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The Southbridge Sentinel - Your Independent News Source

- (2/24/2008) The new Wegman's is slated to open in June 2008. 

- (2/24/2008) A new fire station will be built in River Oaks, across from the Giant supermarket.  It is slated to open later this year. 

- (5/21/2007) The Potomac News reports on the development Potomac Town Center, between Opitz and Dale boulevards, is under construction and set to open in the spring of 2008.  What's truly interesting is the fact that the Potomac Town Center will include the high-end Wegman's supermarket.  Currently, the nearest Wegman's is in Fairfax.  This development plus the new Harris Teater in Woodbridge demonstrate the development of desired high-end shopping opportunities within Prince William County.  For more, go to:

Potomac News Online | Wegmans set to open in 2008

- (11/23/2006) The Potomac News reports that Harbor Station developer KSI has agreed to proffer more than $58 million in exchange for a comprehensive plan amendment, a rezoning and a special use permit at Harbor Station South on the Cherry Hill Peninsula.  For more, go to:

Potomac News OnLine: Harbor Station Gets OK

- (11/22/2006) The Washington Post reports on the opening of the new National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle:

Hoping Corps Lore Lures in Tourists - washingtonpost.com

- (11/22/2006) The Washington Post reports on KSI plans for expansion on Cherry Hill:

Despite Lull In Market, KSI Plans Expansion - washingtonpost.com

- (10/10/2006) The followed shop are now open or will be open soon at the new Southbridge Plaza:

-- 5 Guys Burgers                                -- Frame Masters                                    -- AutoZone

-- Quiznos Subs                                  -- Burke & Herbert Bank and Trust            -- Southbridge Barber Shop

-- Mattress Discounters                       -- Confidence Realty                                -- Queenly Nails 

-- NOVA Wireless                               -- United Martial Arts                               

- (10/5/2006) The Potomac News reports Dumfries' plans to annex additional surrounding areas.

Potomac News Online | Dumfries looks at expanding its limits

- (10/2/2006) The Potomac News reports on KSI's application to the County Planning Commission on the expansion of Harbor Station South:

Potomac News Online | KSI plans Harbor Station expansion

- (9/4/2006) The Potomac News announces the groundbreaking of the new Catholic high school at Harbor Station:

Potomac News Online | Groundbreaking set for Catholic school

- (8/21/2006) News Channel 8 and The Potomac News have reported that there will be public hearing about the influx at more commands.  The hearing will take place on Tuesday night, AUG 22, 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Ramada Inn in Triangle to get comments from residents as part of the base's process to develop an Environmental Impact Statement related in part to the Base Realignment and Closure recommendations that will move several military agencies to Quantico.

NewsChannel 8 - Public Input Sought on Quantico Base Growth

Potomac News Online | Marines want a piece of your mind

- (8/4/2006) The Potomac News discusses the hearings that Congressman Tom Davis is scheduling on the impact of the transfer of more than 22,000 workers to Fort Belvoir:

          Potomac News Online | Officials discuss plans for Belvoir

- (8/4/2006) The Potomac News reports on the confirmation of Chairman Connaughton as head of the U.S. Maritime Administration.

Potomac News Online | Connaughton confirmed by U.S. Senate

- (5/17/2006) The Potomac News reports on the Board of Supervisors decision to allowed Verizon to provide cable services in Prince William County:

Potomac News Online | Verizon will enter local cable market

- (5/17/2006) The Washington Post reports on the discretionary spending of the PWC Supervisors:

Public Funds Spent at Officials' Whim

- (5/10/2006) The Potomac News reports on the development of the Route 1 corridor:

Potomac News Online | Corridor getting developed

- (4/20/2006) The Potomac News reports on the development of the Costco store at Potomac Mills, due to open by November:

Potomac News Online | Costco plans announced

- (4/17/2006) The Potomac News reports on the possible development of a Costco store by Potomac Mills where the old Van's Skate Park was located.

Potomac News Online | Supervisors to consider Costco

- (3/30/2006) The Potomac News reports on developments with the new Catholic high school on Cherry Hill:

Potomac News Online | Catholic school moves forward

- (12/20/2005) News Channel 8 has reported that VDOT intends to go ahead with creating HOT lanes for both I-95 and I-395.  To see more, go to:  NewsChannel 8 - VDOT Building HOT Lanes for I-95, 395 

- (10/19/2005) It's finished!  Prince William County reports the completion of the Prince William County Parkway, all the way to Route 1.  To see more, go to:

Prince William County - Visitors / News Releases & Publications / 2005

- (10/4/2005) The Potomac News reports on the donation of 30 acres by KSI to the Leesylvania State Park:

Potomac News Online | KSI donates land to park

- (6/19/2005) The Washington Post reports on the future development of the Town of Quantico in the face of the upcoming base realignments.

Quantico Looking to a Busier Future

- (5/24/2005) The Potomac News reports on attempts by the Board of Supervisors to change development planning rules which can affect local developmenst such as Harbor Station:

Potomac News Online | Supervisors put planning measure on hold

- (5/19/2005) The Potomac News reports on an arrest from the dog-biting incident:

Potomac News Online | Man arrested for brother's dogs

- (5/18/2005) The Potomac News reports on the dog biting incident in which three children were bitten by dogs on Wexford Loop by two dogs, including a pit bull. 

Potomac News Online | Police looking for dog owners

- It's official, Southbridge, Virginia is now an address! 

Potomac News Online | County gets Postal Service overhaul

- (2/24/2005) The Washington Post reports on the proposed property tax for Prince William County:

Pr. William Property Tax Cut Proposed (washingtonpost.com)

- (1/12/2005) Delegate Jeff Frederick reports on his web site that he secure funding to expand the commuter lot on Route 234:

Delegate Jeff Frederick | News

- (1/12/2005) The Potomac News has a report on residents' complaints on mud and debris covering Possum Point Road from all the developments.:

Potomac News:  Road Work Muddies Up Dumfries

- (1/12/2005) Good News!  The Potomac News reports that VA Department of Environmental Quality has ordered the close of the Potomac Landfill by December 31, 2010. 

State Says That LandFill Must Be Closed by 2010

- (1/12/2005) The Washington Post reports on Prince William County's efforts to bring in better paying jobs in our area:

County Aims to Add Better-Paying Jobs (washingtonpost.com)

- (1/12/2005) The Potomac News reports on how the discovery of abestos at the Quantico train has delayed its opening as a museum:

Potomac News Online | Quantico train station delayed, not derailed

- (12/14/2004) Supervisor Maureen Caddigan released a statement about recent developments on Route 234.  They are included on our Local Transportation page.  Also, there is a Potomac News article on the subject.

- (12/5/2004) The Potomac News has 2 reports on the developments with Harbor Station:

Potomac News Online | Harbor Station construction begins after plan's approval

Potomac News Online | Some residents still concerned over KSI's plan

- (11/25/2004) Southbridge HOA President Jim Riley announced that he received the following information from KSI:

KSI is planning to begin construction at Harbor Station next week.  The County has approved an early clearing and grading plan for the first portion of the new Cherry Hill Road and Harbor Station Parkway.  We expect to have our final permits in hand by Monday, November 29th. Surveyors have been flagging the limits of clearing for this activity over the past several weeks.  We are also in the process of moving the grading equipment onto the site for the start of work next week.

Their initial clearing will not be very extensive because the first step is the installation of our erosion and siltation controls.  It will take about two months to install these E&S Controls. When that is complete, they will begin more extensive and more visible land clearing and grading activities for these initial roads.

The golf course grading plan is still under review at the County, but they hope to obtain permits for the start of its construction within 60 days. 

By the way, the County Planning Commission is going to reconsider our Preliminary Subdivision Plan again next Wednesday, December 1st at  7:00 PM.  I hope that we could again ask for the support of the Association for its approval. There will be an opportunity to express support for Harbor Station at the "Citizen Comment" time at the beginning of the meeting.  They hope that Southbridge Board members could be
there at the McCoart building that evening to let the Planning Commission know that after more than a year of rigorous review, it is time to build Harbor Station. 

- (11/25/2004) This is now a new Republican organization in Southbridge.  For more info, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/southbridge_gop/

- (11/12/2004) Southbridge HOA President Jim Riley has made the following announcement:

Phenita just informed me that KSI just provided us with a signed copy of the agreement on use of the golf course / county club facilities that I previously circulated to you.  To refresh your memories, the long and short of it is that Southbridge and Harbor Station residents will both have equal privileges regarding the course and facilities -- same discount on club membership, same discount on daily greens fees, same preferred tee time status, same 30-day preview window time frame to join before membership is offered to the general public.
 
We are now OFFICIALLY a golf community.  Below are two links, one to the Nicklaus site and the other to the Harbor Station page about the golf course and club.  We should start promoting these links prominently whenever and wherever we can.
 
http://www.nicklaus.com/design/index.php
 
http://www.harborstation.com/countryclub/
 
Here is some text that we can use, slightly modified from the Harbor Station web site version:

Southbridge on the Potomac residents will enjoy special privileges at a championship 18-hole Signature course designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus located in its sister community of Harbor Station. After two years of work, design for the Nicklaus course is complete, with construction expected to begin in late 2004. Partial play will begin in 2006 and the course will be open to full play in 2007. "We will take great care to design a course that takes advantage of this spectacular waterfront location, with its town center and open spaces," said Nicklaus. "This has the potential to be a very special golf course, and one our organization, and most important, the people who play the course, will be proud of in the end."

Here's a link about the hotel and conference center that they just announced for Harbor Station, too.  This one actually has some drawings of it.
 
Also, I just checked out the Lake Manassas web site.  They've got some good ideas that we might be able to adapt for our web site.  http://www.lakemanassas.com  I think that our site still has more to it, but I like the way that they do some things like "Area Highlights," "Gallery," etc.  I really like their color scheme and use of photos, too, and hope that we can emulate that on ours.

- (11/12/2004) The Washington Post reports on delays in building the new Catholic High School:

Washington Post:  New Catholic High School Delayed

 

- (11/5/2004) The Potomac News and The Washington Post have the news about KSI's latest plans for Cherry Hill:

Potomac News: Conference Center Planned for Cherry Hill 

Washington Post: Upscale Hotel Planned in Prince William

- (11/2/2004) People who can hear traffic getting louder near their homes along Va. 234 are encouraged to attend a meeting Thursday with  Delegate Jeff Frederick, R-52nd.  Frederick is hosting the meeting at Forest Park High School with state transportation officials and                 State Sen. Charles J. Colgan, D-29th. He said he's looking for residents' guidance on how long and far he should fight for sound walls.  The  meeting starts at 7:30 p.m., for more info, go to:  Potomac News:  Lawmaker Plans Meeting on I-95 Noise

- (11/1/2004) The Gainesville Times has an interesting article on what happening with the PWC Planning Committee's vote on Harbor Station      and its implications.  However, there is one small error.  It refers to all of Southbridge as now Harbor Station, that is quite wrong.  There are          two separate entities.  The article is as follows:

The Gainesville Times:  Gainesville's Outrage Leads to Cherry Hill Plan Denial

- (10/18/2004) The PWC Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on the 'new' Cherry Hill/Southbridge/Harbor Station site plan, per the information below.

