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

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Board to consider lower impact fees, less revenue for road projects

Proposed impact fees in Stafford could bring in nearly $9 million over 10 years to help with transportation improvements, but that’s  much less than the $80 million that was once proposed.

The Board of Supervisors will discuss the infrastructure committee’s recommendation on impact fees at Tuesday’s meeting. (Here’s the full agenda.)

The fees are meant to help pay for new residential growth, specifically with money for improvements and upkeep of the county’s roads. Non-residential development is not included in the proposed county-wide fee. Recently, the board eliminated the fee in the George Washington District, while keeping ones in Hartwood, with the plan to then place one fee throughout Stafford.

The list of planned road projects that would benefit from the fees comes to $206 million.

 But the committee’s new suggestions for fees barely makes a dent in that total.

 The committee, made of Cord Sterling, Gary Snellings and Paul Milde, is advising the board to exempt lots with subdivision construction plan approval and plat approval, which comes to 2,100 lots. It would take 7.5 years to exhaust those lots, according to the staff memo. Several weeks ago, the board considered also exempting approved preliminary plans, a step that is much farther along in the process. There are 7,200 lots at that stage currently.

The committee recommends fees that are between $3,066 for multi-family projects and $5,465 for single family detached homes. But members also asked staff to look at the financials for if the fee was a flat $2,999 for all types of residential units. With that lower amount, and a delay of one year for the program to start Jan. 1, 2014, staff wrote that the estimated cumulative 10-year revenue would be $8.9 million. More information will be discussed at Tuesday’s afternoon session.

Also Tuesday, supervisors will:

  • Hear an appeal on a Comprehensive Plan Compliance Review requested by the Planning Director for a cluster project at Clift Farm Quarter. This is continued from discussion last month. Here’s that story.
  • Reconsider a request to change the Recreational Business Campus zoning district, required for the Celebrate Virginia North project that is before the Planning Commission.
  • Consider a referendum for financing of Stafford High School. Here’s the latest discussion on the project at the School Board level.
  • Consider a referendum for an at-large chairman. A citizen’s committee recommended against the idea. The board could ask the General Assembly for special legislation to hold a referendum, or 10 percent of voters could petition for the referendum.

Public hearings begin at 7 p.m. and include:

  •  Rezoning George Washington’s Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm to heritage interpretation, which would allow the reconstruction of the Washington home. The Planning Commission OK’d the rezoning last month. 
  • An appeal for a Comprehensive Plan Compliance Review for Jumping Branch Farms, a proposed cluster development that is requesting a connection to public sewer. Here’s more on the appeal.
  • The creation of an Embrey Mill Community Development Authority, which would finance the Mine Road extension. Bill Freehling wrote about that here.
  • Reductions on three types of fees: for lot consolidation ($1,000 to $150), cluster development applications ($1,975+$125 per lot, down to $250+$5 per lot), and large assembly tents ($200 to $0).