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

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A Day Late…

I received word from a number of residents that a scheduled meeting with Urban Development Areas consultants Rhodeside & Harwell was postponed from last night to Dec. 15 or 16, immediately after the Board of Supervisors plans to hold a public hearing on the Comprehensive Plan, which includes eight UDAs. Those UDAs will be designated upon approval of the comp plan.

According to Stafford Public Information Administrator Cathy Riddle, the meeting was postponed by staff because the board has not yet adopted the UDA locations. Contrast that with Spotsylvania County, where the same consultant has held a number of public meetings as part of the UDA designation process, to be concluded when UDAs are adopted by the board this summer.

Last night’s meeting in Stafford was supposed to be for local “stakeholders.” This is from the consultant’s scope of work:

Key stakeholder interviews: Conduct up to 10 interviews with key groups and/or individuals in the County (e.g. business and community leaders), identified in consultation with Stafford County planning staff, in order to understand planning and development issues and opportunities in the candidate UDA areas and countywide.

I asked Planning Director Jeff Harvey and Public Information Administrator Cathy Riddle to fill me in on the details of this meeting. Riddle sent me the following list of “stakeholders.”

School Facilities (Scott Horan)

Quantico Community Planning Liaison (Steve Hundley)

Parks & Recreation Director (Chris Hoppe), Soccer Association (Barry Hill), Baseball League (Robert Dreistadt)

Environmental Groups (Patricia Kurpiel-Friends of Stafford Creeks, John Tippett-Friends of Rappahannock, and a representative from Save Crows Nest)

Local land Use and zoning attorney (Charles Payne)

Historic Preservation Commission (Anita Dodd)

Citizens to Serve Stafford a citizen “watchdog group” (Ruth Carlone)

And this was Riddle’s response to why the meeting was postponed, and what other meetings the consultant has held in Stafford:

Rhodeside and Harwell had scheduled stakeholder interviews for today regarding the UDAs.  It is one of the tasks identified on the attached project schedule.  The specifics of the UDA consultant agreement are on the Planning and Zoning Department web page.

Staff had asked Rhodeside and Harwell to postpone the interviews because the Board has not adopted the locations of the UDAs to date.  It would be premature to discuss how the UDAs should be developed and implemented in advance of them being adopted.  Rhodeside and Harwell had proposed rescheduling the interviews for December 15 and 16.  Staff has requested that they hold off on any interviews until after the Comprehensive Plan is adopted.  You will need to verify with them as to who they had intended to interview.  Staff had provided them with a list of community stakeholders.  We do not know who made the final list and agreed to be interviewed.

County officials have had four meetings with Rhodeside and Harwell to date on this project.  They were June 1st for a scoping meeting with staff; July 6thrd and a study kick-off meeting August 13th. presentation to the Board of Supervisors; tour of UDA sites with staff August 3

Click here for the revised UDA project schedule.

Here is a follow-up / addition. Riddle sent me more “stakeholders” who were to take part in the postponed meeting.

  • Becky Reed, past chair of the executive committee of the Friends of the Rappahannock and currently on the Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance Board Linda Muller
  • Clark Leming, local land use and zoning attorney (Leming and Healy)
  • Bobby Crisp, Chair of Stafford County Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission
  • Eddie Cottrell, Parks and Recreation department’s Sports Division Manager
  • Airport Authority (Ed Wallis, Manager)
  • Virginia Railway Express (Christine Hoeffner, Planning Manager)
  • MPO, George Washington Regional Commission (Kevin Byrnes)
  • VDOT (Angela Foroughi, Acting Director of Transportation and Land Use/ Area Land Use Engineer- North)
  • Del Webb/Celebrate Virginia
  • Pulte (Gary Leygraaf, VP)
  • Khov (Gary Chandler)
  • NVR/Ryan Homes (Lisa Fox-Culbertson, Administrative Manager)
  • Hour Developemnt/Hour Homes (Michael J Stonehill, President)
  • Silver Companies (Jud Honaker, Real Estate Development and Investment)
  • Augustine Homes
  • Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce (Susan Spears, President)
  • Economic Development Authority
  • Jo Knight (Aquia Realty)
  • Alex Long (CCIM)
  • Phyllis Clark (Century 21)
  • Jack Baker
  • Rob Rochon
  • Rich McDaniel (CB Richard Ellis)

Permalink: http://news.fredericksburg.com/staffordnews/2010/11/24/a-day-late/

  • Dean Fetterolf

    But not a dollar short.

