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UPDATED: bristow-resident-starts-petition-urging-supervisors-reconsider-devlin-community-vote

| April 1, 2020 | 0 Comments | News

Image from the petition showing gridlock on I-66.

UPDATED: April 1 at 3 p.m. 

No supervisor motioned to reconsider the Devlin Road Community at the Prince William Board of County Supervisors meeting, Tuesday, Mar. 31. The community of 516 residential homes will go ahead as planned.

The online petition to reconsider the Devlin Road Community neared its goal of 1,000 votes, but supervisors remained unmoved.

Read more here. 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE published Mar. 31, 2020 at 10:37

Bristow resident Lisa Schumann has started a petition to get the Prince William County Supervisors to reconsider the Devlin Road Rezoning Project at their Mar. 31 meeting. She asks that the supervisors approve 250 homes, rather than 516 or halt the project.

To date the Change.org online petition, called “ACT NOW! Ask BOCS to Reduce more PW Road Gridlock and taxes by fixing Devlin Rezoning!”, has 747 signatures.

Schumann said she is just asking for the supervisors to listen to the constituents of the Brentsville District and also adhere to good governance by managing residential growth.

“Residents begged the developer to decrease density to 250 or fewer homes which would lessen the effect on surrounding roads and schools. Those requests were ignored,” Schumann stated in the petition. “It would also lesson the effect on our taxpayers who have to pick up the tab for development that doesn’t pay for itself.”

The board  approved the Devlin Road Community located off Devlin Road in Bristow at its Mar. 10 meeting. It includes 516 “village style” homes. The project won approval despite opposition from Brentsville Supervisor Jeanine Lawson (R). Three supervisors voted to deny the community: Lawson, Pete Candland (R-Gainesville) and Yesli Vega (R-Coles).

Then, in the vote to approve the community, Democrats Ann Wheeler (Chair), Margaret Franklin (Woodbridge), Andrea Bailey (Potomac), Kenny Boyde (Occoquan) and Victor Angry (Neabsco) voted “aye.” Lawson and Supervisor Pete Candland (Gainesville) noted “nay,” and Yesli Vega (Coles) abstained. (She explained her reasons here.)

Now Schumann is requesting the motion be reconsidered. According to Robert’s Rules, this is possible under the right circumstances. One, a board member who voted for its approval would have to bring it up for reconsideration. Two, it would have to be done at the Mar. 31 meeting, since it is the meeting directly following the vote. Three, it would then have to win majority approval.

Schumann believes it can be done. Listening to the supervisors speak, and talking with them, she said she got the sense they really do care about protecting Prince William County and not overdeveloping it. In fact, a couple of supervisors even gave her the impression they were going to vote against the community, so she was surprised by the outcome of the vote.

“We are always playing catch up. I don’t care what letters are by your name,” she said, explaining that supervisors should listen to residents.

She also believes it is fair to applicant/developer Stanley Martin as it still rezones the property from Agricultural to Low Density Suburban, which still fits within the county’s comprehensive plan.

Schumann is passionate about this issue. Her petition notes the impact on roads, schools, the environment, and that new proffers and taxes will not make up for the needs of the community: police, fire, etc., even if the proffers are generous. And she believes that the residents should decide what is best for their community not developers.

However, it is a strange time to bring the reconsideration before the board. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the need to limit gatherings to fewer than 10 people, the board will be reconsidering whether it will continue to hold in-person citizen’s time. To encourage residents to stay home for their own safety, Chair Ann Wheeler has canceled all land use issues on the agenda for Mar. 31.

Wheeler said Schumann should share the petition with the supervisors and see what unfolds.

“[The] board still strongly encourages the public to communicate with the board through multiple avenues like SpeakUp!, email, telephone and letter outside of in person public comment, so she can certainly bring that to the boards’ attention,” Wheeler said in a statement.

This article may be updated at a later time. 

© 2020, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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