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BY JEFF BRANSCOME
A proposed mixed-use development next to the planned Virginia Railway Express station in Spotsylvania County has been revived.
Landowners George Lester and Fitz Johnson resubmitted an application in October for the Crossroads Station development near the intersection of U.S. 17 and Crossroads Parkway.
Plans call for 610 apartments and up to 1.2 million square feet of commercial space, including retail, offices and a hotel.
The rezoning application is being made under the county's mixed-use zoning category, which the Board of Supervisors approved in September.
Johnson says the new zoning designation provides more flexibility by allowing the marketplace--not a planning document--to determine the pace and location of development.
"It actually injects logic into the rezoning process rather than trying to paint a picture that will be good for 20 years," said Johnson, president of Johnson Realty Advisors in Fredericksburg.
He and his business partner originally applied for a rezoning last year under the more restrictive planned development commercial zoning category. It would've required commercial space to be at least double the gross floor area of residential.
The landowners held off on that first application while the county drafted the mixed-use zoning category.
"The whole point of the ordinance is not to handcuff developers," Johnson said.
The first step of Crossroads Station would be building roads and parking areas needed for when the VRE service is scheduled to start in August 2013.
The developer would initially build 150 to 250 apartments, based on the application submitted in October. The entire project is estimated to take from 13 to 20 years to complete.
The Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors must both hold public hearings on the application. Planning Commission members will make a recommendation to supervisors, who have the final say.
Johnson said he hopes the development will be before the Planning Commission in March or April.
Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402