    Can’t this $225,000 consultant do anything on schedule.

    Or are they being directed at a game of hide and seek? Hide the public and seek delay.

    Here is the original scope of Work for the UDA Consultant. http://www.co.stafford.va.us/bos/jul0610/20.pdf

    Task 2. 7/1-8/20 data collection from staff and down select to 3/4 UDAs. How come we still have 8?
    Task 3. 9/1-10/15 called for 4 public workshops. How many have been done, where and when?
    Task 4. 10/16-12/15 Study 1 UDA in Detail, Which one did they pick?

    When the schedule was revised on 10/29 they were behind schedule again on Task 2.3 key stakeholder interviews that were to be done 10/18-11/5.

    Now they rescheduled till AFTER the BOS vote.

    Anybody care to comment on the relationship between NVR, the BOS, comp plan and its financial expert.

  • LarryG

    It’s PREMATURE to make a decision in designating ANY UDA until you know the scape and scale and cost to provide the infrastructure that will be needed.

    This is why, for instance, you are SUPPOSED to submit to VDOT your PROPOSAL for them to review BEFORE you make a decision.

    What would you do, for instance, if VOT told you that your UDA would require 50-100 million dollars worth of additional infrastructure in order to gain their approval?

    The same goes for the water & sewer. What if your utility people told you that you’d need 100 million more in infrastructure to make water/sewer “available” to the UDA?

    Maybe I don’t understand but I don’t think a decision about the UDAs can possibly be a responsible one until the county knows what the costs are in providing the infrastructure.

    We seem to be proceeding along the lines of choosing where to draw lines on a map that designate.

    Those lines have serious financial consequences that ought to be understood BEFORE you decide to designate.

    The basic intent of the UDAs was to designate where there was already water/sewer/roads/transit/etc not greenfield UDAs.

    They did not say don’t do it but obviously in greenfield UDAs there will be significant infrastructure issues – and VDOT knows this and this is the reason why VDOT requires a 527 process to examine the impacts to infrastructure and to specify what will be needed to mitigate those impacts.

    My view here is that it’s simply irresponsible to designate without knowing the costs – and that includes the public not just the BOS.

  • dfettero

    Importance of Public Involvement

    A successful Comprehensive Plan for a community should represent the views and desires of the citizens. Having the public involved in the process helps to ensure that the Plan is representative of the community. As a result, the community should know what to expect as the County moves into the future. A plan that does not represent the views of the community likely will not gain public support. As a result, implementation tools such as ordinance revisions will face opposition. Ultimately the plan will have little value and may sit on the shelf and collect dust.

    Now is the opportunity to build the path that the community follows into the future. Where that path ends is up to the citizens of Stafford County. The work done now will shape the future of the community that our children and future residents will inherit.

    http://www.co.stafford.va.us/Departments/Planning_&_Zoning/Comprehensive_Plan_Revision/Comprehensive_Plan_Revision_Background.shtml

  • dfettero

    Hide n Seek

    That’s been the practice of the UDA consultant, Staff and BOS.

    Here is the original scope of Work for the UDA Consultant. http://www.co.stafford.va.us/bos/jul0610/20.pdf

    Task 2. 7/1-8/20 data collection from staff and down select to 3/4 UDAs. How come we still have 8?
    Task 3. 9/1-10/15 called for 4 public workshops. How many have been done, where and when?
    Task 4. 10/16-12/15 Study 1 UDA in Detail, Which one did they pick?

    The consultant was behind schedule from the original schedule and still behind when the the schedule was revised 10/29. The key stakeholder interviews were to be completed 10/18-11/5 according to the revised schedule note above.

    Now the consultant and Stafford have rescheduled public input and task deliverables 3 times now with the latest being no public input until after the BOS Votes.

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