Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors rejects planned community on Lake Anna

by | May 29, 2024 | ALLFFP, Government, Housing, Spotsylvania

When Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors Chair Jacob Lane attended recent graduation parties and Memorial Day cookouts, one topic dominated conversation amongst his Livingston District constituents. 

Residents wanted to know Lane’s stance on a proposed 40-home development on Lake Anna near the Orange County line. 

“I depend on my constituents for feedback in how I’m going to vote,” Lane said. “I am their representative. I am put here to represent their will, and the overwhelming feedback has not been positive for this project.” 

The project struggled to garner support from anyone other than the county staff who recommended approval. 

The Planning Commission recommended denial by a 7-0 vote. Every resident who appeared at Tuesday night’s board of supervisors meeting recommended denial, as well. 

The supervisors followed suit with a 6-0 vote against the rezoning of 131.9 acres from “resort agricultural” to “planned residential rural” for the development of the single-family detached dwellings. Salem District Supervisor Deborah Frazier was absent. 

Nearby residents were concerned about how the project would affect the rural character of the area. They also mentioned the large scale of the development, potential issues with boat traffic in that area of the lake, algae bloom and other environmental concerns. 

“To say you can put 40 houses on there and a boat dock and a clubhouse and a swimming pool and say you’re not going to disrupt the rural quality of it, that’s absolutely absurd,” resident John Conway said. “So, I would hope [the supervisors] would say ‘no’ to this project, and I certainly would be glad if you did.” 

Louisa County-based attorney Torrey Williams represented the applicant WC Lake Anna, LLC.  

The property in question, known as the Hayden Property, was also the subject of a proposed RV park, which was denied in 2022.  Williams said the previous denial was heard “loud and clear,” and he believed his client addressed all concerns related to that project. 

The proffers for the 40 homes included a right-of-way dedication, a right-in turn lane and a right-out taper. Also added was a historical preservation effort, a plan to mitigate the harmful effects of algae bloom and a $500 cash contribution to public schools per unit. 

“It’s not advantageous to our group, my client, to do something that’s going to be harmful for the lake,” Williams said. “That’s why the proffers are so extensive … so cutting edge.” 

The proffers made the project favorable to staff, but the findings against it included inconsistency with agricultural and forest land use, traffic safety and groundwater impacts. 

Twenty-eight homes would’ve been built on two-acre lots, with 12 others on one-acre lots. The plans included a swimming pool with a clubhouse, boat launch, covered boat docks, dog park, two green walking trails and preservation of a historic building. 

“The developers feel like they want to have this special resort community,” resident Donna Curley said. “This is not the right spot for it … For us that pay a lot of taxes to live on the lake, we love it. We appreciate it. But we pay for that privilege. Nobody built our boathouse.” 

In other business Tuesday, the supervisors voted 6-0 to approve the Broaddus Development Project which required rezoning of one 78.7-acre parcel from agricultural to industrial for the development of a warehouse and distribution center in the Thornburg area off Mudd Tavern Road. 

The board voted 6-0 to approve the fiscal year 2025-30 six-year plan which requires $2.5 million in additional funding for local transportation projects. The funds include $2.2 million for construction projects and approximately $350,000 for unpaved road projects. 

The board also voted 6-0 to approve the Cable Franchise Agreement between Comcast of California/Maryland/Pennsylvania/Virginia/West Virginia, LLC and Spotsylvania County. The agreement authorizes Comcast to provide cable television service in the county. It does not address broadband services, which the county has no authority to regulate. 

The board voted 6-0 to deny amendments to the subdivision and zoning ordinances with a recommendation to have a work session later to discuss possible revisions.  

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