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

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610 Park Ridge development proposed, Planners defer to September

Traffic is one of the biggest concerns for a proposed mixed-use development on State Route 610.

The six-building project at the intersection of Parkway Boulevard and 610 requires a rezoning and conditional use permit for service, commercial and office uses. A combined public hearing in front of the Planning Commission was held on both Wednesday evening. (Find the full agenda item here.) A decision was deferred to Sept. 11.

The development, to be called 610 Park Ridge, is being proposed by the Thomas J. Wack Co. Charlie Payne of the law firm Hirschler Fleischer is representing the project.

An older single-family home currently sits on the 9.24-acre site, and most of the land is wooded.

Proposed are six businesses, though specific companies aren’t identified. They’d include a bank, pharmacy, gas station with convenience store, an automobile service facility, and two commercial pad sites for offices or retail. The first three would have drive-throughs. The land is identified as part of the commercial corridor within suburban areas.

“It’s maximizing the site for the most you can possibly put on there,” Commission Chairman Mike Rhodes noted. He thanked the company for meeting with area homeowners associations.

Payne said an influx of residential rezonings and growth are typically followed by commercial projects. “These are the kinds of things that follow that movement,” he said. “This is a very positive commercial project. This location makes a lot of sense.”

Planning staff noted it could not support the project in its current form and recommends additional evaluation of traffic impacts.

Seven people spoke–mostly from the surrounding neighborhoods– with concerns about traffic as well.

Commission member James Schwartz said that the new development wouldn’t actually create new business and generate new spending.

“You’re just going to be poaching revenue off other businesses,” Schwartz said, of which Garrisonville Road has many. He said that the estimate of nearly $500,000 in additional revenue to the county isn’t accurate.

Payne said that wasn’t true, that much of that would be from real estate taxes. With more businesses, he said residents will “spend more, and they spend more often.”

(Wednesday marked Schwartz’s last day on the commission, and he was recognized with a proclamation.)