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

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Talkin’ ‘Bout Last Night

A surprising number of Stafford citizens exercised their right to speak before the Board of Supervisors last night. Perhaps it was the fact that it was the board won’t meet again until August 17. Maybe folks just needed some A/C. The board chambers are notoriously cool. In terms of temperature, anyway.

So what items caught the public’s attention? Well, the Comprehensive Plan was one of them. The planning department gave the board an overview of the newly revised Comp Plan that the Planning Commission has been working on. It is the first step toward adopting a revised Comp Plan, a process that Supervisor Mark Dudenhefer said he hoped to complete by the end of September. Supervisors are likely to make a number of changes to the plan before it is adopted.

If public interest is any key, it appears that the Urban Development Areas (state-mandated high-density mixed-use development zones) are generating controversy. Some people don’t like how many of them are proposed in the plan (9) or where they are located. The Urban Services Area (where public water / sewer is available) is another point of concern.

Supervisors will hold a special Comp Plan meeting on July 28.

The other issue that sparked some interest was the takeover of Parks and Rec softball by the Stafford Baseball League. Supervisors foted in favor of the SBL proposal, so girls softball in the county will be run in much the same way as youth baseball (SBL) and youth soccer (SASA). SBL promises two seasons and a host of improvements to the program, although they will charge considerably more per player.

But a majority of the people concerned about the SBL proposal were not youth, nor were they girls. They were residents of Falls Run–nearly a dozen of them–who play in a senior softball league. They are worried that the SBL takeover will mean fewer fields for them to play on. SBL officials said that won’t be a problem. Guess they’ll find out.