheduled meetings. I attended all FAMPO meetings, from policy, to technical to your Transportation Advisory Committee, and found myself being one of the few citizens who showed to find out what litlle WE knew of FAMPO’s working agenda, and what part of that ever made its way back to the the public forum in Spotsylvania County. What would you want to know about the Agri/Forestry Committee or the PDR Committee and how it impacts land acquisition by the County? Don’t recall you ever attending anyone of their meetings.

    So, what, if anything, do you know about the county’s business ethic or business practices?

    You’re OK that the County’s FOCUS GROUP, without minutes, permits no one, even the press, from attending their meetings and impacts all matters of business and business judgements in Spotsylvania County.

    So, what you describe as mean spirited, biased and full of vitriol, is really more about your satisfaction with half measures, half the story and a willingness to turn your head, when the answer is really sitting under your nose, but your not telling. You would rather pull up a 10 year old planning strategy from cyberspace that hasn’t been looked at for 10 years and try to pass it off as a template for progress that Supv. Marshall wants for his rural Lake Anna Community.

    I’m not using rhetoric as the foundation of my conduct, or what I have said in the past or present. I’m just calling them as I see it, from both sides of that line you continue to draw in the sand. The point of the matter is, no one has ever returned to the podium claiming I didn’t KNOW what I was talking about, or the truth about what and who I was describing, in public,and without reservation.

    If I’m wrong, you should be first in line to tell me so. If not, lets move on to the next bump in the road OR better define what half a story gets you on the open market of public opinion.

  • bhaas

    I am trying to recall when I “cursed” FAMPO for it’s current condition? Criticizing the GA for setting up FAMPO as it did is hardly criticizing FAMPO.

    Oh I recall the TischlerBise report very well. I, in fact, brought it to your attention. After TB did an excellent analysis, the County did decide that VDOT was a better way to go. You and I discussed that decision and my recall is that you and I could not understand the county reasoning behind their decision. I still have the TB reports in my efiles.

    On the gas tax issue…your encouragement did a lot of good, eh? We still have no answers; not even after a discourse that included Hap Comnnors and J. Logan. Logan even promised answers from his sources dealing with BPOL taxes. DEAD END, again!

    Larry, each and every Spotsylvania citizen has a right, even a duty some would claim, to express their opinions about our government. If those opinions include criticism, so be it. In my own case, I have opined from both sides of the street and I will continue to do so as I see fit.

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    This county is not the worse county in Va by a far, far stretch by any standard one might wish to use.

    They’ve got issues, yes.. but they have done in the past and continue to do a number of things – right – IMHO.

    My view – if you want ANY organization to get better – you have to be able to point out the areas that need improvement in your opinion AND the county folks have to be wanting to listen to your critics.

    If all you are is a non-stop critic of everything wrong – not only are they not going to listen – but they’ll even ignore what might be good thoughts… because you have made yourself an enemy and they perceive you as one.

    I believe, as anyone who read me, in hard-hitting but honest and fair criticism ALONG with kudos and credit for what I think are things that deserve praise.

    BHAAS, I have no problem with your “both sides of the street” approach. I applaud it and I am encouraged to emulate it.

    If you still have the TB Study, how about sending it.? Did we look through it to see if it had financials – especially comparing VDOT maintenance and operational costs compared to how much money the county would get i they took over that task?

    The thing about the UTSDs – and THIS particular thread is that the county COULD have created a UTSD for Lake Anna and then because they then had the ability to levy comprehensive impacts fees – any/all growth at Lake Anna – regardless of the subdivision issues – could – with the right calibration of fees – pay for itself.

    In fact, for the entire county – it looked like it had promise.

    There was an implication (was it reported as such) that there were some issues that held the county back but as far as I know they did not ask for relief on those issues by putting them on their legislative agenda that goes to our State elected.

    There’s some different ways of discussion this issue and issues like this.

    You can approach them from the point of view that there were some honest concerns and it led to the county turning down the opportunity…

    or we could talk about just how wrong and bad the BOS was to not do more about growth…

    an then sweeten it with veiled accusations of conspiratorial wrongdoing/potential skulduggery of specifically mentioned BOS members… focus groups and FAMPO, etc, et all..