When - Wednesday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m.
Where - McCoart Government Center
Comments - There is no public hearing; citizens who wish to speak must do so at Citizen's Time and can also send  written comments in advance.

To find out more, go to:  http://www.pwconserve.org/issues/cherryhill/index.html

- (9/25/2004) The Potomac News reports on the new Catholic high school in Harbor Station:

Potomac News Online | Catholic school planned near Dumfries

- (8/12/2004) The Potomac News reports on the new Business Park along Route 234.

Potomac News Online | V.A. 234 buisness park underway

- (8/12/2004) The Potomac News Post reports on local officials vision of developments along Route 1:

    Potomac News Online | Planners envision U.S. 1

- (6/25/2004) The Potomac News reports on an interesting twist to the Tim's Rivershore saga:

Potomac News Online | Tim's Rivershore sold to KSI

- (6/25/2004) The Washington Post reports on a development that will provide 150 jobs to the area:

General Dynamics will add 150 workers in Woodbridge

- (6/22/2004) The Potomac News reports on the groundswell of support for Tim's:

Potomac News Online | Community rallies around Tim's Rivershore

- (6/22/2004) The Potomac News has an editorial on the Tim's Rivershore situation:

Potomac News Online | Yet another storm

- (6/22/2004) The Potomac News reports on the developments surrounding KSI's Harbor Station, much of it as                                                                                                       

discussed during the Southbridge Annual meeting:

Potomac News Online | Developer applies to form 'community development authority'

- (6/9/2004) The Potomac News reports on the closing of the outside dining area of Tim's Rivershore:

Potomac News Online | Take it inside

- (6/9/2004) The Potomac News reports on the development of Harbor Station:

Potomac News Online | Developer applies to form 'community development authority'

- (5/12/2004) The Washington Post reports on the continued reduction in crime:

Crime in Prince William Drops for 2nd Year (washingtonpost.com)

- (5/12/2004) The Potomac News reports on the debates over the revitalization of Route 1:

Potomac News Online | Supervisors say no to U.S. 1 redevelopment authority

- (4/30/2004) During last night's Annual Meeting, the following occurred:

   -- April Knaus, Kevin Washington, and Bradley Parkzes were elected to three year terms as Directors.  Kevin Miller was elected to finish

the last two years of John Dittmer's term as Director.

   -- Representatives from Dominion VA Power came and discuss the hum coming from the Possum Point power plant and ways to they

are trying to minimize the noise.

   -- Representatives from KSI, the developers of Harbor Station presented their plans including:

      * A Jack Nicklaus golf course where memberships and green fees will be open for both Harbor Station and Southbridge residents for             the same price. 

      * A VRE Station due to open in 2007 and new to connect the communities to it and stores surrounding it.

      * A Catholic high school and a public elementary school. 

      * An extension of Route 234 from the intersection with Route 1 which connects with streets in Southbridge and Harbor Station, leading             to the VRE. 

It will eliminate most of the junkyard in that area. 

      * Development of the shoreline area, including shops, restaurants, and walking paths. 

  -- Supervisor Maureen Caddigan spoke about developments in the area and her position on local issues.  She also introduced her electronic newsletter

at http://www.dumfries.com

- (3/24/2004) One of our neighbors found the following plans for the area behind the Chick-a-Fil on the Prince William County Parkway.  They           can be viewed at:  http://www.klnb.com/PROPERTIES/pdf/Retail/Parkway_Crossing_East/Parkway_Crossing.pdf.  So, the stores coming in      are: 

Bed, Bath & Beyond
Office Depot
Starbuck's
Next Day Blinds
Cold Stone
Noodles & Company
Recollections

And stores in the area that are moving there are:

Babies R Us
Michael's
Ritz Camera

- (3/24/2004) Southbridge Director Jim Riley spoke with Supervisor Caddigan and she told him about the following future developments along    Route 234:  To the left

of the Four Seasons on Route 234 (just across I-95 from us), a Target, Shoppers Food Warehouse, Starbuck's and Panera Bread will be going     in. To the right of the Four Seasons (behind Tiziano's and Montclair Family Restaurant), there will be additional businesses, possibly including       a Giant supermarket. (Initial plans were for a Safeway, but they decided against it.) 

- (3/24/2004) The Potomac New reports PWC Board of Supervisors Chairman Sean Connaughton is now officially running for Lieutenant      Governor:

   Potomac News Online | Connaughton runs for lieutenant governor

- (3/24/2004) The Potomac News has the following article on Southbridge Director John Harper:

   Potomac News Online | Former school board member charged with posing as officer

- (2/25/2004) Last night, the Southbridge HOA Board of Directors voted on the following items:

    - - Install a new alarm system at the Community Center.

    - - Chose a contractor to perform renovations to the Community Center, especially for the shower rooms.

    - - Pay for additional hours for trash pickup in order to improve the appearance of the streets and parking lots.

- (2/25/2003) The Southbridge HOA will be holding its Annual Meeting & Elections on April 29th, at 7:00 p.m. at Southbridge Elementary School.  There will be

three positions available for the Board of Directors.  More information and nomination forms will be coming out in the HOA newsletter.

- (2/25/2004) Attention drivers, HOV abuse fines may be on their way soon!

    Potomac News Online | HOV fines on the rise

- (2/25/2004) The Washington Post and the Potomac News provides a look at the FY2005 Prince William County budget which may bring               increases in overall property taxes.

    Potomac News Online | BOCS budget brings increases

    Assessments Fuel Spending In Pr. William (washingtonpost.com)

- (2/25/2004) The Washington Post discusses the growth of Comcast as the largest cable provider in the region.

    Comcast Rapidly Built Up Local Presence (washingtonpost.com)

- (2/19/2004) Finally, there is a lasting positive development arising from the fight over the Southbridge Wal-Mart.  It was reported in the          following two articles:

   Pr. William Set to Limit Huge Stores (washingtonpost.com)

   Potomac News Online | Big-box stores may have limit

- (1/19/2004) The link below leads to the PWC Strategic Plan up to Fiscal Year 2005.

    Prince William County - Government / Executive Management / Publications

- (1/19/2003) The Washington Post reports on the effect of the new PWC property tax rates:

    Tax Bills to Rise Despite Plan To Lower Rate (washingtonpost.com)

- (1/19/2004) Sometime during the night of January 14th, after 9:00 pm, the Community Center was broken into.  Somebody pushed out             one of the windows in

the pool area and entered the building.  The police feel sure it was a "larger" person because the doors were pushed in with no foot prints             so they feel it was

pushed in by shoulders.  The Southbridge HOA is in the process of installing an alarm system and making other security improvements.

- (12/17/2003) The ugly, worn wooden fencing between the nice brick fence post columns that we have extending from the Cherry Hill Rd. Southbridge sign is being

removed and replaced with a matching brick half-wall between the columns and topped with wrought iron fencing. This will accent the                Southbridge sign and existing

columns very nicely as well as providing a clearer view of Wal-Mart from Rt. 1. A win-win situation that didn't cost us a dime.  Also, there           have been unofficial

reports that the opening of the Wal-Mart will be delayed until mid-March due to construction delays due to the weather.

- (10/23/2003) The Potomac News reports that the Prince William County Public Works Office has announced some projects for widening         some of the local roads

during the next two years:

    The  Potomac News - Count Announces Road Improvements

- (10/20/2003) Guess who wants to use the Wal-Mart parking lot?  Yes, VDOT wants to use the Wal-Mart as a commuter lot since it can't             build a replacement

for the one that's already over-crowded.  For more info, go to the NBC4 web site:

    Wal-Mart Eyed for Commuter Lot

- (10/6/2003) It seems that KSI is looking to help redesign the Downtown Dumfries area according to the following Washington Post report:

    Washington Post - KSI Hires Firm to Redesign Downtown Dumfries

- (9/26/2003) During the Southbridge HOA meeting on Tuesday night, Mr. David Cloak from KSI did a presentation on the development of         Harbor Station.  Some of the

points he brought up were as follows:

  -- KSI is a local company and wants to be a good neighbor with Southbridge.

  -- KSI will be building the road directly to the VRE station and Town Center first.  They should be completed by late 2006/early 2007.  

  -- The Jack Nicklaus golf course will be open in 2005.  All are eligible to join the club as members.  It will circle the community.

  -- Only the residential areas themselves will be gated.  None of the access road to the VRE station or the Town Center will be gated.  

Mr. Cloak can be reach at dcloak@ketsco.com or (703) 852-5721.

- (8/19/2003) The following is a letter from Supervisor Maureen Caddigan on developments in the Southbridge area:

Dear Southbridge Neighbors,

My thanks are extended to your Board of Directors for allowing me this opportunity to bring you up to date on some issues that affect the         Dumfries District and the

Southbridge Community.

Harbor Station

The Harbor Station community is being designed and developed by KSI, Inc., a local real estate development company that purchased the  property, formerly known as Southbridge, from Legend Properties in December 2002. Plans for the first phase of the golf course community       have recently been submitted to the County for processing.

Ground breaking for the first phase of the community is estimated to be fall of 2004. Sales will open for the first residential phase of Harbor           Station in February 2004.

The first residential neighborhoods will be gated and clustered along the championship golf course being designed by Jack Nicklaus and will         be one of his Signature designs.

The golf course is projected to be open for play in the spring of 2006.

Designs for Downtown Harbor Station are now under way. The Downtown area will contain a mix of retail, residential and office uses located     along the bluffs of the Potomac

River. The first phase of the Downtown area is projected to be started sometime in 2006. The Virginia Railway Express station design is      underway now and the station will

be integrated into Downtown Harbor Station. The projected opening for the VRE station is sometime between 2006 and 2007, subject to the completion of other improvements

that are required up and down the rail line by CSX.

All of the environmental restrictions, open space reservations and wildlife corridors specified in the zoning documents (formerly Southbridge)        will be respected and an elementary school site has been reserved in the first phase of the residential development

Ground breaking for the initial phase of the New Cherry Hill road extension is scheduled for mid- 2004. This 4 lane divided roadway will           provide improved access to Rt. 1 for

the existing residents located along old Cherry Hill Road as well as access to the new Catholic High School. 

Please contact David Cloak, Vice President of Development, KSI, Inc. for further information at http://www.dcloak@ketsco.com/.  or visit their website; http://www.harborstation.com/ 

- (7/3/2003) One of our readers contributed the following story:

KSI now has a Harbor Station website linked to their corporate site (www.harborstation.com). the following information is on the new site:

Thank you for visiting Harbor Station, Northern Virginia's most sophisticated new planned community, located on a scenic bluff high above the Potomac River. Our web site is under construction, but please check back with us often.

By joining the Harbor Station Founders Club (coming soon) you will get periodic updates and invitations to grand opening events.

The Information Center will be opening in October 2003, we look forward to seeing you then. At that time, information on builders, pricing, lot sizes and schedules will be available.

