No decision was made Tuesday on the Celebrate Virginia North proposal to build temporary housing for federal law enforcement agents training off U.S. 17.
The Stafford Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission held a joint public hearing on the Silver Cos. revised plan for the stalled development, three months after denying a much larger project.
The developer has proposed a 192-unit secure apartment complex for agents training at the existing 50,000-square-foot facility on Celebrate Virginia Parkway. The land is currently zoned for industrial uses, but the Silver Cos. is asking that multifamily residences be allowed.
There isn’t a contract on the books yet, explained Sen. Richard Stuart, representing Silver Cos. as a private attorney.
“It’s an opportunity we can pursue if we get a favorable result from the board and the planning commission,” Stuart said. Silver would respond to any bids for expanded training sites, he told the 14 people seated on the dais.
Trainees and trainers currently stay at hotels, primarily outside Stafford County. The complex would allow them to stay closer to their work site—across the street, in fact—for no longer than three months. All the apartments would have two bedrooms.
Previously, Silver Cos. had proposed building this secure facility and up to 480 high-end apartments at the southern end of the little-developed parkway. Board and commission members worried about the impacts of the complex on county resources, and if the apartments would be attractive to renters.
The company submitted the new “substantially different” application soon after the denial and asked for a fast-tracked review.
The three-pronged proposal calls for a rezoning, a conditional-use permit and an amendment to the recreational business campus zoning category.
The rezoning would change 18 acres of land in the development from industrial uses to recreational business.
That zoning category would normally allow only a limited number of age-restricted apartments. So Silver is also asking for an amendment to the zoning code that would allow for other kinds of apartments, as long as the developer received a conditional-use permit.
If those requests are granted, Silver would then need that conditional-use permit to build the apartments.
Attorneys for the board and planning commission negotiated with Stuart on Tuesday evening to revise proffers—the developer’s promises to offset impacts to the county. That includes a $2,500-per-unit transportation impact fee.
A 15-year lease currently exists on the training facility. The apartments would need to serve the site for three years, and then could become market-rate apartments for the everyday renter. At that time, Silver Cos. would give the county $7,500 per unit, a total of $1.1 million. The county’s recommended proffers call for $25,000 per unit.
Four people spoke during the public hearing, a far cry from the dozens who opposed the previously proposed two-in-one project in the spring.
The planning commission briefly discussed the project, then voted to defer to its Oct. 9 meeting to allow time for site visits.
Supervisors will wait for that recommendation before voting.
Katie Thisdell: 540/735-1975