Cedar Valley developer plans to resume development

STRASBURG — The developer behind Cedar Valley on U.S. 11 in Strasburg is planning to resume the development of part of the Cedar Valley property.

In a work session on Monday, Town Manager Wyatt Pearson said that S.F.C., LLC plans to purchase and design part of the property. In order to begin the development, Pearson said the developer needs to submit an updated development plan and an updated site plan for the part of the property the company intends to begin developing.

But several council members expressed concern about the plans, saying that their previous experience with the developer left them worried the company would not follow the spirit of the town’s urban development area. Towns often have urban development areas so that the local government can design dense portions of the town.

“It doesn’t matter to me as long as the end result comes out the way we want it,” Councilman Scott Terndrup said.

But given previous battles between the town and the group, Terndrup said he was worried about allowing them to move forward with development.

“I’m not inclined to administratively or any other way just hand him what he wants,” Terndrup said.

In 2005, S.F.C., LLC designed the property with the intent of selling 256 townhomes and single-family properties in a dense development by U.S  11. But the developer did not finish work on the properties and fell into financial hardship during the Great Recession.

Work continued to stall and in 2011, the developer refused to remove construction debris from the site, according to a contemporary article in the Northern Virginia Daily.

“I told [a representative with Springfield] that there is construction debris out there and in the summer the grass gets tall and he said, in not so many words, that he’s not going to pay a crane to come in and get those pipes,” (then-town-manager Judson) Rex was quoted in the article as saying.

Pearson said that the developer wants to cooperate with the town and abide by the urban development area plans as best he can.

“He’s looking at what elements he can fit in that don’t conflict with the utilities he already put in the ground,” Pearson said.

Pearson added that in-depth discussions about how a developer will follow the urban development area plans would normally occur when the developer submits plans to the town. The developer, Pearson said, is not yet looking to have any plans approved.

But council members continued to express concern about continuing with the plans and the town tabled the discussion.