WE ARE REAL ESTATE: Stone Haven Delays Cost Community

| January 20, 2015 | 0 Comments | Opinion

scottjacobsBy Scott Jacobs

We were supposed to have a very important vote on Stone Haven today. So what happened?

This is the second time a vote to approve this project has been delayed. The first time, Chairman Corey Stewart decided to defer the vote until after the Brentsville District had elected their supervisor. Now that the Brentsville District is with a new Supervisor in Jeanine Lawson, why would we see the can kicked down the road yet once again?

The project itself calls for the approval of 1,650 new homes (875 single-family homes and 775 town homes). If approved, Stone Haven seeks to provide the following to the community:

  • 85 Acres with Utilities and access for A much needed 13th High School Site
  • 160 Acres for a newly created park with over 2 miles of trails and connectivity to Broad Run Park
  • 49 Acres for new Sports Fields and recreational facilities
  • A New Village Center for Commercial Retail and employment
  • 3 Miles of road improvements to finish the grid on University Blvd & Rollins Ford Rd

The project has been vetted through the Community as well as the Prince William County for years. Stone Haven was unanimously approved by both the Prince William County Planning Commission as well as the County School Board. So again I ask why the delay? Over the past year I have personally learned a great deal about local politics as I for one would like to see less politics in these types of decisions with a more business-like approach. As someone who was born and raised in this area, I have seen a great deal of change over my life time. I remember having to drive all of the way into Manassas to get on Rt. 66 and when the only thing in Gainesville essentially was the old Atlas Iron Works plant.

Change is good, and I must say that I still am in love with the area I was raised even though it has changed so much. Many of those who oppose the Stone Haven project live in the development area along the Linton Hall corridor and state that they don’t want any more new development. As a resident of this area I understand the needs and challenges for infrastructure to cure our congestion. However, if we deny good development in the development area then what we’re going to end up with is more public facilities in the rural area. Currently, Nokesville Virginia has two high schools 1) Brentsville 2) Patriot High School. So how about a third?* This is the reality we face if we don’t approve Stone Haven, our high schools are busting at the seams and the need of a 13th high school is immediate and we cannot afford to further delay this decision.

The Prince William County School Board cannot afford to purchase 85+ Acres in the development area and if Stone Haven isn’t passed they will no doubt direct their attention to the rural area in search of some affordable farm land to place the 13th High School. I personally have a real issue with limiting property owners in the rural area to one dwelling unit per every 10 Acres without the ability to connect to public utilities, but when we need to build large public facilities we can drop a $100 million dollars on a new high school in a farmer’s corn field. Stone Haven provides the ideal location for our 13th High School and makes too much sense for us to pass up on the opportunity.

Furthermore, if Stone Haven isn’t passed when it comes up for vote again, some will believe that they’ve somehow won or defeated new development. If we attempt to eliminate the number of roof tops from the current proposed project, please be prepared to lose out on some of the offered proffered items. Know this, this property will one day be developed. The question is whether or not it’s going to be one large contiguous beautiful master planned community with one of the most aggressive proffer packages this County has ever seen and/or three or four smaller communities, which will not provide a fraction of the items which Stone Haven has allotted.

I must tell you that I really enjoy all of the new amenities which we’ve added over the past several years. I no longer feel like I need to travel into areas such as Fairfax for that good meal and movie on date night nor to upgrade my wardrobe. Prince William County is becoming more and more a place to legitimately “Live Work & Play” and I welcome the addition of the likes of Cabellas and other Commercial opportunities such as these. These places only choose to locate here when the people they cater to surround them in large numbers.

If you’ve lived here all of your life or just a year or so, I ask you the reader this question: what do you do you want this area to look like in the future, and do you think that Stone Haven is a good fit for that?

Scott Jacobs is a Prince William County born real estate brokerage owner, entrepreneur, husband and father that is actively involved in the local community. Contact information for Jacobs & Co. Realtors  is 703-594-3800. 

This column is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Bristow Beat, its editors, writers or sponsors. 

Editor’s Note: Scott Jacobs ran as an independent candidate for Brentsville Supervisor in the special election, and previously campaigned to be the Republican candidate for Supervisor. 

 

*This article was update to show that Kettle Run is not a Prince William School; however, it does have a Nokesville address as the author asserted in the original post. 

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