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

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Talk on UDAs continues

Ever since the General Assembly made Urban Development Areas optional, Stafford supervisors and planning commissioners have been trying to figure out what to do about their role in the county.

Planning staff gave an update on their research at last Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting. Here were some of the highlights.

  • Are UDAs actually optional and would removing them jeopardize funding? The answer is “less than clear,” said principal planner Mike Zuraf. “It’s tough for us to give you a concrete yes or no answer on that.”
  • Have growth projections for the county’s population changed? Yes, the estimate for 2030 population is now 212,000, rather than the previously projected 218,000. Commissioners wanted this to be examined further.
  • Staff evaluated the seven currently identified UDAs.
  • Staff looked at the subdivisions that are already in the works.
  • Commissioners also asked for updates on what other localities are doing regarding UDAs, specifically Spotsylvania.

Ideas for how to adapt the UDA plans include changing the timeline to 20 years rather than 10 or change some of the seven UDAs. (One reason that smaller areas were originally decided upon, rather than one or two large UDAs, was because the outcome would be smaller “town centers,” rather than the addition of an area the size of Fredericksburg within Stafford’s limits.) No decisions were made, and talk could continue to October.

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