Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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Developer files lawsuit against Spotsy

The owner of a planned 127-home neighborhood in Spotsylvania has filed a lawsuit against the county for denying his request to reduce cash proffers for the development by about $2 million.

Stafford County attorney Clark Leming filed a complaint this month on behalf of Marion Hicks, who owns the land for  Summerfield off U.S. 1 near the Kingswood subdivision. The suit asks the Circuit Court to declare that the Board of Supervisors was wrong to deny Hicks’ proffer amendment.

But Leming asked Spotsylvania Circuit Court Clerk Christalyn Jett to not serve the suit at this time.

In a telephone interview, Leming said he’s reviewing alternatives—including submitting a new proffer amendment for Summerfield—but filed the suit on April 12 because of a 30-day statute of limitations period. The Board of Supervisors denied Hicks’ request for a proffer reduction on March 13. Hicks had initially agreed to pay the county $3.5 million in proffers to offset the costs that new residents would  bring to schools, emergency services and roads.

“It is our intention to work with the county and to affect a cash proffer reduction that will work for Mr. Hicks and put him in a position where he can actually develop the property, and that’s simply not the case now,” Leming said.

He said he hopes to file another proffer amendment with the county within a month if they decide to go that route.

Under state law, the application would have to be substantially different from the one denied by the Board of Supervisors. Hicks would have to wait a year before resubmitting the failed application.

County Attorney Jacob Stroman said he didn’t find the complaint’s arguments “compelling.”

“I just don’t see anything in this complaint that appears meritorious,” he said.

Click here to see the complaint.

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