Harbor Station is positioned to be the premiere community in the region. Virtually every element on a new homebuyers wish list has been incorporated into the development. Water views, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, private club, retail and unmatched amenities are all high-impact components. These elements are being designed to be stylish and grandiose, yet functional and innovative so they will stand the test of time. Harbor Station will be a destination...and a combination of elements that balance urban convenience and high quality real estate.

Please stay tuned for more information!  Harbor Station, Dumfries, VA

- (7/2/2003) The Potomac News has the whole story on the double shooting in the community on Monday night:

Potomac News Online | Man charged in double shooting

- The following are the highlights of last night's Southbridge HOA Annual Meeting:

    -- The Annual Meeting will shift from December to April from now on.

    -- The Board will now consist of 9 resident members, all elected by the community.

    -- Legend Properties has put up bonds to cover all of its remaining financial obligations to            Southbridge. 

    -- Supervisor Caddigan announced that construction the golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus will start in 2004 and take            a year and a half to be completed. 

Also, she announced the start of the construction of the Catholic high school will also start next year. 

    -- Based on residents'  votes the following people were elected to the Board of Directors:

     John Dittmer, Jim Riley, April Knaus, Kevin Washington, Charles Young, and Clifford Maxfield

Note: Next Monday, 28 APR at 7:00 p.m., Board of Directors Meeting at the Community Center

- (4/17/2003) The Prince William Times reports that the PWC Su   80,000 square feet.

        Prince William T

- (4/9/2003) The Washington Post reports that Prince William supervisors, all of whom face reelection this fall, will formally          adopt a rate of $1.16 per $100 of assessed value

as part of their overall budget next week:

         Washington Post - Prince William Lowers Tax Rate

- (4/3/2003) There will be a Charette (meeting) held at the social hall of the Dumfries Triangle Volunteer Fire Department in             Triangle from 10:00AM to 3:00PM on May 3rd to

discuss the revitalization of Route 1 in the Triangle area. Citizens and local business people are encouraged to give input to the plans. This is an opportunity to let officials

know what you think and to express what you would like to see as the results of this major undertaking. Interested citizens          can stop by at any time throughout the day.

- (4/3/2003) Work is now underway to clear the location for the Marine Corps Heritage Center on land donated by the County           in Locust Shade Park. An official

groundbreaking will be scheduled next month. The first phase of the Center is scheduled for opening in 2005 and our                 infrastructure must be in place prior to that opening. The item

above dealing with Route 1 is directly connected to this subject.

- (3/30/2003) John Dittmer has officially announced his Candidacy for the Board of Directors for Southbridge. 

- (3/30/2003) Essentially, Legend is selling its undeveloped land to KSI.  However, KSI is still legally bound by the proffers that Legend made to Prince William County to

develop that land.  KSI can not back out of the proffers without authorization from the PWC Board of Supervisors.  We at the Southbridge Sentinel  have received confirmation of

those facts from Supervisor Caddigan’s staff.  So, as of now, the Town Center and many aspects of the original Southbridge        plan are still on.  However, we need to keep an eye on

both KSI’s intentions and the upcoming County elections.   

- (2/28/2003) The meeting with the Hensel Phelps Construction Co. went very well.  There were no radical changes from the          plans discussed back last July.  The appearance will

be the same as pictured below.  In addition, they provided the following information:

          - There will be cameras installed among some of the light poles in the parking lot.

          - The will be a chain linked fence around the site during the construction.   

- There will be natural barriers and soundproofing built into the back of the store to minimize noise. 

          - Construction will start around mid-March (depending on the weather).

- The projected finishing date is NOV 17th.  The store is projected to be open sometime in mid-JAN 2004.

- (2/28/2003) Lee Reeves, President of the Southbridge HOA, announced at the meeting on Wednesday night that majority         control of the Board of Directors will be passed to the

Homeowners.  There will be a special election in April 2003 for four new positions.  Further detail to follow.

- (2/16/2003) The Hensel Phelps Construction Co.,  who will be the general contractor for the potential new Wal*Mart in            Dumfries will be having a meeting to introduce themselves to the Southbridge community.  They asked for an informal              meeting with the people in the surrounding area of the Wal*Mart site to address any questions or concerns that people               might have. 

The Save Southbridge Coalition agreed and the meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb 26th at the Southbridge             Community Center at 7:00 p.m.  Please write to dittinc@comcast.net

if you plan on attending.

- (2/8/2003) The Prince William News reports on the proposed reduction of property tax rates

Times Community Newspapers - County Aims to Keep Reducing Tax Rate

- (2/5/2003) The Potomac News reports on Prince William County providing some of the local towns such as Dumfries and        Quantico with $178,000 for homeland security.  These

funds will go towards such things as portable radios for local police.  We at the Southbridge Sentinel consider this as a step           in the right direction in improving the coordination of local

homeland defense efforts.  For more information, go to:

            The Potomac News - County Agrees to Share Security Grant with Towns

- (1/22/2003) The Potomac News reports on Prince William County considering placing limits on the building of Big Box             stores such as Wal-Mart with in the county, for more, go to: 

            The Potomac News - County Studies Limits for Big Box Retailers

- (12/16/2002) The Potomac News reports on Prince William County hiring a new planner to focus on the revitalization of Route 1:

            The Potomac News - County Hires New Planner to Renew U.S. 1

- (12/12/2002) The Potomac News reports more on the pending sale of Cherry Hill to KSI Services:

            Potomac News - Developer Contracts to Buy Cherry Hill Land 

- (12/11/2002) The Washington Post reports that Legend Properties intends to sell its interest in Cherry Hill to developer KSI Services, Inc. from Vienna, VA.  This is what Doug Widell

would not comment upon at last night's Annual Meeting:

              Washington Post - Cherry Hill Developer Selling to New Builder

- (12/11/2002) Here are the highlights from last night's Southbridge HOA Annual Meeting:

    1) John Harper, Jr. and Michael Smith were elected to 2 vacant positions on the Board.

    2) During the Development Update session, it was announced the Town Center was contingent on the building of the                Route 234 By-Pass which will probably not be built for at least

another 5-6 years according to VDOT's plan.  Also, the Golf Course is still slated to be built for 2005-2006.  The VRE station is       still in the long-term planning stages.  

    3) During the Open Forum, Doug Widell refused to comment on the question if there were negotiations to sell Cherry Hill.  However, the Washington Post reported the announcement

of the pending sale made by PWC planning officials in the article linked above.  

    4) There were many questions and concerns raised by residents about snow clearing.  Terry McGuire from Cardinal        Management explained that snow clearing in Southbridge is done three ways.  First, VDOT plows the main roads (Route 1,        Cherry Hill Road, and Wayside Drive up to the point where the developer takes over road maintenance).  Second, in the           townhouse areas, the HOA contracts through the landscaping service.  Third, the developer contracts for oad clearing for the         rest of Southbridge.  One problem that will be examined

by the Facilities Committee is what to do about sidewalks under VDOT which do not get clear which are safety hazards              because they are not cleared.  

    5) Another problem that the Facilities Committee promised to research is how to prevent speeding on Wayside Drive where        there are a lot of children who live there and walk to Swans

Creek Elementary School.  Some solutions that will get examined include new stop signs, speed humps/dips, more police             presence, etc.  

    6) There will be a request for adult volunteers to patrol the pool areas to prevent disruptive activities.

- (12/4/2002) The Potomac News has an article about a County proposal to limit box trucks being parking in residential and agricultural areas:

             Potomac News - County Considers More Parking Restrictions

- (12/4/2002)

            Potomac News - County Welcomes Command Center

- (12/4/2002) The Washington Post reports that PWC will be joining the Virginia Coalition of High-Growth Communities which  lobbies the VA General Assembly for pro-smart growth

legislation.  Even the "Gang of Five" supports it.  

             Washington Post - Local Lawmakers Flock to Join Growth Control Coalition

- (12/4/2002) The Washington Post reports on a problem our local area's finest have, a lone eagle.  Apparently, the eagle has   landed within 500 feet of the proposed new shooting range near the Possum Point power plant.  The electric company and local police agencies are trying to find a way to   accommodate both the needs of local and state law enforcement for training and    federal regulations which protect endangered birds such as our new neighbor from activities which are considered disruptive       (such as dozens of policemen firing pistols, rifles and shotguns near its nest on top of the sounds from the weapons training        from the Marine Corps Base Quantico).  

             Washington Post - Nesting in Close Range, Eagle Endangers Proposed Shooting Site 

- (11/27/2002) I spoke too soon.  The Potomac News reports on the rejection of the smart growth initiative:

Zoning Plan Rejected

- (11/27/2002) The Potomac News has an article about how Dumfries can't hold on to its Town Managers:

Dumfries to lose fifth town manager in past 10 years - Potomac News Online

- (11/27/2002) The Washington Post reports on a measured being proposed among the Board of Supervisors to match growth      with transportation infrastructure and not approve massive subdivisions where roads may be years away, if they get built at all.    Gee, doesn't that have familiar ring to it?  Possible evidence that smart growth may not be such an alien concept in PWC?

Board May Place Curbs On Growth (washingtonpost.com)

- (11/18/2002) The Washington Post reports on the possibility that PWC may have to make up the Commonwealth's funding shortfalls:

        The Washington Post - County Unlikely to Make Up for State Shortfall

- (11/18/2002) The Potomac News has an article about the new skate park:

         The Potomac News - County Skate Park Opens To Public

- (11/14/2002) The Potomac News has an article about the new communities being built near the McCroat Administration       Center.  Possible evidence of smart growth within Prince William County? : 

        The Potomac News - Town center Will Encourage People To Live Where They Work

- (9/29/2002) The Potomac News has an article about the change in management at Southbridge:

        New Southbridge Chief Invites Input - Potomac News Online

- (8/26/2002) The new Vice President for Legend properties is Doug Widell.  He can be reached at (703) 221-4251 or at widell@gate.net.  The new Southbridge Community Association General Manager is Phenita Hebert, who can be reached at       (703) 221-7716.  The new Assistant General Manager is Sandra Birdsall.  

- (8/25/2002) We just found out that Property Manager Mike Anderson has been terminated from Legend Properties.  If anyone      has word on the reason why, please let us know at:   dittinc@comcast.net.

- (7/28/2002) The Washington Post reports on the expansion plans of our local hospitals:

Hospitals Plan For Expansions As Area Grows (washingtonpost.com)

- (7/28/2002) The Washington Post reports on the local bond referendum:

County Weighs $69 Million Bond for Local Roads (washingtonpost.com)

- (7/28/2002) The Washington Post reports on the Board of Supervisors opposition to a new state education funding plan:

County Opposes Tax System Plan (washingtonpost.com)

- (7/14/2002) Guess who else wants to Prince William County and the Board of Supervisors can't stop?  Hooters!                     That's right, take a look and smell the hot wings:

Planned Hooters Location Opposed (washingtonpost.com)

- (6/20/2002) The Potomac News and the Daily Journal report on the revival of some local VDOT road construction projects:

        VDOT revives two county road projects - Potomac News Online

        The Journal Newspapers Online

- (6/4/2002) The Daily Journal reports on a proposal to make the waters off Leesylvania State Park a no-wake zone:

The Journal Newspapers Online

- (6/2/2002) Both the Washington Post  has a report on the proposed bond referendum for road construction in PWC:

Local Roads Referendum Considered (washingtonpost.com)

- (5/26/2002) The Potomac News has an article about new natural gas pipeline being built in our area.  Note:  The construction currently being done behind the houses on

Desert Palm Court are for an access road along the power lines for VEPCO, not for this pipeline. 

