December 13th, Stafford Lakes LP (also known as K&M Properties) submitted a by-right development plan for 646 houses on 2,536 acres on the Crow’s Nest peninsula. (By-right means that the developer is entitled to approval of the plan as long as the developer complies with every aspect of the subdivision, zoning and other County ordinances.)

Each lot is a minimum of one acre, and all lots will be served by well and septic systems. Proposed houses have a 3,000 square foot footprint (with two floors the house size could equal 6,000 square feet), and will also have 1,100 square foot driveways. Each house will have a drainfield and reserve drainfield, a well site, and two “biorentention facilities” (rain gardens to handle stormwater run-off). Although the proposed plan calls for 20% of vegetation on each lot to be left undisturbed, it is difficult to imagine how the subdivision can be accomplished without clearcutting the ridges to make way for the lots.

According to the proposed plan, the subdivision will generate an estimated 6,460 vehicle trips per day. All cars will make their way to the subdivision through one entry point onto Raven Road (a narrow gravel road that has a one lane bridge with weight restrictions), as it enters Brook Road across from Loblolly Lane.

Since it is unable to find a buyer for Crow’s Nest, we’re not surprised that K&M is exploring its own ‘by-right’ development option.  But it’s unconscionable that the Board of Supervisors has let this get this far.

It will be terrible if this plan moves forward. One house on Crow’s Nest is one house too many.  This is land that should be preserved for public use.  The County has the money (the conservation loan from DEQ). The Board needs to act now to purchase and preserve all of Crow’s Nest.