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Celebrate springs a surprise page 2
Stafford County asked to approve zoning change to let Celebrate Virginia North include more than 1,400 retirement homes.


Date published: 12/17/2002

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"Retirees are widely seen as a 'clean industry' generating local jobs, supporting the economy and injecting far more into the local tax base than is required for services," he wrote in a report to supervisors prepared from "Retirement Development: A How To Guidebook" published by Jacksonville State University in Alabama.

A retirement development at Celebrate Virginia North would generate an annual tax surplus of more than $4 million for the county, according to Silver Cos.' figures. That's mainly because the housing is restricted to those at least 55 years old, which means it would not generate children the county would have to educate.

The Silver Cos.' report says the community also would create less traffic than offices: 4,230 daily vehicle trips instead of 24,500.

Traffic on U.S. 17 is what worries Supervisor Gary Snellings, who represents the area. The highway is already busy with traffic from southern Stafford houses and businesses.

U.S. 17 is home to Geico, Stafford's largest private employer, with more than 3,000 workers.

"The numbers look good, but I think it needs a lot of work," Snellings said of the proposal.

If Del Webb were to buy Celebrate Virginia land from the Silver Cos., the deal would be the second between the companies. Last year, the Silver Cos. sold the Arizona-based company more than 200 acres north of the England Run development on U.S. 17 in Stafford.

The property became the $150 million Falls Run community. When completed, the neighborhood--named after a stream that runs through it--will contain 585 houses along Plantation Drive.


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