BREAKING: Stone Haven Trustees to Withdraw Application

| December 7, 2015 | 0 Comments | News
Revised Stone Haven map.

Revised Stone Haven map.

Updated: Dec. 7, 2:40 p.m.

Brentsville Supervisor Jeanine Lawson (R) acknowledged that the Stone Haven trustees have officially withdrawn their land use application.

She has canceled the public hearing and vote before the Prince William Board of County Supervisors previously scheduled for Dec. 8.

The following is Lawson’s statement:

Today we received notification from the Stone Haven applicant that they have formally withdrawn their proposal. I appreciate the applicant’s hard work striving to achieve a project that the entire community and I could support, however, we were unable to come to an agreement.

A project of this magnitude, especially one begun under my predecessor, is all the more challenging. Regarding the high school site, proffers are meant to mitigate the impact of development; not to drive development. I’m confident a site will be purchased and the county will work with the schools to expedite the review process.

Updated: Dec. 7, 1 p.m.

The trustees of the proposed Stone Haven development will withdraw their application, citing the failure to reach an agreement to win Brenstville County Supervisor Jeanine Lawson’s support of the project.

“Last Monday after 5 p.m, our team received a phone call from Ms. Lawson indicating that she would not be supporting the Stone Haven Application,” Edy Rameika Trustee, EV Hunter Trust, said. “While we had the support of the majority of the Board, a couple of supervisors, who were otherwise supportive, were hesitant to vote against Ms. Lawson on a project in her district. Understanding that we do not have the votes to get Stone Haven approved and not wanting to waste any of our supporters’ valuable time tomorrow, we are withdrawing our application.”

Rameika said they worked with Lawson to address her concerns about the project, including making last minute changes, which included reducing the amount of allowable townhomes from 30% to 25% and limiting the number of residents that access Devlin Road until a connector road is constructed through Wellington Road or Linton Hall Road.

“To be successful, we worked hard to try to gain the support of Supervisor Lawson and the entire Board of Supervisors. We continued to meet with Supervisor Lawson up to and through the Thanksgiving holiday.  Rameika said. “She said that she was continuing to evaluate the project and ‘trying to get there,'”

Original Story:

The controversial Stone Haven land use application is coming up for a vote before the Prince William Board of County Supervisors Tuesday evening, Dec. 8. Before the vote, there will be a continuation of the public hearing held over one year ago.

The Revised Proposal

Stone Haven is a large mixed-use development proposed in the Brentsville District. Formerly 864 acres in Bristow south of Wellington Road, west of Devlin Road and north of Linton Hall Road, the application has been amended to only include 717.9 acres.

The new Stone Haven application requests 1,006 residential homes, down from 1,650. These include single-family homes and townhouses. In the commercial sector, it increased the floor area from 1.062 million square feet to 1.124 million square feet.

The proposal still includes proffers for a high school site and sports fields as well as passive and activity. Passive space includes trees and wildlife. Active recreation includes fields and trails.

The road proffers have changed. The revised rezoning proposal still includes construction of the continuations Rollins Ford Road and University Boulevard; however, they would now be built as 2-lane roads rather than as the previously proffered 4-lane roads.

The proffers are based on the updated 2014 proffer guidelines.

Approving Stone Haven would allow for residential and mixed use land development. The applicant said that should it not be approved, the family who owns the property would consider timbering the land in order to create revenue.

Comparison between the old and new Stone Haven application. (Stone Have Facebook page.)

Comparison between the old and new Stone Haven application. (Stone Have Facebook page.)

Pros

Stone Haven would match the surrounding areas and create a transitional buffer between residential areas in the Linton Hall corridor and light industrial commercial uses in the area around Jiffy Lube Live.

The plan was created with community input.

People in favor of Stone Haven say the development matches the neighborhood; proffers an ideal high school location; proffers much-needed sports fields; provides tree buffers, hiking trails and open space.

The proffered school site is also bigger than the fields on Rollins Ford and would allow the Rollins Ford site to be developed as soccer/lacrosse fields as per the original plan. And, the Stone Haven site keep the 13th high school out of the Rural Crescent.

Many local business owners like the expansion of residents coming into the area to support their businesses. And, employment space would hopefully bring more jobs to the county.

The plan would provide needed road expansions, although not as great as the original road proffers.

Alternative uses of the property by the owner by-right, such as falling of the trees for timber, may not be to the neighborhood’s liking.

Objections

The biggest objection to Stone Haven is that it would bring in more families and cause overcrowding in schools, which has been a problem that the Brentsville District has contended with for more than a decade. The overcrowding is especially severe at Patriot and Battlefield high schools.

Other concerns are that more real estate could drive existing home prices down, and more people would add additional traffic congestion, especially to the I-66 morning commute.

Commercial space would not necessarily be filled as existing complexes nearby have empty storefronts and office space.

Supervisor’s Concerns

Brentsville Supervisor Jeanine Lawson recently sent an email encouraging residents to speak at the Stone Haven public meeting, Tuesday. Included in the email are reasons that Stone Haven is not right for the Brentsville District.

Lawson notes that many believe that Stone Haven is proffering a high school, but in truth, they are proffering a high school site. That is the difference between a $10 million proffer and a $70-100 million proffer, according to Bristow Beat’s calculations.

Lawson notes that the school division can acquire a site without passing the Stone Haven proposal. They can buy the same site or utilize other sites, such as the Rollins Ford property.

She said Brentsville high schools will be severely overcrowded by the time the 13th high school is scheduled to open, and although a new high school will help to alleviate that overcrowding, new students moving into the district will hamper that effort.

Lawson also said that although the applicant is proffering fields, those fields will likely remain unused for years because there is no money to develop them at this time and existing field spaces are now waiting to be developed.

Choice for the Board of County Supervisors

In addition to voting on Stone Haven, the Board of County Supervisors will be making land use decisions in regard to the Stone Haven property.

Alternative A would amend the Comprehensive Plan to align with Stone Haven’s original proposal. Alternative B would align the Comprehensive Plan to the revised Stone Haven proposal and would not address the area that has been left out of the proposal. Both mean a revision that includes residential, commercial and open land. The current designation of the land is A1- agricultural.

History of Stone Haven

The applicant first requested a land-use amendment under the development “Stone Haven” in March of 2012. That request was denied, but the Board asked that the applicant, the E.V. Hunter Trust, conduct a study, which would include community input.

The Stone Have Study involved the community and neighbors were invited to participate. Citizens took part in creating maps, representing the kind of community they would like to see on the site. Their participation in the plan did not necessarily mean the residents necessarily wanted the area developed, only that if it were to be developed, this would be an ideal design.

Based upon citizen input, the applicant presented a new Comprehensive Plan Amendment in March of 2013, At this point, the Prince William Planning Office recommended Stone Haven, saying the community took part in the process.

The Board held a public hearing on Oct. 2014. At the time, Brentsville Supervisor Wally Covington had announced he would be resigning, so Chairman Corey Stewart decided to hold off on the vote until Brentsville had a new supervisor. The vote was set for Jan. 20 and the public hearing was left open.

At the Jan. 13 public hearing, the Board approved a resolution to defer Stone Haven.

Since then, the developer has scaled back the number of homes and acres being proposed, and resubmit a revised application.

Residents can speak on that revised application at a public hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 8. They will need to sign up in advance. Citizens can speak for 3 minutes.

For more information, residents can visit the Stone Haven Facebook page or talk to their county supervisor.

© 2015, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

Facebook Comments
Print Friendly

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: News

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

banner ad