UPDATE AS OF FEBRUARY 22, 2021: Downzoning is expected to be back on the agenda for the Board’s meeting on Tuesday, March 2 at 3:00pm. The building will be reopen to the public so the Board will have the chance to hear public comment. There are three ways to get involved if you or your clients are concerned about this issue.
1. Email all of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors members and tell them how you feel. A sample email and contact information is provided below.
2. Attend the Board Meeting on Tuesday, March 2 at 3:00pm. The opportunity to speak is at the very start of the meeting and each person making a public comment will have 3 minutes. Sample talking points are posted below. The meeting will take place in the Board Chambers at 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, Virginia.
3. Submit public comments prior to the meeting. If you cannot make the meeting or do not wish to attend in person, but want your comments as part of the public record, you can submit your comments via the County’s website. Use the button below to access the comment portal. Please note, the site is ONLY ACTIVE starting at 8:00am on Friday, February 26 through 4:30pm on Monday, March 1.
UPDATE AS OF JANUARY 20, 2021: The downzoning item was removed from the Consent Agenda and was discussed at length at the Tuesday, January 19, 2021 Board of Supervisors meeting. After competing motions to dismiss downzoning and to send it back to the Planning Commission, the ultimate decision was to defer the item again until the public can safely return to the Board Chambers and fully engage. The item is expected to be back on the agenda for the Tuesday, February 16, 2021 meeting. FAAR will continue to monitor this situation closely and keep our members apprised of any Board action. While downzoning remains on the table, there was interest expressed in looking at some of the Planning Commission’s other ideas.
Interested members can access more materials related to downzoning below including a sample letter to send directly to the Board of Supervisors. Click here to read an article in the Free Lance Star about the Board’s action from January 19.
Downzoning is still on the table, so we need our members to keep letting elected officials know that we care! Consider sending emails to the Stafford County Board of Supervisors to let them know of your opposition.
Supervisor Meg Bohmke: firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervisor Tom Coen: email@example.com
Supervisor Cindy Shelton: firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervisor Tinesha Allen: email@example.com
Supervisor Gary Snellings: firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervisor Crystal Vanuch: email@example.com
Supervisor Mark Dudenhefer: firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE as of January 2021: Due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19, Stafford County is deferring action on downzoning until the public can safely engage at County Board of Supervisors meetings. The issue is still on the table, but we expect consideration to be mid-February or later. FAAR continues to monitor this situation and provide input to the Board. It is important that our members do the same! Consider using the sample letter linked below to send an email to the Stafford County Board of Supervisors. Click here to read an article posted in the Free Lance Start about this issue on January 18, 2021.
UPDATE as December 2020: Stafford County has posted the agenda for the 12/15 Board Meeting. The agenda has been posted here for anyone who wants to check it out. The Board has added a resolution stating their desire to see an exemption for Family Subdivision.
SAY NO TO STAFFORD COUNTY DOWNZONING!
Stafford County continues to pursue efforts to downzone property in the A-1 agricultural zoning district. This effort will now require more acreage to create a buildable lot, changing the minimum lot size from 1 house per 3 acres to 1 house per 10 acres. This action will reduce land values in the rural areas, decimate decades of wealth creation for Stafford County families, and will rob landowners of the right to do with their land as they see fit.
The County’s own Commissioner of the Revenue estimates that a 10-acre downzoning could reduce rural land values between 50% and 60%. (Check out his video explaining how that will happen here.) Those that would be most impacted are smaller landowners who typically use their acreage to subdivide for family or to sell off a lot or two to fund college or retirement. In fact, the County is only off 94 homes from their Comprehensive Plan target for rural housing development. The vast majority of development in the County happens in suburban areas so any reduction in rural housing growth will be negligible.