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Celebrate apartments good for Stafford


Date published: 5/17/2013

The only old horse that was beaten recently during the public hearing about a proposed 692-apartment development in Celebrate Virginia North was incumbent Hartwood Supervisor Gary Snellings, who is seeking a third term ["Celebrate North project alive," May 8].

As usual, his claims about low proffers are indicative of an overall lack of understanding of 21st-century costs in providing quality development in a county that has doubled its population every 20 years since 1960.

Yes, Snellings stated that he has been here since a 20th-century 7-Eleven arrived in his Hartwood district. Now there are 13 7-Elevens sprawled across the county.

Snellings also claimed that he is the "new" 40, yet in reality, he is the old horse that needs to be sent back to an A-1 pasture in the gerrymandered Hartwood District, which is the perfect location for a much-needed Stafford High School. There are no high schools in Hartwood, yet we get adverse remarks from his former planning commissioner about undocumented proffer guidelines.

His comment that the project is outside the guidelines of the county Comprehensive Plan is another figment in his dwindling imagination. The developer's representative, Chris Hornung, showed objectively how this development fits even "better" than the existing zoning in effect today. Mr. Hornung stated that "development" is coming to this area anyway. His presentation upstaged the Planning and Zoning arrangement with facts especially about the negative impacts of such a project or compliance with the existing comp plan.

Will it take another 22 years to update the comp plan correctly without urban development areas?

As for the argument about traffic, this is a prime example where approved development will indeed force the Board of Supervisors to re-evaluate transportation priorities. This project is doing the right thing at the right time.

Paul J. Waldowski

Stafford