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Walgreens vote deferred due to traffic safety concerns

Traffic safety concerns have delayed approval of a drugstore chain being established in Stafford County.

Planning Commissioners deferred a vote Wednesday on a rezoning for a Walgreens pharmacy proposed for the intersection of Cool Springs and White Oak roads.

Plans call for a right-in/right-out entrance on White Oak Road to the 4.27-acre site. But commissioner James Schwartz and several neighbors said traffic is already terrible in the area.

“It is brutal, it happens at every rush hour, on busy shopping days, and I can’t imagine what this new traffic will do to that. It’ll get worse,” said Robert Grogan, who lives on Northside Drive.

Schwartz said customers exiting the site would end up right where the other entrance is. “This is not a very good situation. It’s already dangerous,” Schwartz said.

The commission will bring up the rezoning at its next meeting after consulting with staff and the Virginia Department of Transportation. A public hearing was held in July.

The 14,550 square foot building would have a drive-through window. Another building would be built on the same site, with restrictions on its uses included in proffers.

Commissioners agreed on a proffered colonial-style design, featuring the red Walgreens sign on the brick exterior.

The property is up for rezoning to urban commercial (B-2), from light industrial (M-1), which is for large-scale business and industry activities. Clark Leming, attorney for applicant Area Development Group Inc. of Richmond, said a B-1 zoning would also be acceptable.

The closest Walgreens locations include two in Spotsylvania County, one in Culpeper County, and several in Manassas and Woodbridge. Two other pharmacy chains are within about 1 mile of the proposed Walgreens. A CVS Pharmacy is located on Chatham Heights Road, and a Rite Aid is near Cool Spring Road’s intersection with State Route 3.

 Here’s what else happened at the meeting.