    I think staying on the issue and leaving out the bad thoughts is a better approach.

    and no, I do not think such an approach is going around in circles or refusing to get one’s hands “dirty” (whatever that means).

    My involvement in FAMPO is selfish. I simply won’t to know and understand more about how MPOs work (or not) … and to lobby for what I think are things that will help the public better understand their role … and other improvements like direct-elections.

    I’ve not given up on the gas tax… I see it as a continuum – where one continues the advocacy – and who knows.. someone like Edd Houck or Mark Cole may be willing to submit legislation to require it. Bob McDonnald, the govt is doing yet another review of VDOT and who knows, that issue might become involved.

    Having been around when developers were running the county – and the FBI circling for apparent wrongdoing… and then watching new elections bring in new people who were interested in things like Balanced Scorecards and citizen satisfaction survey’s …as well as brokered deals to save historic land.. and an agreement to use a 2% goal for growth – I saw these things as major improvements – and they came about because enough people in the county wanted it.. and when enough people want something.. elections lead to changes.

    I am a bit troubled of late by the BOS and County penchant for secrecy – justified for some things but in my view.. it’s becoming more of a practice – not justifiable.

    so the long and short of it is that if you want your opinions, complaints, criticisms PERCEIVED to be CONSTRUCTIVE then you do the in that way and if you don’t care if your views have absolutely no impact on those you direct them to, then you just sling as much mud as you can muster.

    that’s my 2 cents… I don’t care for approaches that walk and talk the latter way.

    If you want any of the BOS to read what you write – your first job is to get them to WANT to read it… no?

  • MGWORK (Marty)

    Bill, if you find that TB Study, and it’s not too much trouble, send me a copy as well:

    I would respond further to Larry’s comments, but he hasn’t said anything WE didn’t already know. He recounts how he conducts business, but ALWAYS stops short of crossing the line for fear of losing market share with his 30 year investment in Spotsylvania County. I tried that for 15 years, but fell short of buying into the County’s version of business as usual.

    Then he CONFESSES that he is a “BIT TROUBLED by the BOS and County penchant for secrecy – justified for some things BUT in my (Larryg) view…it’s becoming more of a practice – NOT juystifiable.”

    Where does Larry want us to go from this point on? Nowhere.

    Would it be more constructive if the BOS just continued to pull on our strings or ask them to open doors and let US see in. Then and only then will WE ever know the difference or have a right to critique the BOS, County, FAMPO, County FOCUS GROUPS (without minutes) or have an informed thought about where we are being taken, with blinders on supplied to US by those who should KNOW better, but refuse to tell.

    Larry, you are this giant wall, holding fast to the notion that half is better than none at all. Based on that rationale, we could starve to death waiting to hear back from a BOS who remains silent. Why? Too much to lose on the other side of the street.

    After everything has been done and said, Spotsylvania County is no farther ahead than they were 30 years ago, and the cast of characters continue to be the same people, who claim to be acting in our best interest. Going along, to get along just doesn’t work any more.

    In business times past and more so today, we continue to “TOP-SHEET” the details and draw conclusions that are just waiting to rear their ugly head, while we stand around with a surprised look on our faces wondering how this or that could possibly have happened.

    I could start the conversation out with Wall Street, banking industry, financial mismanagement, or even something as innocuous as a little oil spill in the Gulf, but then, THEY are much worse off than we are HERE, in Spotsylvania County.

    We can wait another 10 months or 10 years for Larry to get answers back from the BOS or the State, to his gas tax inquiry, but I have it on good authority it really doesn’t matter much, since Spotsylvania County has already joined forces with VRE and FAMPO’s working agendas.

    Having troubled thoughts about government, any government, at any level, and you’re only looking for sugar coated answers, you’ll be standing in that bucket of cement for a very long time.

    It’s what we continue to regard as a foregone conclusion that is viewed as a single dimension anomoly. It just stands there, eyes forward and never blinks.

