Return to story
The need to invest in Virginia's roads is evident. But the current proposal to "improve" Stafford County's Brooke Road sets a lousy precedent for county homeowners and taxpayers.
For example, the $6.5 million project to widen a short length of the road proposes to cut off the front yard of my long-established family farm, known popularly as "Unicorn Farm." This would bring the road right up to my house by eliminating a tree line my family planted 40 years ago, a fence line, and other aesthetic and practical features of our farm. These changes would impair the farm's desirability for future generations, including my grandchildren.
Meanwhile, the property opposite my farm is a large, vacant field. Just a slight adjustment to the current plan would affect no one's home. The county should give priority to preserving the integrity and appearance of inhabited homes over uninhabited cornfields. A simple shift in the road's proposed path of 10 feet would resolve this injustice.
Yet public comment on the project was grossly inadequate, coinciding with the holidays and numerous public office closures. Getting detailed information about this project has been a challenge.
I believe that Stafford must continue to improve roads for safety and intelligent growth. Such changes, however, cannot push aside the rights of longtime residents. Stafford seriously needs to rethink the Brooke Road plan.