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Stafford supervisors proposing transportation impact fees countywide
BY JEFF BRANSCOME
A controversial proposal moving forward in Stafford County would require developers to pay fees of up to $5,465 per home to help fund road improvements.
If approved, the transportation impact fees for new subdivisions would go toward the estimated $204 million cost of upgrading 20 roads.
The county Board of Supervisors is scheduled to discuss the fees at its meeting Sept. 18. A public hearing on the issue could be scheduled for October, County Administrator Anthony Romanello said.
Supervisor Gary Snellings said at a meeting Tuesday that the board's infrastructure committee--which includes him and Supervisors Cord Sterling and Paul Milde--is recommending the fees. Developers would have to pay $5,465 per single-family detached home; $4,602 per single-family attached home/townhouse; and $3,066 per apartment.
"Existing homeowners shouldn't be expected to cover the cost" of road improvements required by new development, Sterling said in an interview. The roads that the fees would help upgrade include Courthouse Road, Eskimo Hill Road, Enon Road, Truslow Road and Winding Creek Road.
The infrastructure committee has also recommended that developers be exempt from the fees if preliminary plans for their subdivisions have already been approved.
But board Chairwoman Susan Stimpson said she's concerned the fees would be passed on to homebuyers. "What is the impact to families?" she said in interview.
Stafford currently imposes transportation impact fees in certain areas of the county, such as in Hartwood. Those existing fees are scheduled to be repealed, and the new fees would be mandated countywide if approved.
The Fredericksburg Area Builders Association has met with county staff and is concerned the fees will put developers at a competitive disadvantage, according to a memo from Deputy County Administrator Keith Dayton. Nearby localities such as Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County don't require the payments.
The builders group also says it's worried about developers who have purchased property without factoring the fees into their financial models.
In other business, the Board of Supervisors amended an ordinance approved in 1997 that requires gatehouses, gate arms or surveillance cameras at entrances to neighborhoods with private streets and at least 35 homes. The amended ordinance makes those restricted entrances optional.
Jeff Branscome: 540/374-5402