    Do the BOSs read this junk? Yes. To say otherwise would constitute the makings of another PERCEPTION, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.

    Next time you get a troubled thought on for size, try doing something about it, but not 10 months or 10 years later.

  • MGWORK (Marty)

    I’ll assume “moderation” is another way of saying Larryg has earned more points than I have and that his No. 7 deserves as much consideration as my attempt at No. 22 and we thought no one was reading.

  • MGWORK (Marty)

    Thanks Bill for the TB May 8, 2008 draft presentation. Made it so far to page 42, “Cash Flow Projections” before I needed to rest my eyes.

    DEFINITIONS for development impact fees appears to have made matters very transparent as it relates to the Development processes in Spotsylvania County.

    To acknowledge that “impact fees do have LIMITATIONS, and should NOT be regarded as the total solution for infrastructure FINANCING needs”, certainly raises the bar on what Spotsylvania County claims to be in the public’s best interest.

    * “Development impact fees can ONLY BE USED to finance capital infrastructure and CANNOT be used to finance ongoing operation and/or maintenance and rehabilitation cost;”

    * “Development imapct fees CANNOT be deposited in the local government’s GENERAL FUND. The funds must be accounted for separately in individual accounts and earmarked for the capital expenses for which they were collected; and”

    * Development impact fees CANNOT be used to CORRECT EXISTING INFRASTRUCTURE DEFICIENCIES UNLESS there is a funding plan in place to CORRECT THE DEFICIENCY for ALL current residents and businesses in the community.”

    SO, how does this translate to ordinance and zoning changes made over the last two years, by the BOS, with their stakeholders dictating outcomes from behind closed doors, FOCUS GROUP meetings, without minutes, and a story line that continues to edit out the other half of the story? One half, divided by one half still comes out to ZERO.

    Is their something about today’s events and circumstances that would support the notion the development community and their fiscal allies ARE NOT running Spotsylvania County? They’re still here. So what difference does it make whether they are sitting on the BOS or not?

    When WE ask questions and get no answers, no transparentcy, no accountability or responsibility, what is anyone to think or believe about the conduct of their elected officials? Some maintain that just asking is tantamount to unwarranted criticism, biased opinion and counterproductive to the process that accompanies CHANGE.

    The issue is still the same. What does Supv. Marshall have to offer in support of his “fight” to develope Lake Anna?

  • http://Z2KS LarryG

    Two things this is not about. It’s not about what Marshall advocates and it’s not about growth that will never occur no matter what.

    What this is about is this. Growth is going to happen. Decisions about growth may or may not come from folks like Marshall but at some point, decisions will be made and the question is will those decisions be incremental, AD HOC without regard to longer term planning or not?

    Growth is not something you can stop but rather something that is going to happen and will have impacts to infrastructure and thus taxes.

    Growth that is planned for in terms of infrastructure and how it will be provisioned and paid for is going to be Managed and better than growth that happens because we continue to believe we can stop it.

    In that regard, the TB study was a blueprint for planning for the infrastructure that will be needed in the future EVEN WITH – ONLY a 2% growth scenario.

    It’s true, it does not deal with maintenance and ops – only new and improvements designed explicitly as detailed in that report – ONLY TO MAINTAIN the existing LOS – not improve it – as that would be a legitimate tax on all of us.

    but what it does most importantly in my view – it accommodates growth without degradation of the LOS – which is the problem that we have seen and will continue to see in the future if we continue to have fantasies that growth will not occur.

    The conclusions of the TB study.. that were sobering.. were that impact fees alone for the roads would not fully pay to maintain LOS and higher taxes would probably still be needed – but less so than no plan.

    But the UTSDs would also have allowed impacts fees for schools and other facilities – county-wide for all growth, including by-right and not just rezones and would have removed one of the bigger sticking points for by-right growth (that it does not pay for itself).

    I don’t pretend to know the answers but I do very much support these analysis, including the Lake Anna approach in taking the hard looks at likely future scenarios and developing action plans NOW that anticipate growth rather than believing it can be stopped and planning is not useful.