Board of Supervisors Approval of Assisted Living Facility SUP Should Raise Concerns
At the January 8th Board of Supervisors meeting, the long delayed vote for the Franklin’s Crossing Assisted Living Facility in the Lee Hill District was approved 5-2 with Supervisors Benton and Trampe opposing the project.
The project originally drew community concerns from River Meadows sub-division residents because the project planned to use their sub-division as a pass through for Franklin’s Crossing. In October 2018, when the project was originally reviewed by the Supervisors, it was tabled until January to allow more discussion with the community on how best to mitigate the project’s impacts.
On January 8th, County Planning staff continued to recommend denial of the special use permit (SUP) application essentially because the project’s impacts were not addressed, but merely transferred from one community to another.
The transfer was from the River Meadows sub-division to the River Heights trailer park community. Supervisor Benton deserves credit for pointing out that this transfer was occurring from an affluent community to a much less affluent community. If the Board majority felt these impacts were legitimate and real then the project should have been adjusted or denied. If they felt they were not legitimate impacts, then the original proposal should have been approved.
The fact that the project was approved by five supervisors with almost no acknowledgement of Supervisor Benton’s insinuation appears to highlight either a disregard for the most vulnerable Spotsy residents or a political calculation that less affluent residents don’t have the resources to disrupt their political aspirations or they likely won’t vote.
I’ve considered other factors may have weighed on the five supervisors that approved this project, but none felt the need to explain those factors at the meeting. They were oddly silent in the face of a poor community being sold out.
In the last few years, this is one of the most questionable approvals by the Board and should serve notice how decisions are made when you are considered expendable in Spotsylvania.
Click here for the County Planning Department summary of the project