Country Club

In Stafford, Oakenwold plan may have changes

The applicants for a large mixed-use development off Centreport Parkway have made more changes to their proposal.

The changes come after a recent Planning Commission work session in which commissioners expressed concern over the balance between the residential and commercial growth and how the residents’ complaints could affect the development of the nearby Stafford Regional Airport.

The president of a Woodbridge-based engineering firm, John “Skip” Groupe IV, and his son, John “Johnny” Groupe V, have applied to rezone the 232-acre site from agricultural to planned-traditional neighborhood development. The development would be called Oakenwold after the 19th-century home on the site.

Plans call for up to 650 residential homes and up to 250,000 square feet of commercial space. About 116 acres of the site will remain open space.

Responding to concerns over the impact of the development to the airport, the applicants increased the buffer between Centreport Parkway and residences. They also added a requirement for noise reduction construction standards for all residences. The plan for phasing in the commercial buildings with the residences was also changed to allow the commercial space to increase more incrementally with the residential.

The buffer between residences and Centreport Parkway was increased from 300 feet to 500 feet.

“These buildings, already over 3,000 feet from the airport, will provide additional sound attenuation for the residential units to the south,” said a letter from Clark Leming, the attorney representing the developers.

The change in the construction standards will require all the noise levels within homes to be at the accepted noise level for residences. Previously, the developer only put such standards on the residences within 800 feet of Centreport Parkway.

Airport officials have continued to oppose the project.

Stafford Regional Airport Authority Chairman Hank Scharpenberg told the Planning Commission Wednesday that such residential development will discourage state and federal sources from investing in the airport.

Philip Hornung, the former chairman of the joint airport committee that recommended the construction of the airport in 1986, said that one of the committee’s original recommendations had not been acted on. That recommendation was to begin a review of new zoning ordinances and the comprehensive plan to safeguard future airport investments.

In response to a commissioner’s request, county staff also sought the opinion of Scott Horan, the assistant superintendent for facilities at Stafford schools. Horan said that the cash proffers “appear to be good,” according a staff memo.

Proffers are contributions made by a developer to offset the development’s impact to county services.

The cash proffers offered by the developers were less than the county’s current guidelines, but come closer to the cash proffer changes proposed by the Planning Commission. The Board of Supervisors has not yet taken up those proposals.

For single-family detached homes, the current guidelines set a $46,925 contribution per home and the applicants have offered $31,175. The proposed amount for such units is $29,974.

The applicants’ $17,157 contribution per townhouse fell short of the current guideline of $40,338. The proposed amount for townhouse units is $16,182.

The same was true for the applicants’ multifamily unit contribution of $15,861. The county’s current guidelines recommend about $26,000 for such units. The Planning Commission has proposed reducing that amount to $15,101.

Representatives for the developers said that another economic analysis is coming.

The deadline for when the Planning Commission has to make a decision has been extended. The commission will take up the proposal again on July 9.

Vanessa Remmers: 540/735-1975



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