News

Over the Fencepost Newsletter

Community Focus

To view programming on the Prince William County YouTube Channel, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/PrinceWilliamCounty.

Coles District Community Focus:

Press Releases

Coles Dictrict Easter Egg Hunt

The event will feature Easter egg hunts for all ages, games, prizes, refreshments and a visit from a “very special guest”.

The event is FREE!

For more information, call (703)792-4620 or send an e-mail to ColesDistrict@pwcgov.org.

Saturday, April 13

1:00 p.m.

Joseph D. Reading Park

8460 Maplewood Drive

Manassas

 

County Projects Underway

The design for the new Prince William County Animal Shelter is complete and construction is expected to begin in August, with a completion date set for February 2021.

According to a recent presentation given to the Prince William Board of County Supervisors regarding capital projects in the county, the shelter will be a 27,200-square-foot, $15.1-million building that will replace the current shelter and all of the out buildings on the property at 14807 Bristow Road.

The new shelter will include a welcome area, a dedicated space for families to interact with the animals they are considering adopting, space for a veterinarian’s office, dedicated space for animal isolation, quarantine and recovery, as well as feed and equipment storage areas, exam and grooming areas, and office space. The facility will have 56 dog kennels and 104 cat kennels, and have space to address surge capacity related to animal cruelty and hoarding cases. It also will fully meet all state and local requirements.

The current shelter, built in 1975 and expanded in 1990, receives 85,000 visitors and 4,100 animals per year. The main shelter is 6,646 square feet with two modular buildings and 12 outbuildings included in the complex; and there are currently 16 double-sided and 14 single-sided dog kennels and eight double-sided and 77 single-sided cat kennels.

Demolition of the old shelter and out buildings will begin in March 2021.

Chairman of the Board of County Supervisors, Corey Stewart, said building the shelter is appropriate. “It’s a big investment, but it’ll last this community a long time, so it’s the right thing to do.”

In addition to the animal shelter, work is underway, beginning or winding up on several fire stations across the county, and an expansion of the Prince William-Manassas Adult Detention Center, or ADC, is ongoing.

Reconstruction of Fire and Rescue Station 6, in the Coles District, is 80 percent complete. After heavy rains delayed construction, the completion date was moved to June 30. A temporary permit will allow personnel to move into the station prior to completion. Moving in will begin in May, with demolition of the old building to begin immediately afterward. The project includes expanded office space, sleeping quarters, more suitable apparatus areas and hazmat storage.

Reconstruction of Fire and Rescue Station 5, in Nokesville, is 85 percent complete and within budget. The new station will replace the current station and include expanded office space, sleeping quarters, community room and more suitable apparatus areas. It is scheduled to be completed by August.

Plans were submitted in December for Fire and Rescue Station 22. The site plan is approved and a building plan approval is expected in April with construction set to begin in June. The station will be located at 11600 Balls Ford Road and is planned to be approximately 21,000 square feet. The latest cost estimates put the project within budget.

Phase II of the ADC expansion is within budget and 60 percent complete, with construction scheduled to finish in February 2020. The new expansion will include bed space to alleviate current overcrowding and future inmate population growth, as well as repairs to the main jail and an expanded parking lot. It will also include facilities for inmates on the work release program, which currently operates out of leased space.

More information about the county’s Capital Improvement Program can be found at pwcgov.org/cip.

County Offers Service to Help Small Businesses with the Building Process

The Prince William Board of County Supervisor recently saw a presentation on the progress of the Small Business Project Management Program, which seeks to help small businesses navigate the county permitting, occupancy and building processes.

At the beginning of Fiscal 2019, the board adopted and funded the program to authorize the Department of Development Services to hire three project managers to work on the program. Since most small business owners are moving into existing tenant spaces, the county hired two Building Development Project Managers to assist the owners with these projects. A Land Development Project Manager was hired to assist small business owners with new commercial construction projects and the review and permitting of business signage.
Wade Hugh, the director of development services, said the small business program expands on the already successful, existing Commercial Project Management Program, which works with larger commercial developers to help them get through the process of getting projects off the ground and completed.
For the purposes of the Small Business Project Management Program, the county is defining a small business as one that employees 35 or fewer employees. “The county chose this threshold based on our experience with assisting business owners. We find that many small business owners who are just starting their business or expanding for the first time will try to manage their own construction projects,” said Hugh. “Commercial construction can be far more challenging than residential construction, so an owner who dabbled in residential construction — decks, porches, finished basements, etc. — can quickly find themselves overwhelmed by the commercial construction codes. For the county to successfully assist small business owners, we needed to modify our Commercial Project Management Program to be more proactive.”
With the program in place, small business representatives or owners can come into Development Services, meet a project manager who will be dedicated to their project and begin the process.
Getting the small business owner into the new program to talk with project manager serves another purpose as well, Hugh said. “While we have them there, let’s explain some of the processes. Let’s make sure we exchange business cards so that when they’re ready to take that next step they know exactly who to call, and we can help them even before they get their plans ready to submit.”
Development Services already has a customer interview process in place where a panel, comprised of industry members and county staff, asks small business owners, contractors, architects and engineers how the process worked out for them. Hugh said the interviews conducted so far have been positive and helped identify areas for continued improvement.
For more information about Development Services and the Small Business Project Management Program, visit pwcgov.org/dds.

