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Stafford Planning Commission defers rezoning for Walgreens, updates bylaws
BY KATIE THISDELL
Traffic concerns have delayed approval of a drugstore chain's plan to expand into Stafford County.
Planning commissioners deferred a vote Wednesday on a rezoning for a Walgreens pharmacy proposed for the intersection of Cool Springs and White Oak roads.
Plans call for a right-in/right-out entrance on White Oak Road to the 4.27-acre site. But Commissioner James Schwartz and several neighbors said traffic is already terrible in the area.
"It is brutal. It happens at every rush hour, on busy shopping days, and I can't imagine what this new traffic will do to that. It'll get worse," said Robert Grogan, who lives on Northside Drive.
Schwartz said the design of the site's two entry/exit points could cause more traffic problems.
"This is not a very good situation. It's already dangerous," Schwartz said.
The commission will bring up the rezoning at its next meeting after consulting with staff and the Virginia Department of Transportation. A public hearing was held in July.
The 14,550-square-foot building would have a drive-through window. Another building would be built on the same site, with restrictions on its uses included in proffers.
Commissioners agreed on a proffered Colonial-style design, featuring the red Walgreens sign on the brick exterior.
The property is up for rezoning to urban commercial (B-2), from light industrial (M-1), which is for large-scale business and industry activities. Clark Leming, attorney for applicant Area Development Group Inc. of Richmond, said a B-1 zoning would also be acceptable.
Two other pharmacy chains are within about a mile of the proposed site. A CVS Pharmacy is located on Chatham Heights Road, and a Rite Aid is near the intersection of Cool Spring Road and State Route 3.
In other action:
Commissioners formally approved new bylaws that mandate that meetings end at 10 p.m., unless a majority votes to extend the time. Wednesday's meeting ended at 10:30 p.m.