2015 Free Lance Star Letter to the Editor on Re-zonings and Proffers
In 2015, I submitted a Letter to the Editor for the Free Lance Star regarding re-zoning and proffers, specifically addressing the Jackson Village development. While proffers’ role in re-zonings has greatly been altered due to a General Assembly bill that took effect last year, my general sentiments remain the same. If elected, I will scrutinize future re-zoning requests more closely to ensure that the project mitigates its impact on the community. I will remain open-minded and reasonable to developers and businesses, but the responsibility will be for them to present a strong case for their projects. I have copied the letter below and included a link to the Free Lance Star page here.
Letter: Help congestion with substantial proffers
Feb 8, 2015
I already believed that the Jackson Village development was in Spotsylvania County’s best interests when I attended the recent Spotsylvania Planning Commission meeting. However, I remain skeptical that the developer is offering adequate proffers to support the influx of residents.
The developer’s response to locals’ concerns suggested that they were unable to look to the future. As a young county resident, I was not swayed by their inability to answer the basic question: How do you plan to alleviate expected U.S. 1 gridlock as 2,200 new homes are added?
The developer, highlighting 12 years of paying property taxes as a defense to escape more reasonable proffers, fails to sway this resident. Land-holding is a business decision, not a charitable contribution to county tax coffers. Additionally, the current proposal places the majority of the financial and administrative burden on the county to address the certain future gridlock caused by this project.
The developer’s proposal of a connector bridge over I–95—one they have no intention of funding—to an unapproved future development is insulting. If Jackson Village is essential for county growth, as the developer proclaims, they should be willing to exchange more substantial proffers for the future profits in a more competitive housing and commercial market. In this case, it’s the developer that appears unable to see into the future.
Spotsylvania’s appeal remains to be its removal from daily traffic congestion and higher taxes of city life, which this proposal will certainly further erode. The Planning Commission has a responsibility to protect county interests, and approving Jackson Village without procuring more substantial proffers would be a breach of the public’s trust.