Spotsylvania News

Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.

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First Dominion Raceway public hearing scheduled

RELATED: See complete coverage of the Dominion Raceway

The proposed Dominion Raceway is hoping to pave the way for its approval at a Spotsylvania County Planning Commission public hearing at 7 p.m. March 6 in the Holbert Building, 9104 Courthouse Road.

The Planning Commission will consider amendments to the county’s development plan being requested by the raceway.

Raceway developer Steve Britt hopes to open the facility in spring 2014 on 160 acres at the northeast corner of the Thornburg exit off Interstate 95.

But the county’s 2008 Comprehensive Plan defines that property—in the Jackson Gateway Development District—as an “employment center.” The raceway is seeking to have that designation changed to “commercial.” An “employment center” has commercial, industrial and office space—but the commercial component is supposed to be secondary, according to the Comp Plan.

The plan states: “It is important that there be a balance between the different land uses with one supporting the others. This is particularly important in the Jackson Gateway where the commercial development is intended to support the office and industrial development.”

The Coalition to Preserve the Thornburg Countryside—which was formed last year to oppose the raceway—points out the raceway’s incompatibility with the Comp Plan on its website, The group urged residents to “demand” that the raceway apply for a Comp Plan amendment.

Fredericksburg attorney Charlie Payne, who is representing the raceway, said  the developer is asking the county to “slightly revise” the 2008 plan “to reflect the highest and best use for our site, especially since it is located just at or near the Interstate exit.” 

He said the county isn’t legally obligated to follow the Comp Plan because it is a guide, not a zoning ordinance. “We have only applied to clarify that much has changed since [2008], and the best use for this site is commercial entertainment, which will help serve the other commercial uses on our immediate west side of I–95 and south of our site,”  he wrote in an email.

The raceway in January applied for a rezoning and special-use permit to locate in Thornburg. The Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors have not yet scheduled public hearings for those requests.

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