Page 2 of 2   <      

Prince William allows Avendale development in Rural Crescent

Opponents said the project will further strain overwhelmed roads and overcrowded schools. County documents show that the three schools near the development -- Nokesville Elementary, Marsteller Middle and Brentsville District High schools -- are overcapacity. The county's School Board and Planning Commission had recommended blocking the development.

"Every school is overcapacity, and my kids attend the fifth-closest elementary because of overcrowding," Prince William resident Richard Hansford said Tuesday. "We need to put new schools in" before there is more development, he said.

Mike Lubeley, an attorney for Brookfield, said the developer won't submit building permits until two new elementary schools and a new high school open in the Linton Hall area. County officials said those schools are set to open in fall 2011.

Opponents of the project also brought up a pledge supervisors May, Principi, Stirrup and board Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large) signed during the 2007 election to protect the Rural Crescent. After the vote, Stewart put forward, and the board passed, a resolution reaffirming supervisors' commitment to preserve the Rural Crescent.

Supporters, who mostly came from the football league Tuesday, stressed the lack of recreational resources in the county. Supporters at a previous public hearing had praised the quality of Brookfield's developments and called the project a chance to create a pristine neighborhood. A few real estate agents also spoke in favor of the development Tuesday.

"I live here, work here and own a business here. We are experiencing a lack of inventory . . . and very needed amenities," said Kathleen Kennedy of the Prince William Association of Realtors. "I urge you to support any development that will . . . help increase inventory and stabilize the market."

Lubeley said it will take about eight years for the project to be built out.

<       2

© 2010 The Washington Post Company