Katie Thisdell reports on news from Stafford County. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 540/735-1975.
Consider this a fast-forward. I’ll skip the boring stuff…
1) Stafford hired a new County Attorney to Replace Joe Howard. Charlie Shumate will join the county Oct. 25. Howard will retire Nov. 1.
2) The Comprehensive Plan continues to slug through the digestive system of Stafford government. At one point, the board hoped to approve it in September. Now it looks more like November, at the earliest. The plan is still with the Planning Commission, who must hold a public hearing before sending it on to the supervisors for approval. It seems that the supervisors would like to speed up the process. They passed a resolution “directing” the commission to make their amendments and hold a public hearing within 60 days. The board would also like the commission to make sure the Urban Development Areas, Urban Services Area and Redevelopment Areas are included. This action could mean that supervisors aren’t happy with the Comprehensive Plan being developed by the commission. At any rate, supervisors would like to exert more influence over the process. The resolution passed 4-2, with Harry Crisp and Bob Woodson voting against. Gary Snellings abstained because he owns property in a proposed UDA. So does Paul Milde, as he admitted during the meeting. Milde did not abstain.
Will Snellings continue to abstain throughout the Comprehensive Plan process? We shall see…
2.b) A representative of Marine Corps Base Quantico addressed supervisors on the Comprehensive Plan. They have concerns that residential growth near the base could eventually jeopardize their “mission.” It was mostly an expression of a desire to work together to preserve the base, but concerns from Quantico have already knocked out a proposed Urban Development Area in Boswell’s Corner. The Marines didn’t want more people living there, and Stafford complied immediately.
Dr. Stephen Fuller gave a presentation on his economic analysis of the Comprehensive Plan. I’m hoping to talk to him to get more details on what seemed to be a very rough “snapshot” analysis that compared the current proposed plan to one proposed in 2008. No word on how the proposed plan compares to the current Comprehensive Plan. The upshot, as far as I can tell, is that the plan is more or less a break-even for the county.
3) Stafford has a “surplus” from the last fiscal year. In quotes because it still needs to be audited. See here.
4) Stafford took another step toward Transfer of Development Rights. They voted 4-3 (Woodson, Crisp, Snellings against) to refer an ordinance to the Planning Commission. It is based on (if not verbatim from) the only TDR ordinance in VA – Frederick County’s.
5) The county’s Utilities Department wants to repair/upgrade/enlarge the Falls Run sewer main near Truslow Road. The department still needs to purchase some slivers of property for the right-of-way. There were five hold-outs. Supervisors authorized condemnation and quick-take authority (eminent domain) for four of the five. The fifth was deferred until officials could get more details.