Follow Up Letter to Prince William County Zoning Administrator After the December 18, 2003 Meeting

December 28, 2003

Mr. Sherman Patrick
Prince William County Zoning Administrator
1 County Complex
Prince William, VA 22192

Dear Mr. Patrick,

Thank you for meeting with community members to review concerns about proffer violations at Saratoga Hunt. We recognize Saratoga Hunt's potential to demonstrate the process for implementing developer commitments in Prince William County and appreciate the County's attention to this serious issue.

From this meeting, we understand that the developer representatives from Richmond American agreed to accomplish most requirements detailed in the review of proffered conditions attached to the December 8 2003 stop work order. Richmond American expressed reluctance to comply with conditions regarding some stormwater and other intrusions into the RPA. They also expressed concerns about compliance with the identification of some grave boundaries and setbacks.

The County also discussed the use of 2:1 slopes and retaining walls with Richmond American. Richmond American is required to submit a revised subdivision plan, which will include the changes needed to restore encroachments into conservation areas and original landscape conditions (grading), satisfy revegetation requirements and provide a cash escrow to cover 100% of projected restoration costs.

The County conveyed that Richmond American was required to submit documentation that demonstrated compliance with proffered comments to identify and protect cultural resources. The Prince William County Historical Commission would then review this information and make a recommendation to the Zoning Administrator regarding compliance with the proffers, including recommendations for mitigation if violations are identified.

The County committed to investigate erosion and stormwater issues, with special attention to areas that surround Bel Air Plantation and Silverdale. The County supports citizens request for Richmond American to voluntarily place a conservation easement on all open space areas. The County will verify that open space and buffer requirements are met.

We discussed concerns about disconnects between Prince William County and the Virginia Dept. of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) permitting processes for impacts to stream corridor and wetland areas. At Saratoga Hunt, there are inconsistencies in permitted activities and the County agreed to host a meeting with VDEQ and community members to discuss solutions. The County agreed to provide VDEQ with a copy of Saratoga Hunt's new site plan and ensure that permits are consistent with proffered commitments.

The new development intrudes on some homes in the Cardinal Ridge subdivision. The County agreed to encourage the addition of a fence and trees along this border, which would send a strong message of good will into the community at a minimal cost to the developer. There was concern that “Saratoga Hunt” was inappropriate for the name of the new development and the County agreed to communicate this to Richmond American.

The County agreed to provide meeting participants with a copy of the timeline showing projected deadlines for compliance with proffers at Saratoga Hunt. Additionally, the County verbally referenced a supplementary letter written to Richmond American and agreed to provide meeting participants with a copy of this letter.

Citizens were promised a walk-through when a revised site plan is submitted. We understood that the stop work order for Saratoga Hunt would remain in place as long as outstanding proffer violations exist.

We look forward to receiving copies of the timeline established for proffer compliance and the supplementary letter referenced at our meeting. Also, we would appreciate receiving current information on the status of the stop work order, revised site plan and establishment of the escrow account for monies required to mitigate damages.

Again, thank you for meeting with Prince William citizens to share information on Saratoga Hunt compliance issues. We look forward to hearing from you.


Kim Hosen
Executive Director

cc: Meeting Participants

Saratoga Hunt: A Case Study in Failed Planning
Prince William Conservation Alliance