County supervisors have voted to take land and pay for it later in an effort to clear the way for the extension of Northstar Boulevard.
The $46 million project will connect Northstar Boulevard between Rt. 50 and Tall Cedars Parkway, four lanes wide. It is funded through local money, state tax revenue sharing, and a Northern Virginia Transportation Authority allocation. County transportation staff members have been in negotiations to buy land for the project since late 2018.
However, according to a county report, negotiations have stalled to buy parts of two parcels near Rt. 50. According to that report, the property’s owners, Cedar Run Landscaping, and their attorneys argue the county should buy the entire parcel because they will be unable to get a commercial entrance in the future onto Rt. 50. The current entrance—a residential dirt road, not a commercial entrance—will be destroyed to make room for a turn lane as part of the Northstar project, and VDOT spacing requirements would forbid one at the property after the project.
One parcel is currently a vacant lot which would already need an exception to VDOT rules for a commercial entrance; the county report suggest a commercial entrance may be more feasible along Northstar when it is complete, where the property will have more frontage and the type of road will allow more connections.
At the other parcel, the property owners have met several times with the county about possibly developing a school for autistic people. The county government and property owners did not come to an agreement on a reasonable price and possible land swap.
Under quick take procedures, the county must hold a public hearing, which supervisors did on July 15. Nobody spoke at the public hearing. The county can now file with the Circuit Court, deposit the appraised value of the property with the court, and immediately proceed with work. In total the county has offered $643,265 on the two properties.