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

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Doings on Derrick Lane

The scene: Derrick Lane is a short, nearly hidden road off the east side of U.S. 1 immediately south of Aquia Towne Center. It is a small residential neighborhood of about 20 homes.

The Issue: Nadir Gillani owns a wedge of property along U.S. 1 in front of Derrick Lane. He also owns the Marriott Towne Place Suites across from the Aquia Parke shopping center and would like to build another hotel immediately to the north of the Marriott along U.S. 1. Problem is, the parcel is too small to hold a hotel. So Gillani bought two residential parcels along Derrick Lane and wants to rezone them, get a Conditional Use Permit and build the hotel on the combined three lots.

Neighbors along Derrick Lane are not pleased. They don’t want a business in their residential neighborhood, and they don’t want to stare at the back of a hotel (or the fence/trees that will screen it).

The History: This project was denied by the Board of Supervisors 3-4 years ago withdrawn by the applicant after a Planning Commission public hearing in 2006.

Recent Developments: A public hearing on the rezoning and CUP was held on Nov 16. A number of Derrick Lane residents spoke in opposition to the project, but county officials noted a hotel could provide a tax benefit to the county, and the area is generally considered good for commercial development. The hearing was closed, but the vote was deferred until the afternoon session of the Dec. 14 meeting.

Last week, Gillani built an “example” fence, with trees, to prove to county officials that the screening would obstruct the view of the hotel (see photos). Some neighbors showed up, but said they were not invited to the demonstration.

Down the Road: As I said, the final decision on this project is likely to happen Dec. 14. I hope to have an article in the paper with more information this week.

Thanks to Supervisor Paul Milde for the photos, and for posing in one of them.