by Rose Murphy, Bull Run Observer

19 Oct 2012, p. 3

“How would the development of Stone Haven, the 864-acre tract of land south of Wellington Road and Jiffy Lube Live, affect schools, roads and the quality of life in this area of Brentville Magisterial District?

“These were some of the concerns expressed Oct. 9 by several of the approximately 50 peole attending an infomration meeting sponsored by Prince William County’s Planning Department in Gainesville Middle School.

“In March, Prince William Board of County Supervisors voted not to initiate a comprehensive plan amendment (CPA) for the 340-acre Hunter tract in the area, deciding instead to do a wider study.  A preliminary report on the study was presented by the Planning Department July 12 at a public session, and a study group was formed.

“The study group came up with four different land use maps for the area, and a ‘blended’ map after a Sept. 6 public information meeting.  The ‘blended’ proposal has general office, light industrial and service uses, low density residential uses, paks and open space with tree save areas and a transitional area featuring office, commercial, light industrial, medium density housing and/or public uses.

“Chris Price, a county planning director, told the audience that supervisors could vote Nov. 27 on whether to initiate the CPA.  If initiated, the planning staff would study the proposal.  Public hearings would then be scheduled by the planning commission and board of supervisors.

“Price noted the community is concerned with growth in the area and that there is little support for office, industrial or commercial development along Linton Hall Road.  The study area is west of Devlin Road, north of Linton Hall Road and east of Limestone Drive.  There also is little support for residential development along Wellington Road.  While there is general support for the road network in the comprehensive land use plan, residents believe more schools, recreation, open space and community facilities are necessary.

“The planning director said there is support for having employment uses in the area, as well as continguous open space and preservation of environmentally sensitive areas.  Transitional areas should have buffers betwen more intense uses.

“Price noted outstanding concerns include the need for a well-integrated mix of uses, identifying and mitigating impact of the residential uses and determining if the proposed open space corridor along Piney Branch should expand to a broader trail or open space network.

“During the question segment a woman in the audience asked if the 13th county high school, planned to open in 2019, would be in the Stone Haven area.  Dave Beavers, of the school district’s planning staff, said this is ‘a potential site,’ but that the school could be built elsewhere.

“Jeanine Lawson contended both Patriot and Battlefield high schools are overcrowded and that thousands of residential units are being built in the area.  Beavers reported that student projections for Patriot High School ‘told us one thing, then went up 22 percent.’

“Another woman in the audience asked if the 12th high school, planned for mid-county, instead could be built in the Brentsville area.  Beavers said planning a high school involves a five-year time frame.  The process starts with identifying a site and buying it, and ‘it’s not a quick turnaround,’ he noted.

Another audience member asked if overcrowding could involved students’ being bused across county as was done several years ago.  Beavers answered that the school board determines school boundary lines, and ‘we do the best we can.’

“A woman told the group she can hear events at Jiffy Lube Live and expressed concern that no one would want to buy a home near the facility.  She said that, and the overhead power lines from Dominion Virginia Electric Co., could lead to low-income housing in the area.”