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N. Stafford subdivision proposed
Garrett Cos. seeks OK for cluster subdivision in North Stafford

Date published: 1/17/2013

BY BILL FREEHLING

The Garrett Cos. proposes a 793-home subdivision in the Widewater area of North Stafford that would use the county's recently adopted cluster ordinance.

The Widewater subdivision is proposed on about 1,738 acres that a Garrett affiliate owns in the area. The land is north of Aquia Harbour, east of Telegraph Road, south of Widewater Road and west of the Potomac River.

The Garrett affiliate owns another roughly 450 acres in Widewater next to Marine Corps Base Quantico. That land is not part of Garrett's recent proposal, as the company envisions commercial uses for it.

Plans for the Widewater cluster subdivision call for 759 one-acre lots and 34 half-acre lots. Half of its 1,738 acres would be preserved as open space. There would probably be an entrance into the subdivision near Shirley C. Heim Middle School.

Garrett previously received county approval for 550 three-acre lots on the land. The company submitted the new plan after Stafford adopted a cluster ordinance last year that enables houses to be built closer together to preserve more open space.

Cluster developments are also more cost-effective for developers, as less infrastructure is needed for the open space.

But the future of Stafford's cluster rules is uncertain, amid conflicting requirements for public utilities and concerns about sprawl.

National developer D.R. Horton Inc. filed a lawsuit against Stafford late last year asking the county's Circuit Court to approve a cluster plan for a 472-acre development called Clift Farm Quarter near U.S. 1 and Eskimo Hill Road.

The Garrett Cos. and project engineer Bowman Consulting Group submitted the Widewater cluster plan to Stafford's Planning Department earlier this month.

The application fee paid to the county for processing and reviewing the plan was $103,880.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com