In a Nov. 6 meeting, the Culpeper Board of Supervisors voted 6-1 to approve the long-stalled Clevengers Corner project – now called Clevengers Village -- planned for the intersection of U.S. 211 and Va. 229 on the western edge of Fauquier County. The project calls for 750 to 800 new homes, plus about 400,000 square feet of commercial space. The property is owned by Saadeh Financial LLC of Woodbridge.
John Egertson, Culpeper County administrator said that subdivision and site plan approvals are still needed. He added, “It will take significant time to go through the subdivision approval process. I have no indication from the developer as to his timeline.”
As recently as July 25, at a combined town of Warrenton/Fauquier County meeting, the possibility of a long-discussed mixed-use development at Clevengers Corner in Culpeper County was discussed as an inevitability. The project had town officials in Warrenton concerned about additional traffic volume on U.S. 211 (Frost Avenue) in Warrenton, which intersects with Broadview Avenue.
Town Manager Brandie Schaeffer said in an email Sunday, “The Town of Warrenton has spent considerable effort this last year working to recruit retail with our consultant Retail Strategies. Online shopping has already altered the retail market leading to smaller square footage stores requiring creative solutions to fill old space. Our efforts to fill the vacated Sears store with HomeGoods and Ulta are a win, but I remain concerned about the viability of the retail market at Clevengers and the associated traffic from the residential component.”
She added, “We will continue to work with our partners at Planning District 9 to plan for regional traffic solutions.”
Town Councilman Robert Kravetz (Ward 4) agreed with Schaeffer, and Councilman Jerry Wood (Ward 1) added, “It definitely will have an effect on the traffic on Va. 211 and Broadview Ave, especially at the light.” He did see a positive to the project, though: “the increase in business all along that corridor, for the shopping center on 211 and Broadview.”
Chris Granger of the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors (Center District) in an email over the weekend expressed disappointment in the lack of conversation Culpeper has had with Fauquier officials on this development. He said, “Fauquier has made concerted efforts to concentrate quality development in our service districts. This development on the edge of Fauquier County will have significant impacts on traffic that were not mitigated by the developer.
“Ultimately, we need to ensure Fauquier taxpayers will not bear the burden of the Culpeper County Board of Supervisor’s poorly planned and mitigated development.”
Board Chairman Chris Butler (Lee District) said in an email, “I agree with Mr. Granger in that this will definitely impact traffic and congestion in the Town of Warrenton. I would hope Culpeper will push for the commercial uses first, but I know the familiar plea ‘we need rooftops to support the commercial.’
Butler added that he hadn’t see the application yet but will ask county staff to obtain the details this week.
Broadview Avenue upgrade
At the July 25 meeting, Schaeffer said that a planned upgrade of Broadview Avenue should make the road safer but won’t address the volume issue. The Broadview project calls for controlled turns and breaks in a new raised median from Waterloo Street/Va. 211 to Winchester Street/U.S. 17. The $8 million project is scheduled to get underway in 2022.
Schaeffer said “there’s no ability for us to handle that traffic” on Broadview Avenue.
County Administrator Paul McCulla agreed that options will have to be explored. “… that question [of how to handle the traffic] will have to be asked and answered,” he said.
He said one alternative route – the winding Va. 688, Leeds Manor Road – has its own problems. “Let’s face it, it is a tough road to drive,” said McCulla.
A Timber Fence Parkway shortcut connection between U.S. 17 and U.S. 211 was proposed years ago to relieve traffic on Broadview; it was opposed by Olde Gold Cup and Silver Cup subdivision residents and was never built. A previous board of county supervisors opposed it as well. Silver Cup is in the county and Olde Cup is in the town.
The existing Timber Fence Road runs between Bear Wallow Road and dead ends near Fauquier High School. The people in Ward 4 would be impacted by a connected road.
Kravetz said after the July 25 meeting that he’s neither for nor against a parkway at this time.
“There are many unknowns” about such a project, he said.
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