Gas pipeline digging to start in Lake Ridge - Potomac News Online

- (5/26/2002) The Washington Post has listing of regional projects affected by VDOT budget cutbacks for road construction.

Projects Trimmed From Six-Year Plan (washingtonpost.com)

- (5/11/2002) The Potomac News has an article about the Urban Land Institute's study to improve Route 1.  You may hear  Supervisor Caddigan refer to it a lot on

May 13th, so we figured you should read about it. 

Funds to kick start U.S. 1 upgrade - Potomac News Online

- (5/10/2002) Kate Bissell from The Potomac News writes about the latest developments:

Residents group says 'no' to Wal-Mart - Potomac News Online

- (5/10/2002) The Potomac News notes the political trend towards "Smart Growth" throughout Virginia.  Politicians, read and      heed!

Voters reject sprawl - Potomac News Online

- (5/10/2002) Opponents of the Southbridge Wal-Mart project will make their grievances known at a meeting on Monday,            MAY 13 at 7:00 p.m. 

To read more on the controversy, go to:

Stop the Big Blue Box

- (5/10/2002) The Potomac News reports that the PWC property tax rate may go down another cent for 2003.

Supervisors plan to drop tax rate another cent in 2003 - Potomac News Online

- (4/21/2002) News Channel Eight report on the problems with the Dulles Rail project:

Newschannel 8

- (4/6/2002) Our dog, Zoe/Lucy, has been recovered.  Thanks for your tips!

- (4/3/2002) Guess who wants to move into Southbridge?  Read about it in The Potomac News at:

Wal-Mart plans Dumfries store - Potomac News Online

NOTE:  If you want to fight this, let us know at:  dittinc@comcast.net

- (4/2/2002) The Potomac News reports about plans to renovate Dumfries:

Dumfries hoping for an overhaul - Potomac News Online

- (4/2/2002) The Potomac News reports about a study which proposes more Sheriff's Deputies for prince William County:

Study gives sheriff leverage - Potomac News Online

- (3/31/2002) The Potomac News reports about rise in Home Prince Sales in Prince William County:

Home sales soar in Prince William County - Potomac News Online

- (3/31/2002) The Washington Post reports on Prince William County supplementing the difference in pay for its employees         who are military reservists on recall.  Since

DITT~Inc.'s own President is a Navy Reservist himself, who whole-hearted support this patriotic gesture.

Board Saluted For Boosting Reservists' Pay (washingtonpost.com)

- (3/3/2002) The Potomac News reports about the proposed gas line going through the Cherry Hill area, including Southbridge:

Power plant's pipeline plans perplex peninsula's proprietor - Potomac News Online

- (3/3/2002) The Washington Post reports on a recent Virginia Supreme Court ruling which overrode Prince William County's  decision to limit the number of houses in a proposed housing development in Triangle.

Court Rejects 'Piecemeal Downzoning' of Parcel (washingtonpost.com)

- (3/1/2002) The Washington Post has some good news concerning the new Prince William County budget, including lower   property taxes!

Prince William Aims to Tax Less And Spend More (washingtonpost.com)

- (3/1/2002) The Potomac News has an article about proposals to develop the Route 1 corridor.

U.S. 1 hits bumps in the road to revitalization - Potomac News Online

- (2/7/2002) The Potomac News has an article about concerns that Legend Properties may sell Southbridge:

Uncertain Southbridge - Potomac News Online

- (2/5/2002) The Potomac News has an article about latest developments on the education & transportation proposals:

Area legislators split on bills - Potomac News Online

- (2/5/2002) The Potomac News has an article about local property values:

County property values to rise - Potomac News Online

- (2/5/2002) The Potomac News has an article about the new surgical center at Potomac Hospital:

Surgical center opens - Potomac News Online

-(1/29/2002) The Washington Post has an article about Prince William County's budget surplus:

Pr. William Sees $17 Million Surplus (washingtonpost.com)

- (1/6/2002) The Potomac News has an article about Comcast's efforts to stem cable thief:

Comcast offers thieves reprieve - Potomac News Online

- (11/25/2001) The Washington Post has another article about proposed sales tax increases for Northern Virginia:

Va. Bill Would Let Sales Taxes Rise (washingtonpost.com)

- (11/25/2001) The Daily Journal has an article about upcoming challenges to local government budgets:

The Journal Newspapers Online: Officials try to pinpoint budget weaknesses

- (11/9/2001) The Manassas Journal Messenger has an article about the County's plans for improving communications for public safety services in the Dumfries area. 

         County Plans Lands Acquisition to Bolster Emergency Services

- (10/28/2001) The Washington Post has conducted a survey the status of Prince William County services and quality of life:

Washington Post Survey

- (10/28/2001) The Washington Post reports on the race for Commonwealth Delegate:

Classic Contest of Contrasts Offers Voters Clear Choices

- (10/28/2001) The Washington Post has an article about construction on the last leg of Route 234:

30 Years Later, Last Leg of Rte. 234 By-Pass Opens

- (10/25/2001) Highlights of the SCA Annual Meeting included:

-- The election of John Harper, Jr by the Community to fill a one-year term on the Board of Directors to fill a vacant spot.

-- Discussion on long-term developments such as the town center on Cherry Hill, the extension of Route 234, the building of the VRE station and playgrounds. 

Also, there was discussion on improving lighting in the townhouse areas.

- (10/25/2001) The Washington Post reports on PWC's efforts to prepare for possible future terrorist attacks:

County Seeks Federal Funds For Readiness (washingtonpost.com)

- (10/25/2001) The Daily Journal has the following article about developments in beefing up VRE services along the      Fredericksburg line which serves the Southbridge area:

The Journal Newspapers: Deal to Beef Up VRE Services

- (9/30/2001) The Potomac News reports on PWC's efforts to counter chemical and biological attacks:  County ready for     Biowarfare

- (9/6/2001) The Washington Post finally reports a compromise by the PWC Board of Supervisors over the budget impasse:

Pr. William Supervisors Make Peace On Budget (washingtonpost.com)

- (8/29/2001) The Potomac News has the following 2 articles about democracy in inaction in Prince William County:

Chairman urges board members to give back salary after walkout - Potomac News Online

Supervisor Hill renews request for Sheriff's Office review - Potomac News Online

- (8/29/2001) Meanwhile, our area becomes a little more unsafe as proven by the recent incident at Locust Shade Park:

Mother wrestles with man trying to kidnap her 3-year-old daughter - Potomac News Online

- (8/24/2001) There will be a new Subway store opening next Wednesday nest to the Pumps gas station on Route 1 near the intersection with Route 234. 

- (8/24/2001) ACTS is asking if there is anyone within the business community there who would be willing to donate a used  computer or maybe a refurbished one...to the only

shelter for battered and abused woman and their children in the entire Prince William County..? The shelter is non-profit. The donation would be tax-deductible.

ACTS / Turning Points
Contact:
Jan Ford Residential Shelter: Yes
Address: PO Box 74, Dumfries VA 22026-0074
Hotline: 703/221-4951
Services required for Certification.
Office Phone : 701-221-2156

Shelter Coordinator: Maria Dobbs
TTY: 703/221-3811

Additional Services Provided

Batterer Intervention Program Emergency Cell Phones
Free Attorney Services Outreach in Jails / Prisons
Outreach in Schools Teen Program
Transitional Housing
Office: 703/221-4460 Service Area
Fax: 703/221-3585 Dumfries
Cities served: Manassas, Manassas Park, Prince William Co., Woodbridge
E-mail: ACTS2TP@aol.com

 

- (8/23/2001) On August 28th, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m., there will be an information meeting on the extension of Route 234 through Southbridge at the Southbridge Community Center. 

light refreshments will be served.  Please note VDOT is not sponsoring or being represented at this meeting.  It is being hosted by Legend Properties.  For your information, the

extension will move east from Route 234 landing near Deweys Run to the powerline east of Route 1.

- (8/23/2001) Newly opened businesses in the area include a new built Sleep Inn on Route 1 in Dumfries, a new Hard Times Cafe/Santa Fe Billiards Club in Dale City near

Potomac Mills.  There appears to be a new Wawa Gas station being built in Woodbridge. 

- (8/23/2001) The following is an article from the PWC Daily Journal concerning the recent Republican primary: The Journal Newspapers Online Primary News

- (8/19/2001) There will be a public hearing of the PWC Planning Commission on Wednesday, SEP 5, at the McCroat Building at 7:30 p.m.  The meeting concerns a legend

Properties request to change the zoning in the Town Center area from Suburban Residential - Low to Suburban Residential -           Medium & Office and allow for mid-rise office buildings.

- (8/19/2001) The Washington Post has the following articles about the upcoming primaries.  remember that August 21st is    Primary Day, please vote!

Primary Looming, Candidates Hustle (washingtonpost.com)

Shift in Power Colors Primaries (washingtonpost.com)

Tax Issue Spurs Challenges (washingtonpost.com)

- (8/9/2001) The Potomac News has the following article concerning the Prince William County Board of Supervisors latest       budget impasse:  Supervisors trade jabs about walkout

- Potomac News Online/Manassas Journal Messenger

- (8/6/2001) The Washington Post has the following article about the economy of the area:

Despite Economy, Boating Is Booming (washingtonpost.com)

- (8/6/2001) The Washington Post has the following article about the new Marine Corps Museum to be built the area near     Quantico:

Marines to Build Heritage Center Near I-95 (washingtonpost.com)

- (8/6/2001) The Washington Post has the following article about the upcoming primary races, including discussion our                    Southbridge's own Bob Berry:

Anti-Tax Candidates Shake GOP in N.Va. (washingtonpost.com)

- (7/25/2001) Highlights of last nights informational Board of Directors meetings:

    -- Southbridge now has 939 units.  Once we get to 1000 units there will be two members (one elected from the community       and one from the developer) added to the Board. 

    -- A Board Member has resigned and a replacement will be appointed by the Board at next month's meeting.  All those  interested, please contact and send a resume to the

Community Manager.

    -- There will a skeleton (or straw man) of the community 5-Year Plan in the next newsletter for the community to review and comment upon.

    -- Community members are asked to get involved in the committees especially those who want to see improvements like the building of basketball courts.  Contact information '

on the committees is included in the newsletter. 

- (7/12/2001) River Ridge Blvd is finally open to traffic from Southbridge.  The speed limit is 35 MPH. 

- (7/12/2001) There will be a self storage facility built next to the Citgo station across from the entrance to River Ridge on Route 1. 

