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Stafford County Growth

Stafford County’s rapid growth is not a secret to anyone. Over the past couple of years the ill effects of residential growth have become more apparent and caused many citizens to get involved and start taking action to encourage the Board of Supervisors to take measures to slow the growth. Over the past week the Planning Commission held two public hearings that highlighted citizen activism and the call for slowing growth.

The first public hearing the Planning Commission held was on a residential proposal known as Cardinal Meadows. Located adjacent to Rodney Thompson Middle School and the Amyclae subdivision, the application proposed 72 new homes. The public hearing brought out a number of residents of Amyclae and the surrounding area to express their thoughts about the application. Most spoke against the application and asked the Planning Commissioners to vote “no” and send the Board the Supervisors a recommendation of “Denial” on the application.

The Commission voted unanimously 7-0 to recommend “Denial” of the application to the Board of Supervisors.

The second pubic hearing brought out even more people to the public comment potion.  The subject of the public hearing was to provide the Board of Supervisors a recommendation regarding repeal of the Cluster Ordinance.

The intent of the Cluster Ordinance is to preserve green space and cluster homes sites closer together in developments.   It is supposed to create open space in rural areas that can be used for various recreational activities.   By state code Stafford County is supposed to have a cluster option in land development due to its size and growth rate.

The Board of Supervisors and others are concerned the Cluster Ordinance as it is currently implemented does little to preserve open space and that developers have taken advantage of the ordinance to gain bonus density and to claim land that cannot otherwise be built on as open space.  However, that open space then does not meet the recreation requirement of the ordinance.

After nearly two and half hours of citizen comment time the members of the Planning Commission voted 5-2 to recommend to the Board of Supervisors to repeal the Cluster Ordinance and recommend they work with the community and development community to create an ordinance that works for everyone.

There will certainly be more to come as these issues move on to the Board of Supervisors.

For more information on both of these issues, citizen published blogs and FB page Break the Wheel and Stafford Growing Pains have been covering both of these issues in great detail.

Activism Abound

the people can not be all, & always, well informed. the part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. if they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty.  – Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Stephens Smith, Nov. 13, 1787

Stafford County is a rapidly growing locality.   We have seen our population boom over the last two decades.  While growth can be good and the growing community brings new shopping, eating, recreation and other amenities, the growth is not without its headaches.   Here in Stafford we are in a struggle with how we should grow and how fast we should grow.

With the struggles comes activism from within.   Over the last couple of years challenges that have arisen in the frames of congested roads, loss of open space and crowded schools has encouraged many citizens to become active in their community and speak out about where the county is going and how we are growing.

Recently there have been a few Facebook Pages and websites pop-up and grow with community activists express their positions and encouraging others to get informed and get involved.

A couple you may have heard of and follow:

  • Save our Stafford Schools –
  • Stafford Citizens for School Parity –
  • Stafford Growing Pains –
  • Break the Wheel –  &

We have seen these pages and websites informing, activating and making change in Stafford County.  It has also encouraged elected officials to get active on social media and respond to the many citizens they have heard from due to the increased activism.

So why this site?   The goal of Stafford County Forum is to provide an location to inform and provide a location for discussion.  First and foremost the forum is non-partisan and non-bias towards issues.   Our goal is to inform citizens of Stafford County about activity of their government at the local, state and federal level.