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Council approves 68 town homes in city
Fredericksburg City Council approves a special use permit for 68-town home development

Date published: 8/25/2010

By KELLY HANNON

Construction of 68 town homes near U.S. 1 and Hudgins Road in Fredericksburg may proceed, after a landowner received a special-use permit from Fredericksburg City Council.

Council voted 4-3 last night to award a permit to landowner Marion E. Hicks, who sought permission to build residential town homes on 14 acres of city land that is in a commercial zone.

The town homes will be part of Summerfield, a planned 195-unit residential development bridging the Spotsylvania County and city line. The subdivision would also be built on 34 acres in Spotsylvania. Spotsylvania has already approved construction of 127 residential units on land in Spotsylvania.

As recently as last week, Hicks wanted to build 87 town homes in the city.

But a local attorney representing Hicks, Charlie Payne, told council that his client would reduce the number of town homes to 68, increasing open space on the property to 5 acres.

Also, each town home lot was widened to a minimum of 20 feet each, an increase from the 18 feet previously proposed.

Council members Brad Ellis, Mary Katherine Green- law, Fred Howe III, and George Solley voted in favor of granting the special-use permit. Council members Kerry Devine and Beatrice Paolucci, and Mayor Tom Tomzak voted against it.

Councilman Brad Ellis said the development would encourage home ownership in the city, and noted changes by Hicks to increase green space and decrease units. "I think the applicant has gone to great extremes to address virtually every concern," Ellis said.

But Tomzak did some quick math during the discussion, and calculated that educational expenses could quickly reach into hundreds of thousands of dollars over a decade, far more than what Hicks was willing to provide as a one-time offset, he said. "This is a very real impact," Tomzak said.

Councilwoman Greenlaw said real estate taxes alone could not, and should not, support all city services, including education. She said such a scenario would make it hard to have a real estate market in the city. "You can carry it too far," Greenlaw said.

Hicks will pay $3,448.27 per town-home unit, one time, to the city to defray educational expenses for what he estimated will be fewer than 24 students.


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