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Kalahari seeking planning permits
Kalahari Resorts applying for numerous special-use permits

PDF: Rendering of the proposed I-95 sign for Kalahari PDF: Parking layout

Date published: 5/4/2010

BY BILL FREEHLING and EMILY BATTLE

Fredericksburg residents will be able to comment later this month on four separate planning permits that Kalahari Resorts is seeking for its Celebrate Virginia resort.

The permits deal with parking at Kalahari and the adjacent Fredericksburg Expo Center, the layout of Carl D. Silver Parkway, the height of the 11-story hotel and the digital sign that will front Interstate 95.

The hearings, which will start shortly after 7:30 p.m. May 25 at City Hall, will be a joint meeting of the Planning Commission and City Council. After the hearings, the Planning Commission will consider making a recommendation on the permits, and then its portion of the meeting will end. After that, City Council members could choose to take up the Planning Commission's recommendations, or they could wait until their next regular meeting June 8.

That will be the third public meeting this month concerning Kalahari's plans for Celebrate Virginia.

On May 10 and May 24, the Fredericksburg Economic Development Authority will consider elements of Kalahari's financing plans for the $260 million project. That plan involves selling bonds that go through the city EDA to gain municipal status.

Kalahari must close on the first bond sale--a $25 million offering of tax-exempt bonds enabled by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act--by June 15. The resort hopes to sell the remaining taxable bonds later this year.

The four permits Kalahari applied for are all contingencies that are part of its contract to buy the land from the Silver Cos., said Scott Little, who is managing the Celebrate Virginia South project for the Silvers. Little said investors wouldn't buy the bonds if the contingencies were still there.

The four permits Kalahari is seeking are:


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