vanessa-newVanessa Remmers covers Stafford County government and schools for and The Free Lance-Star.

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The Late Show

Last night’s Board of Supervisors meeting went beyond deadline time for today’s paper, so I thought it would only be fair to let you know that a decision was, in fact, made last night.

In a 5-2 vote, the board approved the conditional use permit for the proposed SPCA site off Andrew Chapel Road. Supervisors George Schwartz and Bob Woodson dissented.

It wasn’t a total success for property owner Bill Hoyt, however. The approved motion was a compromise devised in large part by Supervisor Cord Sterling. Basically, the SPCA must abide by all the conditions set forth in the original CUP, but will only be able to operate in their "phase1" capacity.

What does that mean? Well, a lot of things, but it basically reduces the potential size and impact of the SPCA. The facility will be confined to the existing structure (the old nursing home) and will be limited to 15 dogs and 40 cats. It does allow for a dog park, but not the (approx.) 140-dog kennels Hoyt originally envisioned.

In addition, staff was directed to look for 30 acres of county land that might be used to expand the SPCA in the future.

There wasn’t much crowd reaction after the vote. Maybe that’s the sign of a good compromise. Or maybe exhaustion.


  • dana1

    It’s an impractical compromise. I believe one designed to be a headline grabber to help a new candidates ratings in the polls. It was not well thought out. Another idea with absolutely no way to pay for it. If I were Mr. Hoyt I would have told the Board to pack sand. Some BOS members want to give away land they don’t fully own, with the assumption that Mr. Hoyt will just pack up & move, open his wallet again and pay all the costs to build on the site they picked, which sounds less than desireable (probably won’t get enough drive by traffic to encourage new people to consider adopting). Plus, the BOS indicated they might get him some start up buildings? He already owns property & buildings. BOS can’t get any buildings, there is ZERO money for this. Plus, there is some question if this would be legal. This was an empty promise for land, maybe some buildings & insinuated application approval (again) dressed up to look like a “compromise”. It will never happen, and BOS will never come up with the money. They had a bird in hand ready to go and let politics interfere. I doubt their behavior is going to encourage other citizens to step up and offer to help with other projects we need. We are an unreliable partner.

  • dfettero

    And what did the taxpayer get? For the opportunity for Mr Hoyt to house 55 pets the taxpayer put up the $10K CUP application fee. Has anyone seen Mr Hoyt’s business plan? Where will the income come from to pay for facilities, food, shots, spay/neuter, electricity, water& sewere, salaries. vet services?

  • tr6nut

    So citizen’s are given 3 minutes to speak and somehow candidate Irene Egan managed to present a slide show in the scant 3 minutes that swayed the board? Sounds like some board members saw the presentation in advance and the “public comment” by Egan was a sham show. How come no one else was given the opportunity to present materials? Several of the speakers who urged passing of the CUP indicated that they had slide shows but were denied the use of them. Back to the “compromise”. Ms. Egan presents a compromise that allows Bill Hoyt the privelege to improve the land and facilities up to county standards and then vacate it at some future point for unimproved landfill acreage. Oh, what a deal! Let’s all remember that Ms. Egan is one of the Meadowbrook meighbors. Her compromise only stands to improve the value of her property, as when Hoyt vacates the site, it will be better than it currently is. Ms. Egan is showing that she’ll fit in well with the good old boys on the Stafford Cty Board, as she’s got no problem with fattening her larder at the expense of the citizenry and even helpless abandoned animals. Seems like when she went to college she should have concentrated more on those pesky ethics classes!

  • Blueirid

    Does anyone think that granting 10% capacity to Mr. Hoyt is a great victory?
    Does anyone think that putting a dog park at the dump is a good idea? Mr. Hoyt’s proposal costs the taxpayers nothing and if Stafford has extra land, why not build ballfields?
    Why are Mr. Sterling and Ms. Egan working together? Isn’t Mr. Sterling a Republican that should be supporting Mr. Milde not his opponent?