Developer asks to lower proffer for new subdivision

MIDDLETOWN – A local developer of the Village at Middletown subdivision is asking the town to allow him to pay significantly less then previously agreed to  offset anticipated costs to the area school systems from the additional residents.

Developer Dave Holliday, at a Middletown work session Monday evening, requested a proffer amendment that would allow him to pay $5,887 per unit, instead of $13,952 per unit as previously agreed to. A proffer is a voluntary offer by a landowner to perform an act, contribute money or donate land to offset the impact of new development.

The Village at Middletown is a subdivision of 180 single family homes that will also include commercial space. It is under construction on about 60 acres of land near Lord Fairfax Community College.

Schools impacted would be Middletown Elementary School, Robert E. Aylor Middle School and Sherando High School, Holliday said

The request to recalculate the proffer figure is the result of Senate Bill 549 that the General Assembly passed last year. The law is intended to protect the developer and municipality from being forced to accept an unreasonable high or low offer. It reads “that no locality shall request, or accept, any unreasonable proffer in connection with a rezoning or a proffer condition amendment as a condition of approval of a new residential development or new residential use.”

This protects both developer and municipality from being forced to accept an unreasonable high or low offer.

The new figure was calculated by Patrick Sowers, director of Land Development for Dave Holliday Construction Inc., based on the latest budgets and listed projected enrollment for 2018.

The cost difference will have no direct impact on the town but council’s approval on Dec. 11 is needed because the town collects the funds for Frederick County.

Holliday told the council he had already spoken to Frederick County Board of Supervisors members who had agreed to the change. Those council members at the work session said they wanted something in writing from the county stating they approve the figure change.