Residents fight rural development in Gainseville

Residents of Virginia Oaks in Gainesville are circulating a petition protesting the construction of a new 660 home development, saying it will further strain area roads.

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors is set to vote Tuesday on the Meadows at Morris Farm, following a public hearing.

The 268-acre development on the south side of Glenkirk Road is about a quarter of a mile from its intersection with Linton Hall Road. Instead of the one home per ten acres allowed under the current agricultural zoning, Morris Family Investments Inc., is proposing to build 2.46 single family homes, townhouses, or apartments per acre. An elementary school is also planned for the site.

Gainesville is one of the fastest growing areas of the county, with residents consistently expressing concern about traffic.

“The plan doesn’t call for any enhancements to Glenkirk Road,” said Mariano Pernigotti, a resident of Virginia Oaks. He has been circulating a petition asking residents not to support the development without adequate infrastructure in place first.

With 660 proposed new homes at Morris Farm, 400 homes to be built at Broad Run Oaks to the north and another 500 homes proposed to the northeast, Pernigotti said there will be too many cars using Glenkirk Road.

“I’ve accepted there will be development in our county and our state because there’s only so much land, but I just want to make sure the roads can handle it,” he said.

Pernigotti is also president of the Virginia Oaks Homeowners Association. He said Friday he was speaking on his own behalf because he hasn’t approached the association board yet to ask for a coalition to join the opposition. That will happen on Jan. 27, he said.

The development is expected to generate 6,600 vehicle trips per day, which exceeds the thresholds for traffic set by the county, county planner David Grover said in a Jan. 14 staff report. Despite that, the planning staff and planning commission have are in favor of it.

Morris Family Investments has offered to pay the county $3.4 million in cash, or proffers, to make up for the transportation impacts, and has promised an interparcel connector to the adjoining undeveloped land to the west.

Grover said people who live in the Meadows at Morris Farm could get there from either Rollins Ford Road or Glenkirk. But Pernigottis said there are no promises Glenkirk will be improved.

It’s up to Morris Family Investments, “at its sole discretion” to construct improvements to Rollins Ford Road “prior to or in place of constructing improvements to existing Glenkirk Road,” the staff report said.

Pernigotti wants Glenkirk Road to be widened and signage added at its intersection with Linton Hall to make conditions safer.

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