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The Stafford County Board of Supervisors last night approved the development of a 55-townhome community on a 17.6-acre parcel in the county. The project, known as Whitson Woods, will be located in the northern section of the county near a number of single-family subdivision. D.R. Horton, the community’s developer, successfully argued that the townhomes would fit nicely with the single-family neighborhoods in this growing part of the county.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors this week approved the rezoning request for Signature Station, a major mixed-use development in the County near Route 3. The 3-2 vote signified a major turnaround for the project which was first proposed by the developer and rejected by the county in 2006. Signature Station returned earlier this year when the developer, Signature Series Development LLC, asked the county to rezone 76 acres of agricultural land to 47 acres of multifamily and 28 acres of commercial. The county’s Planning Commission had recommended approval of the project to the Board of Supervisors, which voted in favor of the proposal after the developer negotiated proffer concessions with the county.
Plans to redevelop the former Blacksburg Middle School site in downtown Blacksburg will likely be put on hold as the developer is instructed to withdraw its rezoning applications and meet with county and town officials about the mixed-use development. As we’ve previously reported, Fiddler’s Green Partners had submitted rezoning applications to transform the school into a mixed-use development including residential, office, and retail space. Some have expressed concern that the proposal is too vague and won’t fit the character of the downtown area. Last month, Blacksburg Town staff reviewed the proposal and determined that it didn’t meet the master plan guidelines. The developer has since requested meetings with Town and Montgomery County officials to discuss the project and potential changes. However, the Town believes it’s inappropriate to have such meetings while a rezoning application is under review. In order to move forward, the developer will need to withdraw the applications with the understanding that they can be amended and/or resubmitted.
In an effort to attract a minor-league baseball team and jump start stalled development projects, the city of Fredericksburg is actively pursuing a financing deal to build a new multipurpose stadium in Celebrate Virginia South. The city would like to build a 5,000 seat stadium and is exploring the issuance of $30 million in bonds to finance the project. Under the deal currently being discussed, Fredericksburg would build and own the stadium and lease it to a baseball team. The city can generate revenue to pay for the bond and ensuing debt service from proposed special tax districts. The city also plans to raise money from the lease, naming rights for the stadium, taxes generated at the facility, and a share of the team’s net profits beyond an agreed-upon amount. To help pay for the stadium, a special tax district would be created in Central Park and Celebrate Virginia. The businesses in these areas are expected to benefit the most from a stadium given their location to the potential stadium sites.
We’ve previously discussed plans by the Alexandria City Council to change zoning along the city’s waterfront that would allow for new development. The council’s action in 2012 was meant to spur redevelopment along Old Town Alexandria’s waterfront area. Although the area is popular with residents and tourists, new projects are needed to help spur further economic development and ensure the city’s prime waterfront property reaches its highest and best use. However, three Alexandria residents have been resisting the proposed changes and taken the city to court. Their case has now reached the Virginia Supreme Court, which will hear oral arguments next week.