Downtown Stafford? Creating a downtown area for Staffordmust start with a common vision. Stafford County’s population exploded in the late 90’s and early to mid 2000’s as people working in and around Washington DC chose Staffordas the place to live and raise a family. This phenomenon left us in many respects a “bedroom community.” Stafford was left with a sprawling population with no center where residents needed to drive long distances to shop, recreate, eat, and work.
The vision is a mixed use area that is pedestrian friendly and offers a variety of dining, retail, and professional office opportunities. In an effort to create a “downtown” area around the Courthouse, the Board of Supervisors took several affirmative steps towards this eventuality. After designating an area as the Courthouse area as a “redevelopment area”, and agreeing on a common vision, the Board of Supervisors set forth a two year master planning exercise that will inform the details such as a zoning category, transportation corridors, possibly even tax credits or economic zones that will encourage and incentivize land owners to develop consistent with this vision.
The Board of Supervisors also voted to rezone all industrial and heavy industrial land in the Courthouse area to a category more conducive to a pedestrian friendly mixed use neighborhood. The existing trucking companies and heavy industrial businesses may continue to operate but may not expand with industrial uses. When the master planning is completed and the details are worked out around 2010, this new plan will likely become part of the county’s land use plan along with the other three master planned redevelopment areas being developed for Stafford at Boswell’s Corner, Falmouth, and Southern Gateway.
For more information on the Courthouse Area Redevelopment Master Plan, please visit Courthouse Area Redevelopment Master Plan