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

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Secret Stafford Documents!

Stafford officials are still trying to finalize their plan for Urban Development Areas, which are mandated by the state to be in place by July 1. There are some esoteric procedural conflicts between the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission that are conspiring against the adoption of the final4,000 units that need to find a home somewhere in Stafford.

(One more time, UDAs are areas that fast-growing counties must designate for dense, mixed-use development. They must be designed to hold 10-20 years worth of the county’s future growth. Basically, they are intended to be compact city-style developments designed to redirect suburban sprawl so VDOT doesn’t have to build and maintain so many road miles.)

Stafford Supervisors discussed the procedural issues in closed session on Tuesday. That discussion was then brought into the public forum, so I got the brief that County Attorney Charles Shumate gave to supervisors in the closed session.

It’s really nothing more than a timeline of UDA events that led to this point of potential impasse between the two boards. I’m not really sure why this was withheld from the public in the first place. Maybe it was the two bold attorney-client privilege warnings.

I should have an article in the paper–tomorrow or Saturday–that attempts to explain the UDA situation in better detail.


  • Martin (Marty) Work

    Jonas, under who’s hand and editorial control do you have on hand to spin what is obviously a violation of public trust and continued evasion of public input into this story line?

    Why is it, that the State does not require any county to build a UDA beyond one UDA, not 6, and still meet with the July 1, 2011 mandate.? Why does Stafford believe it needs 6 or 7 to satisfy the mandate, or is the premise really about another kind of sprawl that comes 4 stories high and as many as 24 living units per square acre?

    How close does the Free Lance-Star expect to get to the truth of the matter, and if truth be found, how much will be provided to the citizen population of Stafford County and approved for circulation by the editors staff?

    This subject has been around for a long time. But, the County’s elected officials have always cordoned off the public for the sake of conducting County business from behind closed doors and leaving the citizen population to languish in the dark, with only guessing and speculation to lead the way.

    If anyone were to actually READ County Attorney Shumate’s “brief”, I’m confident they would be as concerned as the public would be if they thought their elected leaders were playing them into accepting this venture on face value.

  • bill


  • Dean Fetterolf

    This board has never been receptive or respectful of public input on the Comp Plan. According to the majority, citizens are “little people” , in the “peanut gallery” or “liars.”