It is Now Easier to Find Out Status of Development Projects in the County

​The Prince William County Planning Office has made it easier for people to find out the status of development projects across the county. The Development Application Processing Schedule, or DAPS, has been around since the early 2000s, but it’s recently been improved.

“It was 70 pages before,” said David McGettigan, the county’s long-range planning manager. “It was a little complicated to read through. We’ve gotten it down to 24 pages; and it’s much more concise and easier to read.”
While shorter and more concise, the schedule still shows whether projects are pending, under review, deferred, suspended, approved, withdrawn or dismissed. It also still contains a listing of all the rezonings, special-use permits and comprehensive plan amendments scheduled to come before the county’s Planning Commission and the Board of County Supervisors.
In addition, the new DAPS includes the following improvements:

  • Cases are not duplicated in different sections of the report.
  • Cases are now sorted by status to easily discern where the case is in the process and all cases have the same columns of information.
  • Only the primary GPIN is shown to reduce the report size by not listing every parcel in the application.
  • All case types will remain on the report for 90 days after the final action before no longer being displayed.
  • There are more embedded links to find out more about each project, as well as contact information for project managers for people interested in commenting on a given case.

DAPS allows people to see the status of a project from the time it is received by the Planning Office and then keep track of those projects as they proceed through the system, McGettigan said. “It’s very up-to-date. It’s automatically updated every night. They can see the application material and the plans that are being proposed. Agency comments on the case will also be available.”

The schedule also shows a description of all the listed projects “They can go there and see the description of the case, how many units it is, when it’s scheduled for a hearing or what the status of it is and find out more about it,” McGettigan said.
The DAPS supplements postcards residents who live near a proposed project receive in the mail, as well as information on the white signs with red and black print posted at the site of proposed projects, McGettigan said.
The schedule is available on the department’s webpage at pwcgov.org/DAPS.

Animal Shelter Design Phase Nears Completion

​Everything is on track for the new $15.1-million animal shelter to be completed on schedule in early 2021. The design for the shelter is set to be finished in January with plan review to follow. Permitting and bidding is set to occur between January and May of 2019.

Construction is scheduled to begin in June 2019 with occupancy planned for February 2021, according to Tom Bruun the director of the Prince William County Public Works Department, who recently briefed the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. “We are where we want to be at this point from a schedule perspective.”
In addition to being on schedule, the projected cost for the finished shelter remains the same, Bruun said. “We’ve done several professional estimates on this project and we’re within the budget.”
Prince William County Spokesman Jason Grant said the project is proceeding at a pace consistent with other projects of similar size “The length of time from when the board approved the animal shelter concept to when the contract will be awarded is due to the time necessary to create formal architectural and engineering designs that allow us to bid out the project and award a contract. The design phase for a capital project of this scope is typically 12 to 18 months.”
With designs being completed, the county will soon put the project out to bid. According to Grant, once bids are received the county will have firm costs proposals, and then be able to address whether there will be any necessary changes to the scope of cost of the project. “All of our projects are subject to materials and labor cost increases that are outside of our control, however, as of this time we remain on schedule and within budget to deliver the animal shelter as approved by the board.

Safely Dispose of Medication Through Take-Back Program

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs that are improperly handled can cause problems in the community, so it’s important to be judicious in their disposal.

Unused medications that are casually thrown away can end up in the wrong hands and lead to accidental poisoning, overdose, abuse and addiction. Flushing unused medication is not a good option either, as it’s possible that they will get into the environment and the water supply.

On Saturday, Oct. 27, the Prince William County Police Department, in cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration, will participate in the DEA National Rx Take-Back program between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at several locations across the county.

People who have unused or expired medications can take them to The Charlie T. Deane Central District Police Station at 5036 Davis Ford Road, Novant Health UVA Health System Haymarket Medical Center at 15225 Heathcote Blvd., and Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center at 8700 Sudley Road.

Drugs that can be turned in include prescription and over-the-counter medications, tablets and capsules, as well as pet medications, said Prince William Police Sgt. Sarah Rolle.

Drugs that may not be dropped off include injectables, syringes and EpiPens. Contact the Prince William County Solid Waste Management Division for ways to dispose of those items.

Intravenous solutions, hydrogen peroxide, compressed cylinders or aerosols, iodine-containing medications and thermometers will not be accepted. Alcohol and illicit drugs such marijuana, heroin, LSD, methamphetamine and others will not be accepted either.

Medications to be turned in should be sealed in containers such as the original bottle or in sealed zip-lock bags. Liquid medications should remain in their original containers. People should remove personal information from the packaging or mark it out with a permanent marker.

Rolle said the medications will be taken to Virginia State Police Headquarters in Fairfax County where they will be safely incinerated.

Other partners participating in the Take-Back include Manassas City Police, Sentara Healthcare and the Prince William Crime Prevention Council.

For more information, visit pwcgov.org/police.