- (7/12/2001) Southbridge now has a new on-site manager, Keri Butler, who is available at Southbridge at (703) 221-7716 during     the following hours:

Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays:  9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Wednesdays:  11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

The office is closed Sundays and Mondays.

- (5/11/2001) The following came from The Potomac News: 

Donation gives Cherry Hill land for park

By Keith Walker

The Prince William Park Authority recently accepted a gift of $530,000 from the Cockpit Point Corp. to build a 6.3-acre community park at New Cherry Hill Road and

River Ridge Boulevard. The park, to be named after the late C. Lacey Compton, a former Prince William County District Court judge, will include outdoor skating trails, picnic pavilions, horseshoe pits and a playground, Prince William Park Authority spokeswoman Beth Robertson said.

“It will be a nice neighborhood park, and the nice thing is, there are no other outdoor, in-line skating facilities in the area,” Robertson said.  In 1961, Compton and other local businessmen formed Cockpit Point Corp., a nonprofit organization dedicated to attracting industry to 350 acres on the Cherry Hill peninsula.  Cockpit Point board members A. Pickens Butler and Werner Quasebarth said the corporation’s founders thought the county could benefit from industrial revenue.

They asked the county to rezone the area for heavy industrial uses and appoint a board of directors to oversee development.  “We were all of a mind that the tax base of Prince William was all residential, and the residents of Prince William couldn’t bear the burden, so our aim was to broaden the tax base and bring in industrial development,” said Butler, a former Piedmont Federal Savings Bank chief executive officer.

Over the years, Cockpit Point made efforts to bring industries such as shipyards and oil refineries to the area, which was once a garbage dump for Washington, D.C., said Quasebarth, former chief executive officer of Atlas Machine and Ironworks in Gainesville.

Democrat Hilda Barg, who represents the area on the County Board of Supervisors, said although the company brought some tax revenue to the county through property rental, circumstances always prevented the group from realizing their vision.  "There was no good access to the area, and they just couldn’t get it developed for industrial uses,” Barg said. 

Quasebarth said the “not-in-my-back-yard syndrome” existed then as now.  “Of course the people that lived along that street [Cockpit Point Road] didn’t want that kind of traffic running up and down their road,” Quasebarth said.

Local lawyer C. Lacey Compton, Judge Compton’s son, said environmental considerations finally arrested all developmental plans for the area.  “It eventually became clear that the county didn’t want heavy industrial development because of environmental concerns,” Compton said.  Cockpit Point’s directors recognized that the corporation would ultimately outlive its usefulness, and prepared for that contingency.  They wrote provisions into the company’s charters that stipulated any money remaining in the organization’s coffers at dissolution would revert to the county.  “When it was originally set up, the money had to go back to the county, and those men wanted it to be for recreational facilities,” Compton said.

Compton said the county honored Cockpit Point’s wishes and elected to use the money for the park.  “It was always the county’s decision,” Compton said.  By 1996, the corporation sold its last piece of property, and the remaining board members decided to disburse the corporation’s funds.  “We’ve been virtually inactive for some time, and we decided to follow the dictates of our charter,” Butler said.  “Most of what I knew about Cockpit Point is gone with age, but I remember it was an unselfish group and I’m proud to have been involved with the organization,” Butler, 76, said.

Groundbreaking for the new park will be held 2 p.m. on May 26 at 3000 New Cherry Hill Road in Woodbridge.

- (4/30/2001) The following came from The Potomac News:

Board to mull eighth district

By CARYN GOEBEL

The option of adding an eighth election district within Prince William County will be taken into consideration by the Board of County Supervisors on Tuesday as they prepare to redraw boundary lines based on the newest census counts.   County staff will present criteria for redistricting during the board’s daytime session, a move expected to prompt discussion among supervisors on whether to redraw the county’s existing seven districts, or add another magisterial district to the county.

The county currently has seven election districts and one at-large district, resulting in an eight-member board of supervisors. By law, the county can increase its board membership to nine.

Census 2000 population figures released in March revealed district lines would need to be redrawn to bring each district population within 5 percent of the ideal 40,116 population, according to Pierce Homer, the deputy county executive.  The supervisors will also consider a request to the Virginia Department of Transportation to install traffic calming measures on Smoketown Road, an issue that has divided neighbors in the Occoquan District.

It is expected that Supervisor Ruth T. Griggs, R-Occoquan, will ask the agenda item be moved from the day session to evening, so constituents who work during the day will have the opportunity to listen in on discussions.

The proposed resolution requests that the Virginia Department of Transportation take phased measures to slow traffic on Smoketown Road, a street commonly used as a cut-through for motorists from Old Bridge to Minnieville roads.

If approved, VDOT would consider placing multi-way stop signs at the intersection of Smoketown Road and Beaver Ford Road, and — as part of the first phase — increase the fines for speeding. As part of the second phase, VDOT would build a raised crosswalk at Smoketown Road and Purdham Drive, while the third phase would request VDOT to install speed bumps between Chancellor Drive and Heathcliff Court.  The fourth phase allows VDOT to install two additional speed bumps, according to a county staff report.

Each phase of the plan would require a separate resolution from the Board of Supervisors.

The supervisors will also consider:

* Two special-use permits for Tacketts Mill Car Care, a car wash on Harbor Drive in Lake Ridge, to expand its operations to include vehicle service.

* A proffer amendment for Minnieland at the Glen along the Prince William Parkway.

* A special-use permit application to allow the C.C. Johnson Company to operate a wood-mulching facility at the intersection of Balls Ford and Wellington roads in the Brentsville District.

The Board of Supervisors’ day session begins at 2 p.m. The night session starts at 7:30 p.m. Both are at the McCoart Administration Center along Prince William Parkway.

- (4/21/2001) There will be a meeting on VDOT proposal on the Route 1/234 intersection.  The meeting is s

cheduled for Wednesday, May 2, 2001, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. at Potomac High School.  For more information, call 1-888-383-VDOT.

- (4/9/2001) News on the Route 234 project is on our Local Transportation Page.

- (3/11/2001) The following article comes from The Potomac News:

Census: County diversity climbs

By Alfred Biddlecomb
The Prince William area continues to grow at a rapid pace though not as fast as some neighboring counties, according to census data released this week.

The 30-percent growth that took place over the past 10 years made Prince William the state’s third most populous locality behind Fairfax and the city of Virginia Beach.

The Census Bureau released preliminary results from the 10-year head count on Thursday to give state and local officials data to redraw legislative districts.

The information provided also gave a glimpse into the changing face of the area as minority populations made impressive gains.

“Prince William County is definitely becoming more diverse,” Laurie Gill, the county’s official demographer, said Friday. “The census results were almost on target with the projections we’ve made over the past decade.”

The county grew from 215,686 in 1990 to a population of 180,813 following the 2000 census. Prince William County’s population has nearly doubled since 1980.

Census figures showed that African Americans now make up 18.8 percent of the county’s population while the Hispanic community now forms 9.7 percent of the population.

The census numbers were pretty much what County Executive Craig Gerhart expected. Gerhart said the rate of growth is fast but manageable.

“Prince William County is a dynamic community,” Gerhart said. “The census numbers project the same growth we projected over that period.

“We’re proud to see an increase in the diversity of the county and we will continue to work to meet the needs of all the members of the community.”

Gill had estimated the county’s 2000 population earlier this year as being 283,533 which was only off by 2,720.

“I will admit that it was a relief to see the census numbers come in so close, but we were pretty confident all along,” Gill said. “It’s important that our projections are accurate because so many county agencies depend on our data.”

Manassas Park’s population grew by 52.8 percent in 10 years by adding 3,556 residents for a total of 10,290.

Manassas’ population grew from 27,957 in 1990 to 35,135 in 2000.

The gains for the Prince William area were still dwarfed compared to the population explosions of neighboring jurisdictions including Loudoun County whose population nearly doubled in 10 years.

Loudoun went from 86,129 residents in 1990 to 169,599 following the 2000 census.

Stafford County grew by 51 percent during the past decade to post a population of 92,446 in 2000.

Lawmakers in Richmond are currently studying the new census numbers and will redraw state legislative districts during a special session in Richmond on April 5.

Prince William is expected to pick up a partial seat in the House of Delegates which it will most likely have to share with Stafford or Fairfax.

Population growth could also extend the Prince William district of Sen. Charles J. Colgan further into the eastern portion of the county while possibly driving out the partial districts of either John Chichester, R-Stafford, or Warren Barry, R-Fairfax.

Prince William Supervisors will take up some redistricting of their own after the General Assembly acts this spring. Where each of the seven supervisor districts included a little more than 30,000 residents in 1990, the new districts will contain more than 40,000 each.

County supervisors discussed redistricting during their winter retreat but nothing formal has been proposed. Most say they are content with keeping seven districts and an at large chairman seat.

“We’ll probably start the process after the General Assembly finishes their redistricting,” said Supervisor Chairman Sean Connaughton, R-at large. “That way we can maintain the individual precincts.”

The census numbers released this week only included population and race. More detailed figures will be released this summer including income and other economic statistics.

The following is a break down of the county’s 2000 census population:

* County population 280,813

* White: 193,574 (68.9 percent)

* African-American: 52,691 (18.8 percent)

* Asian: 10,071 (3.8 percent)

* American Indian: 1,094 (0.4 percent)

* Other: 12,207 (4.3 percent)

* Two or more races: 10,178 (3.6 percent)

* Hispanic: 27,338 (9.7 percent)

Census officials listed the Hispanic population as an ethnic group whose members were included in other racial categories.

- (3/11/2001) The Southbridge Homeowners Association has announced the following steps to improve crime prevention in the area, especially at Longwood Commons:

-- "No Trespassing" signs will be installed around all Tot Lots which will give the Prince William County Police the ability to enforce the Association's security policies.

-- The association is planning and will be taking bids for additional lighting in the area.  Other areas will be considered for additional lighting once costs and the budget has been reviewed.

-- Trees and shrubs in the Longwood Commons area will be considered for pruning and branch elevation to improve visibility in the area.

- (2/26/2001) The following is a story on the developments in the area from a recent edition of the Potomac News:

New river guide to feature county

Four Prince William County locations will be highlighted in a new guide for Potomac River travelers that officials hope will bring in more tourism dollars.  The towns of Occoquan and Quantico, Leesylvania State Park and Neabsco Creek will be among the sites included in the literature and on the maps identifying the Potomac River Water Trail.

The river trail program will be launched this summer in time for much of the recreational boating season and will include the 80 miles of the river from Washing-ton, D.C., to the Chesapeake Bay.  “The idea is to approach the area from the water’s perspective, to identify the cultural, historic, recreational and natural resources along this wonderful river,” said David Brickley, director of the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Brickley is a Prince William County resident and former state delegate for the area.

“I think this will be tremendous,” said county Supervisor Ruth Griggs, R-Occoquan. “Tour-ism is becoming a major focus in the state and the county. [The water trail] just folds naturally right into this.”

