The fate of a proposed 120-home subdivision next to Hartwood’s Stafford Lakes Village could be decided on Tuesday.
The Stafford County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the proposed, 48-acre development—which would be on the south side of Holly Corner Road off Warrenton Road—about 7 p.m. and may take formal action after that. The subdivision would have an entrance on Holly Corner and also connect to Stafford Lakes via Country Manor Drive.
Samer Shalaby of Stafford-based Development Consulting Services is applying to rezone the property from agricultural to residential. Just 16 homes can be built there under the current zoning designation.
The proposal could be a tough sell with supervisors, some of whom have taken hard-line positions against new development. The Planning Commission voted 6–0 last month to recommend denial of the project after several nearby residents expressed concern about the subdivision’s impact on transportation and schools.
Some critics emphasized the numerous developments already approved for that part of the county, including the 701-home Westlake subdivision near the corner of Warrenton and Richards Ferry roads
The site of the proposed subdivision is mostly undeveloped and includes a 48-year-old brick rambler, several farm structures and utility sheds, and a retention pond. Burton O’Stansbury Jr., who has owned the land since 1985, is under contract to sell it pending the county’s decision on the rezoning request.
Employees with the Stafford Department of Planning and Zoning are recommending approval of the subdivision, writing that it follows the Comprehensive Plan and would blend in with Stafford Lakes.
The developer is offering $15,185 per home in cash proffers, or a total of $1.8 million, to offset the impact the subdivision would have on schools and public safety, according to a county report. The subdivision would also generate about $3,000 per home in “transportation impact fees,” and the developer would pave an additional lane on Holly Corner, at the Warrenton Road intersection, to allow for dedicated left and right turn lanes.
But some residents and Planning Commissioners said the two-lane Holly Corner Road cannot handle the additional homes.
“It’s a treacherous road, it really is,” Armae Fant, who lives in Stafford Lakes, said at a meeting earlier this year. “And if you’re going to add another 120 houses and really not widening that road at all, it’s not safe, it really isn’t.”
The developer did agree to donate right of way along a stretch of Holly Corner for possible upgrades that could include widening the road to four lanes.
Some Stafford Lakes residents also oppose the plan to connect the proposed subdivisions to theirs, but Shalaby said that is a Virginia Department of Transportation requirement.
Shalaby acknowledged the county’s transportation problems at a meeting last month, adding: “Unfortunately, the county does not have the funds to be able to fix everything.” Still, he said his proposed subdivision complies with Stafford’s long-term plan and would generate fees and other revenue to help with transportation needs.
“This is one of the few projects I’ve ever dealt with over the last 20 years that basically had no negative impact and mainly because we try to address every single item,” Shalaby told the Planning Commission last month.