Katie Thisdell reports on news from Stafford County. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 540/735-1975.
Commissioner wants meeting with VDOT, neighbors for Walgreens rezoning
Concerns over traffic safety at the site of a proposed pharmacy have prompted a Stafford County planning commissioner to ask for a town hall-style meeting before a rezoning is approved.
James Schwartz, who represents the George Washington District, wants to take a closer look at the proposed entrances for a Walgreens at the intersection of Cool Springs and White Oak roads.
“If somebody dies there because we moved too quickly or weren’t thinking about the general public, I’m not going to sleep well at night,” Schwartz said at Wednesday’s meeting.
Schwartz requested the county invite the Virginia Department of Transportation and nearby homeowners associations to a meeting before the Planning Commission meets again Sept. 19, when a decision must be made to meet the Oct. 9 deadline. A public hearing on the rezoning was held in July.
Plans call for a right-in/right-out entrance on White Oak Road to the 4.27-acre site. Schwartz presented another option to use DeBruen Lane as an additional entrance point. But VDOT says there are obstacles to connect to the road that runs behind the property, because of a storm water pond and CSX lane, according to county planning staff.
According to a memo from the Sheriff’s Department, 64 accidents have happened in the area in the past three years.
Staff are working to set a date for the meeting.
Planning Commissioners also:
- denied a Comprehensive Plan Compliance Review for Jumping Branch Farm to connect to the Urban Services Area. The issue could be appealed to the Board of Supervisors.
- unanimously approved adding the definition of “data centers” to the zoning ordinance in hopes of attracting companies that want to build the large buildings with few parking spaces. The sites would be located in urban areas. The Planning Commission learned that Stafford could support between 10 and 20, and negotiations are underway. The life of a data center is typically 25 years because of high investment up front.
- reviewed an amended county document that now includes proposed architectural design guidelines. Some tweaks are being made before it’s sent to public hearing, but you can find that document here.
- heard concerns about tractor trailer traffic that could come as part of a rezoning and amended proffers for Hilldrup Transfer and Storage. After the public hearing, both agenda items were deferred until Sept. 19.