December 21, 2008 On Wednesday, December 17, the Stafford County Planning Commission voted 4-2 to deny approval of the Sycamore Hills subdivision plan to build 30 houses on 186 acres of Crow’s Nest (the site area in blue). Sycamore Hills subdivision site Planning Commissioner Ken Mitchell (appointed by Supervisor Paul Milde, R-Aquia) made a motion to defer action on the plan. Commissioner Cecelia Kirkman (appointed by Supervisor Bob Woodson, D-Griffis-Widewater) made a substitute motion to deny approval, citing the plan’s lack of compliance with subdivision and zoning ordinances. Commissioners Kirkman, Ruth Carlone (Hartwood), Archer DiPeppe (Falmouth) and Peter Fields (George Washington) voted in favor of the motion to deny the plan. Commissioners Mitchell and Michael Rhodes (Rockhill) voted against the motion. The property owners may now submit a new application for the Sycamore Hills development, and currently have an application (called “Hickory Hills”) for additional acreage under review. The continuing efforts to develop parts of Crow’s Nest are possible only because the deal that was brokered for the first portion of Crow’s Nest was a sweetheart deal for developers. It paid them a higher-than-market-value price in a rapidly declining housing market, while leaving them free to pursue development on other portions of the peninsula.