Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Public hearing on UDAs

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It’s a full house tonight as people crowd the board chambers to talk about UDAs. So far, every speaker has been against the proposal. Most are talking about property rights–concerned that landowners will lose their rights after the boundaries are drawn. So far, the proposal has been called a UN conspiracy, a socialist plot and a field of dreams.

Many speakers also say that the county doesn’t need more homes, with a housing glut going on.

Many are telling the county to let the market drive the county’s growth, not politicians in Richmond.

County Planning Director Wanda Parrish started the discussion, telling the supervisors that the UDA will in fact be market-driven.

“These are just a guide,” she said repeatedly.

No rezonings will occur when the boundaries are created, she said. Every piece of land will still have to go through rezonings with community input meetings and public hearings.

But speakers say the county has a history of taking people’s land and that eventually, the county will have to tax people and/or tax their lands to create the urban development areas.

Another concern: Lack of jobs. UDAs are supposed to be live, work and play areas, but speakers say that the work part will be really hard when the county has few jobs and most people commute.

Interestingly, earlier today, during a work session, supervisors learned about some new initiatives to bring jobs to the county.


  • LarryG

    The comment was made that the existing PSA is “too large” to designate as a UDA.

    There is no law that says you cannot designate a subset of the existing PSA basically as a redevelopment UDA.

    this is what other places have done. If the PSA is too big..then choose a subset.

    why is this such a problem?

    If that had been done – it would have not only defused the “greenfield”/new infrastructure issue as well as the property rights issue.

    the process for the UDA was IMHO biased from the start towards a greenfield designation and against designating existing developed areas as redevelopment areas AS HAS BEEN DONE BY OTHER JURISDICTIONS.

    It’s very disappointing to see what I feel has been a disengenous process that basically tried to imply that redevelopment UDAs were not choices and the only real viable choice was a huge greenfield UDA.

    Spotsy went far beyond what they really had to do.

  • LarryG

    the discussion about what Spotsylvania MUST DO or be subject to sanctions by the State needs to be reconciled with this report:

    of which more than 60 counties said this: ” E. Our locality does not presently intend to amend its comprehensive plan to incorporate one or more UDAs.”

    and 8 counties said this: ” F. Our locality determined that its comprehensive plan accomodates growth in a manner consistent with
    the requirement to incorporate one or more UDAs and has adopted a resolution certifying compliance with
    the UDA requirement.”

    and 9 counties said this: ” C. Our locality intends to amend its comprehensive plan to incorporate one or more UDAs by July 1, 2012.”

    notice the 2012 date.

    The county planners and some of the BOS as well as the County Attorney seem to be saying that the State will do “something” if we don’t designate a large greenfield UDA by July 1.

    Looks like a whole bunch of counties have done something Spotsylvania could have joined them in – INCLUDING simply designating PART of the existing developed water/sewer areas as areas that the BOS WOULD ENTERTAIN mixed-use TND redevelopment proposals.

    take the time to read the 21 page doc but especially look at page 17 and 18.

  • Steve T.

    Larry, thank you for taking a leadership role on this issue.

  • Sammy W

    Wow, me and Steve agree! I knew there’d come a day.

    Larry you’re awesome.