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

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Looking For A Challenge?

Stafford officials have posted an Urban Development Area web survey on the county’s homepage. It is designed to help the “Committee of 4,000″ determine where to put the remaining 4,000 housing units that need to be allocated in the county by July 1.

I know that getting a web survey up on short notice is difficult, and this is not an easy thing to do on the web, but be forewarned: this is a fairly confusing survey. It will be particularly difficult for those not familiar with the current UDAs, and a map would have been a useful addition.

But don’t take my word for it. Give it a try.


  • Anonymous

    Not only a map would have been useful but explaining the options allowed including the one exercised by several countries by simply designating the areas already served by water/sewer as UDAs that mixed-use proposals of 8DU would be considered.

    That’s all the law requires – just designation of an area (that they recommend is already served by water/sewer and transit) to be simply designated as available for mixed-use proposals.

    4DU is NOT REQUIRED for populations under 130,000 – only allowed and it certainly makes since than if a county is close to the 130K threshold that they go ahead and designate for 8DU.

    A 4DU designation is not dense enough for cost-effective transit. In fact, 4DU in residential is the very same 1/4 acre subdivisions that Stafford has traditionally approved.

    By choosing NEW areas not currently served by water and sewer for 4DU development all they are really doing is expanding the water/sewer Master Plan .. i.e. more auto-dependent development that fits the classic definition of “sprawl” .

    What the county seems to be counting on with it’s process is to not have a legitimate public involvement process and the survey is the latest strategy to get developers and others friendly to the idea of expanding water/sewer to fill out – and then for the county to claim that the survey “proves” that county residents want the “sprawl” UDAs (areas not currently served by water and sewer).

    It’s a pretty flimsy way to run a public involvement process in my view and when you combine it with not putting their BOS agendas online – and having closed meetings that seem questionable on the face of it – it does not say good things about the county BOS.

  • Dean Fetterolf

    If you have not followed the Comp Plan and its process you would have NO clue what this survey is about.

    It is a VERY flimsy attempt to make it look like public involvement. Its the same concept as taking credit for the statistically insignificant survey from 2006. That survey is totaly out of context with respect to a UDAs based comp plan. Sloppy effort at best.

  • LarryG

    I’ve looked at the survey and it’s totally lame and it basically insults the intelligence of the average person.

    BEFORE anyone could say where to put growth and how much – they would need to know some basics like where water/sewer is and is not and how much existing capacity there is and how much it would cost to add capacity.

    The same would need to be done with road infrastructure. Has the county made available to citizens the letter from VDOT telling the county what would need to be done in terms of roads to serve the UDAs that they proposed?

    Has the Water/Sewer people generated a similar letter outlining what would need to be done for each UDA and the costs associated with it?

    Ask wide open question about how many people to put in each UDA without providing the relevant impact information serves what purpose?

    Is the county basically asking for WAGs from whoever wants to gill out the survey?

    How could anyone intelligently answer the survey questions without the infrastructure impact data?

    Does the county really want INFORMED comments?

  • Martin (Marty) Work

    NO! They don’t want anyone looking over their shoulder and public WAGs is about as close to the truth elected officials will permit their constituents and citizens to get.

    Why not stir BRAC into the equation/ mix and see what comes of a foregone conclusion that Stafford citizens have absolutely no idea what the “PLAN” entails.

    Stafford and Spotsy are made of the same cloth and have their own castles, that come with moats, shark infested waters, and their own draw bridge which is not lowered for the public crowd, unless we are willing to sign a waiver and loyalty agreement.

    Are we really advancing? NO. We’re doing the same thing over and over again and expecting our lord and masters of political dodgeball to come up with a different result?

    As long as we continue to stand in place, we should have no one but ourselves to blame for the fuedal nature of current circumstance.