“It’s really a win-win situation for everyone,” Brickley said. “It’s a good example of a way we can work together to increase tourism and promote economic development.”  Virginia’s Department of Conservation and Recreation and Maryland’s Department of Nat-ural Resources have been working together to develop and promote a water trail for more than two years.  “This is the first time two states have worked together on a water trail project like this,” Brickley said. “The Potomac River divides Maryland and Virginia, but it also joins us together.”

The trail will connect the numerous access points, parks, recreational and historic sites along the river on both the Virginia and Maryland sides. Maps identifying these locations will be made available throughout the area. The initiative also will include promotional and education efforts.  Kiosks in such locations as Occoquan will be set up to make the trail and regional information available to the public.  The project is being funded in part by a National Park Service Chesapeake Bay Gateway grant.

- (1/30/2001) The following is a story on the developments in the area from a recent edition of the Washington Post:

Southbridge Seen as a Building Block

By Amy Joyce, Washington Post Staff Writer, Wednesday, January 24, 2001 ; Page PW05

Businesses along the Route 1 corridor in Dumfries are looking forward to a new neighbor: the Southbridge Town Center. Since the mixed-use development was approved last week, businesses and business leaders in the area near the new development have been thinking about what that means for them. The Southbridge at Cherry Hill project will eventually build 2,500 homes, more than 3 million square feet of commercial space and an 18-hole golf course. The project is expected to be built in stages over 20 years.

Because of the development, which is envisioned as another Reston Town Center, many hope it will mean new roads and a revitalization of Route 1. Although some local business owners, such as Judy Anderson, owner of Vincent & Vincent Hair Salon & Day Spa, think many new home owners will stick to the Southbridge Town Center, the multiplied traffic could mean renewed business for those in the surrounding area. It also could mean additional economic development in the area, some say. Anderson does not think the new development will be a windfall for her business, or for the Liberty Village shopping center that she owns, where her store is located. "I think that a large percentage of the residents on that peninsula will use their town center. I believe they'll go inward, rather than out to Route 1," she said. But Anderson is all for the new development, and believes that some positive effects could spill over to Route 1 businesses. "People will want to give their own stores a face lift on Route 1," she said.

That's what Dumfries Mayor Chris Brown is hoping will happen, with the help of Prince William County. Although he was primarily against the project, bringing his anti-development points to last Tuesday's hearing by the Board of County Supervisors, he said he now has a positive outlook. "As a businessman in the area here, and generally as an optimist, I'm hopeful that the development will obviously attract development in eastern Prince William County and that we'll contribute from it," he said. "Certainly now is the time to have dialogue between the town and county."  Brown is part owner of Brown & Uvena, an accounting firm on Fraley Boulevard in Dumfries. "It's going to be very hard to predict the future," he said. "But I believe that people will continue to see businesses here and have access to them." He said that because there will be infrastructure going in for the new development, some of those improvements should bleed into Dumfries and the business community. "Certainly the quality of life would improve."

Laurie Wieder, president of the Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce, said that although the chamber does not take a stance on particular developments, Southbridge at Cherry Hill could mean economic development for the eastern half of the county. "I would have to say that there will be new business opportunities created in the Cherry Hill area," she said. "As far as the Route 1 corridor and its impact among businesses, I think certainly there will be a greater population that will obviously shop in those retail operations." The chamber has been among several business groups who formed a Route 1 revitalization task force years ago. The group is still interested in that sort of economic development, Wieder said. "I know that you will see things in the future where businesses are working to revitalize that Route 1 corridor," she said. "The Prince William regional chamber is very committed to do what it can to promote strong business here in Prince William County, and do things that result in positive economic growth."

Cletis Harper, owner of Two Feathers, a store on the corner of Tripoli Boulevard and Route 1 that sells Native American merchandise, said he cannot predict what effect the new development will have on his business. But with increased traffic comes increased business, he said. "And what businessman in his right mind doesn't want more business," he asked. "Unless they encroach on my private space, my hand is extended."

- (1/17/2001) Early this morning, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors approved the rezoning proposals for the Town Center by a vote of 5 - 3.  In addition, Legend Properties gave additional proffers to the county including the construction of a telecommuting center before the meeting last night.  

- (1/16/2001) The following is a story on the developments concerning the Cherry Hill rezoning proposal from a recent edition of the Washington Post:

Cherry Hill Factions Try to Bolster Cases  By Steven Ginsberg, Washington Post Staff Writer, Sunday, January 14, 2001 ; Page T01

A group of environmentalists, public officials and citizens opposed to a development on the Cherry Hill peninsula joined forces Friday to detail the litany of reasons they say the subdivision should not be built.  Pollution of local waterways, erosion, degradation of forests, impact on activities at nearby Leesylvania State Park, traffic congestion and economic development concerns were among the many reasons opponents said the Southbridge at Cherry Hill development should be denied by the Board of County Supervisors when it votes on a rezoning application Tuesday.

"We strongly believe Prince William County should preserve and protect the Cherry Hill peninsula," said David Schneider, spokesman for the Sierra Club. "Once it's lost, it's lost forever."

Cherry Hill is rugged, hilly land on the Potomac shoreline where Legend Properties Inc. plans a $3 billion mixed-use development of 2,900 homes, more than 3 million square feet of commercial space and an 18-hole golf course. The centerpiece of the proposed project is a Reston-style town center overlooking the river. The Southbridge proposal has sparked considerable criticism because the peninsula is heavily wooded, hilly and home to several wildlife habitats. Beyond not wanting to see the woodland cut, opponents fear the development would spur erosion of the peninsula and cause silt to clog nearby Powell's Creek. Additionally, many people say the county would be better served by funneling new commercial development to the Town of Dumfries rather than to Cherry Hill.

The Planning Commission recommended rejecting the Southbridge project last month, a move that prompted Legend officials to agree to tougher erosion and siltation controls and to fund a full-time, on-site erosion inspector. Legend officials held their own news conference Thursday to announce that 75 additional acres of the 1,700 acre development would not be developed. That brings the total undeveloped land to 672 acres, hundreds more than county guidelines require. The company also said it would put aside an additional $100,000 in the case of any erosion problems.

"We've exceeded any protections required under state or local law," Legend Vice President Mike Anderson said.  Opponents said Friday that the additional concessions are meaningless and didn't address their wider worries about damaging the peninsula and local waterways. "There are real problems with how they quantify undisturbed land," said Kim Hosen, director of the Piedmont Environmental Coalition. And the additional money for erosion "is a drop in the bucket if there's a problem," she said.

Friday's news conference began across Powell's Creek from Cherry Hill on the shoreline of Leesylvania State Park. Then it moved to the home of Leo Sentiger, who lives below a developed section of Southbridge, before finally ending in Dumfries, where officials spoke about economic development.  Jim Klackowitz, manager of Leesylvania State Park, said Cherry Hill would severely reduce use of the park because its natural vistas and undisturbed setting would be gone. "This is the third most-visited tourist site in the county," he said. "This really has the potential to diminish the experience of the park."  Sentiger, who lives at the base of a hill built to accommodate new homes, said water, mud and silt from the Southbridge development flows into his yard during heavy rains. He said Legend hasn't adequately responded to his concerns and fears the same will happen at Cherry Hill.  Sentiger said that Legend officials have put up additional silt fences when he's complained. "They've made some motions, and I thought they were doing something, but it turns out it wasn't very effective," he said. 

- (1/13/2001) The following is a story on the developments concerning the Cherry Hill rezoning proposal from a recent edition of the Washington Post:

Open Space Is Added to Project in Pr. William

By Steven Ginsberg, Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, January 12, 2001 ; Page B08

The developer of a controversial project in eastern Prince William County announced yesterday that the company will add 75 acres of open space and put aside $100,000 more to fight erosion in its latest efforts to quell concerns about the project's environmental impact.

"Basically we've heard some of what they've said," said Mike Anderson, vice president of Legend Properties Inc., referring to several local, state and national environmental groups opposed to the $3 billion Southbridge at Cherry Hill development. "We've considered it and think it's a good idea to do some of it."

Cherry Hill is a rugged peninsula on the Potomac shoreline where Legend plans to build 2,900 homes, more than 3 million square feet of commercial space and an 18-hole golf course around a Reston-style town center. The site has long been earmarked for development, including, at one point, a proposed children's amusement park.

The Southbridge proposal has sparked criticism because the peninsula is heavily wooded, hilly and home to wildlife. Environmentalists said yesterday that the developer's preservation proposals are of little consequence and fail to adequately address broader concerns about erosion or silt seeping into adjacent Powell's Creek. "We're not impressed with their promises to keep open space at this point," said David Schneider, spokesman for the Sierra Club, adding that the land "still has deep slopes and unstable soils."

The Sierra Club, along with other environmental groups, local officials and citizens, is holding its own news conference today to denounce the 1,700-acre development and to offer a plan to turn the land into a wildlife refuge. The dueling news conferences highlight growing tensions between supporters and opponents of the development as officials prepare to decide its fate. The planning commission recommended rejecting Southbridge last month, and the Board of County Supervisors will vote on its rezoning Tuesday after what is expected to be a long public hearing.

While affirming their desire for the development, county planners said yesterday that a defeat for Southbridge would not jeopardize the county's long-range plans to develop its miles of river frontage. Much of Prince William's rugged waterfront land has remained sparsely populated and little used except by a few marinas and watermen. "The town center would add an element to our overall waterfront planning efforts," said Planning Director Rick Lawson. "But the long-range planning with or without this is flexible enough that we will meet our goals and objectives." Last month, after the Planning Commission advised against rezoning for the project, Legend agreed to tougher erosion and siltation controls and said it would pay a full-time, on-site erosion inspector.

Legend officials said they have done all that has been asked of them, and more, to assuage environmental concerns. They point out that the 75 additional acres of open space proposed yesterday would bring the total amount of undeveloped land to 672 acres, hundreds more than county guidelines require. And they have provided other protections, such as doubling the required buffer next to streams. Legend officials also predict the site would create 13,000 jobs and millions of dollars in local revenue by the time it would be completed, in about 20 years. "We really think we have a model for future development," Anderson said. "We've been very environmentally responsible here."

But opponents contend the project would unnecessarily destroy an environmental gem. They said it would also create more traffic jams along Route 1 and divert economic development from the nearby town of Dumfries. "We're not opposed to development," Schneider said, "but some places are too sensitive. This development is a loser for everyone except the developer."

Many county residents have joined the fight over Cherry Hill. Barbara Tennant, who lives downhill from an already-developed section of Southbridge, said "silt and junk" flow onto her property during heavy rains. She's afraid the same thing will happen to waterways if the rest of the Cherry Hill project is approved. "I think it's going to pollute the Potomac River and Powell's Creek and do a lot of wildlife damage," Tennant said. "I think it's a good idea to leave it alone."

- (1/5/2001) Legend Properties has announced you that a very important pubic hearing of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors is coming up on Tuesday, January 16th at 7:30 PM at the McCoart Building. It is important our elected and appointed officials hear from the citizenry about issues that affect our communities, including you!  All those wishing to attend, please contact James Parmelee at (703) 502-0161 or at JTParmelee@aol.com.

