Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County.
VDOT OK with Dominion Raceway’s request to amend development plan
The Virginia Department of Transportation says it does not object to the proposed Dominion Raceway’s request for amendments to Spotsylvania County’s development plan.
Angela Foroughi, transportation & land use director for VDOT’s Fredericksburg District, wrote in a letter today to Spotsylvania’s Planning Department that the raceway’s Comprehensive Plan requests “do not impact future local, regional or statewide transportation plans and supports the economic element of the Jackson Gateway Planning District.”
You can read the letter here. The Planning Commission is scheduled to have a public hearing on the proposed Comp Plan amendments at 7 p.m. March 6 in the Holbert Building, 9104 Courthouse Road.
Raceway developer Steve Britt hopes to open the facility in spring 2014 on 160 acres at the northeast corner of the Thornburg exit off I–95.
But the county’s Comprehensive Plan defines that property in the Jackson Gateway as an “employment center.” The raceway is seeking to have the designation changed to “commercial.” An “employment center” can have a commercial component—but according to the plan, it’s there primarily to support industrial and office space.
Raceway officials are also asking the county to revise the Comprehensive Plan’s proposal to relocate the Thornburg interchange. Foroughi of VDOT wrote in today’s letter that officials haven’t yet agreed upon the proposed location of the interchange. Therefore, she continued, it “should possibly be removed from the Comp Plan until such time as this issue has been resolved.”
VDOT does have concerns with the project despite today’s letter. The state agency recently said it couldn’t approve the raceway’s request for an entrance just 280 feet from an I-95 ramp–at least until officials answered a host of questions and concerns. That means the raceway will have to amend its application to VDOT for the entrance—which ordinarily would be required to be 750 feet from the I–95 ramp—or submit a new application for a waiver.
VDOT issued its letter about the entrance on Monday, and you can read it here.
The Coalition to Preserve the Thornburg Countryside, which is against the raceway at its proposed location, praised VDOT’s decision on the entrance–with one member calling the letter ”devastating” in a Facebook post.
Raceway officials downplayed VDOT’s response to the proposed entrance, saying it wasn’t unusual. Britt called many of VDOT’s inquiries “clarifying-type questions.”
Dominion Raceway in January sent an application to the county for a rezoning and special-use permit.
The Planning Commission will make recommendations on all of the raceway’s requests, and the Board of Supervisors will have the final say.