Supporters of Crow’s Nest have won a significant victory. By a unanimous 7-0 vote, the Stafford County Planning Commission rejected the proposed development plan for Crow’s Nest at its January 25 meeting.  The plan, submitted by Crow’s Nest property owner, Stafford Lakes LP (a.k.a. K&M Properties), proposed to build 688 houses on the rugged terrain of the environmentally sensitive peninsula.   The Commission rejected the idea, citing numerous examples of where the plan did not comply with County regulations.  The vote was consistent with the recommendation of the CountyPlanning staff which, earlier in the day, reversed its original recommendation and, upon closer study of the plan, recommended rejection of the application.

The vote was the culmination of a year-long effort by citizens who have insisted that the proposed plan to develop Crow’s Nest did not comply with County and State regulations.  Citizens also argued that the plan would be an environmental disaster that would destroy a unique regional natural resource, and would end up costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars in subsidies to developers.  During a public comment period at the beginning of the Planning Commission meeting, representatives from “Save Crow’s Nest,” the Crow’s Nest Defense Fund, the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust, and Attorney David Bailey summarized the many problems with the proposed development plan.  Bailey represents local residents who had appealed the Planning Director’s original certification of the Crow’s Nest plan as meeting all applicable County codes.

Despite the unanimous rejection of the plan, the developers have initiated a legal challenge to the Planning Commission decision.  Assuming litigation fails, the owner’s could then re-start the entire process by submitting a new plan.  Our hope is, however, that with the prospects of development diminishing, a deal to preserve the peninsula could be in place before that happens.

Read the Free Lance-Star report on the decision and the developer’s legal challenge.