- (12/23/2000) The following is a story on the developments concerning the Cherry Hill rezoning proposal from a recent edition of the Washington Post:

Planners Reject Cherry Hill Zoning

Thursday, December 21, 2000 ; Page B03

The Prince William Planning Commission turned down a request last night from Woodbridge-based Legend Properties Inc. to build 2,900 homes and almost 3 million square feet of commercial space on the Cherry Hill peninsula overlooking the Potomac River.  The panel voted 5 to 3 to reject two applications to rezone 1,700 acres for the project, called Southbridge at Cherry Hill. Several members said they were swayed by environmental concerns about development on the steeply sloping bluff. They also said the proposal did not include an adequate network of roads to accommodate thousands of extra cars the development would bring.  Last night's vote, held after two public hearings, was advisory. It could be overturned by the Board of County Supervisors, which reviews the project next month.

- (12/20/2000) The following is a story on the developments concerning the Cherry Hill rezoning proposal from a recent edition of the Washington Post:

Cherry Hill Development Headed for Vote

By Lisa Rein, Washington Post Staff Writer, Sunday, December 17, 2000 ; Page V01

After two lengthy public hearings that drew more than 80 residents and representatives of national environmental groups, the Prince William Planning Commission is scheduled this week to vote on an extensive development proposed for the Cherry Hill peninsula. With 2,900 homes planned, as well as a golf course and 3.7 million square feet of office and retail space, Southbridge at Cherry Hill offers the kind of growth the county says it covets--expensive houses, an urban-style town center and enough office space to lure jobs to the growing suburb.

But critics say the mixed-use project is cursed by one thing--its location on a steep bluff overlooking the Potomac River. Prime waterfront real estate is the selling point for Woodbridge-based Legend Properties Inc., but environmentalists say construction of the 1,700-acre project poses a threat to a fragile ecosystem of hardwood forests and wildlife preserves on the Potomac shoreline just south of Powells Creek. The question is how much damage an army of bulldozers over 20 years would do. And that's what brought a standing-room-only crowd to weigh in on the project last week.

"The major objection is that, despite all the good things you can say about the potential for a development of this type, it is being put in the wrong place," said Robert Moler, a slow-growth activist from Catharpin and vice president of the Prince William Natural Resources Council. He echoed the sentiments of many opponents who spoke last Saturday and Wednesday.

"You have basically stuck a massive development in an area where all of the infrastructure has to be created de nouveau," Moler said, referring to the complex road network proposed off Route 1.

Opponents outnumbered supporters of the project 2 to 1 last week, although both sides launched public relations campaigns.

Environmental groups with national names, including the Sierra Club and Audubon Society, furnished independent traffic studies and warned of erosion and silting into Powells Creek. For their part, Legend officials--who hired a public relations firm to promote the development--promised 13,000 jobs, a new Virginia Railway Express station and a boon to the county's economic development efforts. And they pledged state-of-the-art engineering measures to control erosion and cut down environmental damage. They also agreed to hire a full-time inspector.

Several expressions of support came from residents of Legend's existing Southbridge development off Route 1, a first phase of the Cherry Hill project, who said they would welcome the amenities of an expanded development.

"I think it's going to come down to a good planning effort that's consistent with the comprehensive plan," said Legend Vice President Mike Anderson, referring to the county's planning blueprint approved by supervisors in 1998.

The eight-member Planning Commission will weigh these pros and cons when it takes up Cherry Hill on Wednesday night. Last week, the panel was undecided, and a unanimous vote is unlikely. Its recommendation to supervisors, who are scheduled to take it up next month, will be advisory.

Legend, which would build the project in several phases over 20 years, is seeking two rezonings and a special use permit for the town center, which would put stores, a hotel, arts and community center and 1,350 homes in a 131-acre "village" much like Reston.

The county's planning staff has signed off on the project, saying it is largely consistent with the land-use plan, which kept intact an older plan to develop the Cherry Hill peninsula as a large mixed-use project.

Planning Commissioner Thomas Raseta, who represents the Coles district, says he is undecided about the project.  "Most people, if they step back from the location, say, if Legend were to do this same development but just not on the water, it would be workable because it's a pretty nice, well-planned project," Raseta said. "But what the debate always seems to gravitate to is, it's the wrong place."

 - (12/5/2000) The following is a story on the developments concerning the Cherry Hill rezoning proposal from yesterday's Washington Post:

Pr. William Waterfront On the Line  By Lisa Rein, Washington Post Staff Writer, Monday , December 4, 2000 ; Page B01

On the patch of rugged hills and towering hardwood trees called Cherry Hill, which sweeps off Route 1 to the Potomac, you can still find a piece of old Prince William County.  They don't make moonshine here anymore. But wild turkeys still roam among the tulip poplars, and a waterman can still earn a living pulling crabs and catfish. Tim Bauckman serves up shots and beer and fried catfish at his crab shack at the water's edge, three miles of hairpin turns down the bluff.

But suburbia could soon transform this piece of prime real estate, with its spectacular river views stretching for five miles in three directions. This week, the Prince William Planning Commission will consider a proposal from Legend Properties Inc. to build 2,900 houses, 3.7 million square feet of commercial space--including stores, offices and a hotel--and an 18-hole golf course on the land.  Legend officials call their $3 billion project a mini-Reston on the Potomac, and the project's commercial space, when built out over 20 years, would be twice the size of Reston Town Center. The centerpiece of the project would be an urban-style village of narrow streets and sidewalks, similar to Belmont Bay, which is being built to the north at the mouth of the Occoquan River.

Southbridge at Cherry Hill is one of the largest developments to go before Prince William officials since Disney's ill-fated theme park in the county's rural western end. Prince William has 20 miles of waterfront--an asset that county leaders would like to capitalize on. And the Cherry Hill development could do just that in today's roiling real estate market, the project's proponents say.  But in the year since Legend submitted plans to rezone the property and scaled back the number of proposed houses from 3,600, environmental concerns have made the project a tough sell. Opponents, who plan an all-out assault on the project at a public hearing Saturday, fear that so much construction on the peninsula would destroy the fragile ecosystem and wildlife habitat. Cherry Hill's 1,740 acres are spread over steep slopes that are prone to erosion, and environmentalists fear that construction would send runoff into Powell's Creek below.

Top officials from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Department of Forestry have advised Prince William officials to reject the project because of the environmental dangers.  Soil in the area is so unstable that in 1987, when a 2 1/2-mile access road was built across Powell's Creek to Leesylvania State Park, the construction caused a landslide, park director Jim Klacowitz said. Nearby Neabsco Creek had to be dredged and an artificial drain system built under the park's parking lot, doubling the road's cost.  "There are very large issues here. . . . Have you chosen the right place to do this development? And is it being done in a way that respects the unique environmental circumstances?" said Planning Director Rick Lawson, who signed off on the proposal last week.

While the county's land-use plan calls for a mixed-use development on the peninsula, several supervisors say they are undecided, including Hilda M. Barg (D-Woodbridge), whose family has lived on Cherry Hill for years. The Board of County Supervisors is expected to vote on the project early next year.

Developers have eyed the land for more than a decade. Several proposals have come and gone, killed by poor financing and other problems. The most notable was a plan by Lego Co., the Danish toy-making giant, for a $100 million theme park. The company scuttled the project in 1993, choosing a site in Southern California instead. In recent years, Potomac Cannons owner Arthur L. Silber proposed a baseball stadium and retail complex on the peninsula but was rebuffed by county leaders.

Legend officials say their proposal, which would feature a mix of single-family houses on small lots and luxury town houses, along with a new commuter rail station for Virginia Railway Express, appeals to the county's new taste for upscale housing. "You now have a market that's looking at Prince William County differently than five or seven years ago," Legend Vice President Michael Anderson said. "It's become a high-tech area. If you read between the lines, you see that what they want here is higher-end housing."

But Cherry Hill's greatest asset could prove to be the project's greatest obstacle. Much of the property lies on a steep 25 percent grade. While Legend has pledged to minimize grading and instead build into the contours of the land, environmentalists fear serious erosion and runoff problems. Thousands of old oak, birch, hickory and other hardwood trees, some 70 years old, would be razed, although Legend has agreed to preserve about 35 percent of the site as a conservation area and include a protection zone for two bald eagles that nest on the property. Trees would be restored on an additional 5 percent of the land, the company says.

But critics find that insufficient. "What they have proposed is a gross alteration of the property," said James Waggener, former chairman of the Prince William Natural Resources Council. "It's a high intensity of development on land that simply cannot sustain it."

Legend has agreed to widen buffers between development and wilderness in several areas and has proposed extensive erosion-control measures that satisfy the county's planning staff. The company has also offered to pay the salary of a full-time inspector to monitor the property for erosion and runoff problems. Will that be enough? Some critics say no. "A development of this magnitude has so much potential for problems, and the question in my mind is how do you monitor it?" asked Ruth T. Griggs (R-Occoquan).

Down at Tim's Rivershore Restaurant, Bauckman says he welcomes the development, and not just because his business could profit from hundreds of newcomers who might want to kick back after work with a beer and basket of steamed clams.  "It's inevitable that it's coming," he said.

- (12/4/2000) Legend Properties has established a web page of the background of its rezoning request.  To see it, go to: Southbridge Rezoning.

- (11/24/2000) The law offices of Compton & Duling, which represents Legend Properties, sent a letter to the community members which requests their presence at a public hearing of the PWC Planning Commission at the McCoart Building on Saturday, December 9, at 10:00 a.m. This is a change from the previously announced date and time.  Legend Properties is proposing to rezone about 1700 acres of land outside the boundaries of Southbridge Phase 1 to the area nearer to the Potomac River.  Included in the proposal will be the following:

- - An extension of Route 234 to the proposed Town Center.

- - A future VRE commuter train station

- - A Town Center which includes a public library, a cultural arts center, a live theater, hotel, movie theaters, community green and small retailers blended with residential and office spaces.

- - The donation of 2 elementary school sites.

- - 2 new recreation facilities, each with a pool and bath house plus 12 athletic fields (2 baseball, 2 Little League, 2 softball, 1 football, and 5 soccer fields).

- - 2 playgrounds, 2 basketball courts, 2 tennis courts, and 2 volleyball courts.

For more information, contact Mr. Lacey Compton at (703) 446-2400.

- (11/2/2000) As another follow up to the last meeting on public safety, there was another community meeting Monday night. Officer Crowley returned with her stations Deputy Commander, a police specialist in gang activities, and another officer to answer questions from the community what can be done.  If anyone wishes to start a Community Watch or other organizations or activities, please let us know so we can advertise your meetings. 

- (11/2/2000) Construction has started for the Sleep Inn on Route 1, next to the KFC.   Also, we got word from Doug Humston that the shops due to be open at the location known now as the Dumfries International Airport will begin 2004 in conjunction with the VDOT $40,000,000.00 new intersection near the intersection of Routes 1 and 234.

- (10/26/2000) As a follow up to the last meeting concerning public safety, the Southbridge Board of Directors is inviting the community to another meeting on OCT 30, at 7:00 p.m at the Community Center. The Prince William County Police Department will have officers attending which have worked on incidents similar to the Antrim Circle shooting.  The Board hopes that there will be some other officials from the County and Potomac High School. 

