After hearing from nearly 60 people, the Prince William County Planning Commission voted unanimously on Wednesday to defer a rezoning application for a 92-acre mixed-use development proposal on the Kline property near Prince William Parkway and Liberia Avenue.
Before the planning commission adjourned the meeting at 12:40 a.m., the board deferred approving or denying the application until its meeting on October 2.
The proposed development in the Coles District includes 310 residences, including houses and townhomes, 145,000 square feet of commercial space, a park and a site to be dedicated to the county for a school and three outdoor playing fields.
Under the property’s current agricultural zoning, nine single-family homes could be built without any zoning changes, said Scott Meyer, the county’s planner assigned to the Kline rezoning proposal
While some people spoke in favor of the proposal, most opposed it due to existing traffic, overcrowded schools or concerns about the impact on water systems, among other concerns.
In November 2017, the planning commission voted 6-2 to deny a key zoning change requested by Stanley Martin Homes, a Reston-based developer, for a similar proposal.
A representative of Stanley Martin said the development would offer space for three bus stops to OmniRide, which would require OmniRide approval, and also would build sidewalks within the development.
In May, the Prince William County School Board issued a development impact statement that said it opposes the development.
Planning commission member William Milne, who represents the Occoquan District, said the bulk of the 500 emails he received about the proposal discuss existing traffic concerns.
Planning commission member Edgar Bruce Holley, Neabsco representative, said the proposal is like "building a city right in the middle of a residential community."
Occoquan resident Jen Gettys started a petition to oppose the development in 2017. Then, the petition received 4,200 signatures. Since the new proposal became public, the petition has grown to 6,100 signatures, she said. Gettys said she primarily opposes the project due to existing traffic, especially near Yates Ford Road.
Coles district resident Gustavo Mansilla said he opposes the development right now, because of existing traffic on Va. Route 28.
"Not only is traffic keeping me from my family, it's spilling into neighborhoods," he said.
Mansilla said he wants the Kline family to be able to sell their property, but he wants it to coincide with improvements on Route 28.
Currently the county has about $100 million toward a $300 million Va. Route 28 widening or bypass project. The project is still in the design phase.
Prince William County voters will decide whether or not the county should borrow up to $355 million to fund road projects, including $200 million for either a Route 28 bypass or widening project.