- (10/17/2000) During a community meeting last night regarding public safety, Officer Crowley from the Prince William County Police Department's Crime Prevention Unit discussed the recent shooting incident and options to prevent such future occurrences.  FYI, the accused shooters have been arrested.  There was discussion among the community on several proposals such as hiring security guards, hiring off-duty policemen, establishing a Neighborhood Watch program, etc.  The Board members said that they will explore the options and get back with the community.   A PWC Police Department specialist on gangs will been invited to a future meeting to discuss preventing future gang related crime. 

- (10/16/2000) In response to a recent shooting incident, the Board of Directors will have a police representative at a meeting tonight at the Community Center at 7:30 p.m. to answer questions and address community concerns.

- (10/12/2000) The Prince William County Planning Commission on Cherry Hill rezoning and special use permit applications has been rescheduled.  The meeting will take place on Wednesday NOV 29, at 7:30 p.m. in the Board Chambers of the McCoart Building, located at One County Complex Court in Woodbridge.

- (9/19/2000) The law firm representing Legend Properties has announced that Legend properties has submitted permit applications for rezoning and special use of its future developments within Southbridge.  The cases will go in front of a hearing of the Prince William County Planning Commission on October 18.  Prior to the hearing, Legend Properties invites the whole community for a presentation on these developments.  the meeting for the presentation will be held on September 26, at  7:30 p.m. at the Ferlazzo Building (PWC Government Center).    

- (8/30/2000) Below is a Washington Post article on the erosion problems in the area:

The unrelenting thunderstorms that have lashed the region this summer have caused environmental problems for Prince William County's booming building industry.

Silt is running off from construction sites into nearby streams, the Occoquan River and in some cases, the back yards of frustrated residents. The county's Public Works Department is issuing record numbers of violation notices to builders to correct the damage, officials say.

"We require controls at every site, but with all this rain, they've become ineffective," said Uwe Kirste, the department's environmental services chief. Silt runs into private property and stream channels, he said. "Clearly, it's something that wasn't there as part of the original streambed."

County inspectors have hit local builders with dozens of citations this summer for failing to meet erosion and siltation standards, Kirste said. The county went as far as to issue stop-work orders this month at two residential projects, River Ridge near Occoquan and the Wexford town house project off Cardinal Drive, after the builders failed to heed warnings to stem silt runoff, Kirste said. The builders, Pulte Homes and Equity Homes, responded quickly with new control measures, he said.

In a dry construction season, erosion and runoff are not a problem. But after two years of drought, this summer has rained and rained and rained. Homes are under construction throughout the county. Builders are required by Virginia's soil and erosion laws to build fences and other devices around the site to contain the soil disturbed by construction. Violators faces civil and criminal penalties, but those are rarely levied, officials said.

As trees are removed from a construction site and the soil is graded for new homes, it can wash away in a heavy rain. The problem is more acute on the county's eastern end, where the soil has more gravel, than in the western end, where it has more clay.

Silt control systems range from berms with gravel filters--which let water through but contain the silt--to three-foot-tall fences of black fabric that are buried on the upstream side of a site to keep silt from flowing through.

The erosion systems can survive a small rainfall. But with repeated storms, they get knocked out of place and need cleaning and repositioning to catch the silt. Many construction sites aren't being maintained, Kirste said.

Silt from the River Ridge project flowed into the Occoquan River, where it left a flat layer of mud and sand, Kirste said. Runoff from the Wexford project next to Dale City seeped into neighbors' yards.

Officials at Equity Homes could not be reached for comment. A spokesman for Pulte Homes would not comment.

A Prince William building industry official said that some construction site managers have been lax in maintaining erosion controls.

"It does require diligence," said Michael Anderson, a past president of the Prince William chapter of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association and an official with Legend Properties. "A lot of times with builders, it's not as high up on the priority list as it should be. After two years of drought, it was easy to not pay attention." He said silt controls add to a builder's costs rather than produce income.

Legend Properties has had its own recent problems with runoff at the Southbridge project under construction on the Cherry Hill peninsula in Dumfries.

Runoff from rainstorms two weeks ago seeped into and ruined a yard and driveway of two homes on Possum Point Road, which sits at a sharp drop below the Southbridge project. Anderson said the builder is upgrading the drainage system in one home and installing a new drainage basin in the housing development to prevent further runoff.

- (8/30/2000) The Washington Post reported the following on Washington Homes, one of our primary builders:

Hovnanian Enterprises Inc., the largest home builder in the New Jersey-New York -Pennsylvania area, announced yesterday that it will buy out local builder Washington Homes Inc. for $137 million in cash, stock and assumed debt, making the new company one of the 10 largest builders in the country.

Management of Landover-based Washington Homes described the move as more of a merger of two big builders than a buyout. The deal will make the new and enlarged Hovnanian the second-largest builder in the Washington area and the largest builder in North Carolina, in addition to remaining the biggest in its home territory.

Hovnanian, based in Red Bank, N.J., said Washington Homes shareholders can either swap each of their shares for 1.39 Hovnanian shares or receive $10.08 a share in cash, a 41 percent premium over the Friday closing price. Hovnanian will also pay off or assume about $52 million of Washington Homes debt.

Yesterday, Washington Homes stock rose $1.38 in New York Stock Exchange trading to close at $8.50. Hovnanian stock fell 50 cents to close at $6.56 on the American Stock Exchange.

The merged company plans to build about 8,000 homes a year, becoming the nation's eighth-largest home builder based on revenue. Both companies build a range of homes--town houses, larger single-family houses and adult communities.

"This merger really complements our strategic plan," said Ara K. Hovnanian, president and chief executive of Hovnanian. "Our plan is to be only in a handful of markets but to be dominant in them. Together we will become a more diverse and substantial company, with shareholders' equity exceeding $300 million and total assets approaching $1 billion."

Hovnanian said one of his objectives was to become a significant builder in both the D.C. area, which he called a "very attractive market" with its recent job growth, and in North Carolina, one of the fastest-growing markets in the country.

"We're elated today, we're very excited," said Geaton A. DeCesaris Jr., president, chairman and chief executive of Washington Homes. "It's a win-win situation for both parties."

Hovnanian will retain all of Washington Homes' employees, who will stay in their Landover offices. Washington Homes management, besides DeCesaris, will become the management of the new company's southeast division. DeCesaris, 44, will become president of home-building operations and chief operating officer, the No. 2 executive management position behind Hovnanian, 43.

"The difference is [in going from] being the head of a $470 million company to being the number two of a $2 billion company," DeCesaris said.

The merger brings together firms built by two immigrant families--the Hovnanians being Armenian Americans from New Jersey and the DeCesarises, a large Italian American clan from the Maryland suburbs. Hovnanian's father started Hovnanian Enterprises Inc. in 1959, whereas DeCesaris and his father together bought Washington Homes, a local building company, in 1988.

The DeCesaris family controls more than half of Washington Homes' stock, while the Hovnanian family controls 65 percent of the stock in its existing company.

"There are some similarities in the family situations," Hovnanian said.

Analysts described the merger as a good fit: The companies had little overlap in terms of geographic areas, and the new company will have a dominant position from New York to North Carolina. Analysts said the deal also allowed the two firms to achieve the critical mass needed to get a better stock valuation.

"Both of them were too small for investors to notice before," said John Stanley, a housing analyst at UBS Warburg in New York. "Now they'll get noticed as one of the top home builders in the country."

- (7/25/2000) In a letter from the Community Manager, dated 7/24, the results of the Board of Directors meeting of 7/11 were announced:

    -- The Board of Directors have voted to terminate the contract with Mid-Atlantic cable early, effective 8/31.  This means that homeowners must deal directly with Comcast to obtain cable service at their own expense.

    -- The Board of Directors has accepted a $25,000 offer from Comcast to terminate the old bulk cable agreement.  They will discuss how to appropriate the money at a meeting on Tuesday,  SEP 12 at 5:00 p.m.  Meanwhile, the assessments will not be changed.  

    -- There will be a meeting with Comcast representatives on Tuesday, AUG 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Center.  they will discuss how to get cable service from Comcast.

- (7/15/2000) VDOT has announced a series of road improvements in our area.  Please check our Local Transportation Page for details.

- (7/13/2000) As a follow up to our last story.  The Board of Directors had a meeting with the community on JUL 11.  At the meeting it was decided that the Board will pursue option 1 stated in the letter and see if Comcast Cable would provide us with a bulk basic cable rate of around $26 per month as opposed to their regular rate of $36 per month for basic cable.   

- (7/5/2000) Comcast Cable has taken over both the Jones and Midatlantic cable systems which serve Southbridge.  Comcast has approached the Board of Directors with several options for providing cable service.  In response, the Board has sent a letter to the whole community explaining the options.  The Board will discuss this issue at a meeting on Tuesday, 11 JUL 00, at 6:30 p.m. at the Community Center.  We urge you to attend to its impact on all of us.  

- (6/24/2000) The FCC has approved the merger of our local telephone company, GTE, with Bell Atlantic, forming Verizon, the largest of the "Baby Bells."  Hopefully, this will lead to improve telephone services.  

- (6/24/2000) Construction has picked up on our new elementary school.  The foundation is being currently being laid.  The school is due to be open in the fall 2001.

- (5/17/2000) There is a new playgroup being put together by April Knaus which will meet once a year.  If you are interested in joining, please call her (703) 221-3581.

- (5/14/2000) There will a new Sleep Inn that be built next the Kentucky Fried Chicken on Route 1.  It should be up by next fall.

- (4/8/2000) The Prince William Pacers has just won the Virginia State 9 and under AAU basketball championship! The National tournament is coming up in Memphis Tenn.  It is going to be a very expensive trip and we are searching for donations without much luck. In the beginning of the season, the team did get 1 donation to help pay for our tournaments and uniforms. However, the team is facing the situation of not being able to send the boys if we can't get help. Most of the boys have excellent grades. And have worked very hard for the state championship and keeping there grades up at the same time.   Here is a link to an article that was in the Washington post yesterday about the boys.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35741-2000Mar29.html

If you would like to help, contact Kimberly Marshall at (H)703-221-4617 or (W)703-265-5515 or e-mail her at KimMarshll@aol.com.

- (3/29/2000) As a public service announcement, we at DITT~Inc ask you, our neighbors to participate in the 2000 Census.  Make sure we get what we deserve from our government!  If you have not received a form yet due to your new address, please call 1-800-471-9424 and the Census Bureau will send you a form.  Make yourself count! 

- (2/20/2000) Southbridge now has its own news and information web site!  The Southbridge Sentinel is a site created by DITT~Inc., a web site design and maintenance firm based right here in Southbridge.  DITT~Inc. intends this to be a web page to give Southbridge an active presence on the Internet and give residents and neighbors the opportunity to know their community and what it has to offer.   For your information, DITT~Inc has created similar web sites for other local areas such as the Kingstowne Connection and the Crosspointe Connection