Monthly Archives: December 2013

In their Dreams?

The latest proposal for Master Plan Amendment submitted by Xanterra to James City Planning Commission on December 2 ignores the many complaints made about the likelihood of increased noise to existing homes. The submission includes a detailed traffic report and suggests that Xanterra has responded to issues raised at public meetings, but makes no reference to the noise issue, which was raised by several people at the November 21 public meetings, and followed up in the email to Xanterra copied in the Post below. Where is the report by the noise expert that Gary Raymond assured us was being prepared?

And, in the FISCAL IMPACT ANALYSIS WORKSHEET AND ASSUMPTIONS on Tab 7 of their submission, Xanterra assumes that Single Family Detached Homes will have an average market value of $639,135 and that Townhome/Condo/Multifamily Units will have an average market value of $450,000.   If actual market values proved to be 25-30% lower, the net Fiscal Impact on James City county would be negative.   And, if the likely negative impact of the proposed development on market values of existing homes is also taken into account, there is a high likelihood that the Final Fiscal Impact of the proposed development will be negative for James City County!

Moreover, the over simplistic calculations shown in the Fiscal Impact Worksheet Section 6: Phasing on Page 10 of Tab 7 assume that construction of all developments will proceed at the same rate, which contradicts Gary Raymond’s statement that the townhomes would be constructed first.

Which local realtors would be willing to stake their good name on these proposed homes, on very small lots adjacent to Busch Gardens, selling for $639,135?   Or are these numbers only in Xanterra’s dreams?

A Question of Motive?

Xanterra purchased the tract shown in yellow from Busch Properties on June 13, 2013 for $2.75 million. The assessed value is $388,500. Kingsmill Ownership Map
Busch Properties had purchased the same tract from Colonial Williamsburg on Dec 8, 2006 for $417,700. It’s not a perfect guide but, according to Trulia, the median sales price for homes in the area is still slightly below what is was in December 2006:

23185, Williamsburg median sales prices

What was Xanterra’s motive in purchasing this tract in June of this year?

Email to Gary Raymond, Nov 21 — No Reply Yet!

From: Andrew Lloyd-Williams
To: Gary Raymond <>
Cc: Jose Ribeiro <>
Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2013 10:05 PM
Subject: Effect of Proposed Kingsmill Master Plan Amendments on Noise Levels in Kingsmill

At this evening’s presentation, I referred to the sound of screams, train whistles, concerts and fireworks emanating from Busch Gardens and asked you whether you have considered hiring a noise expert:
1. to measure current levels of this noise at Kingsmill residences close to Busch Gardens;
2. to estimate the increase in this noise at those residences if a large part of the buffer zone behind the Warehams Pond Rec Center were to be cleared for proposed new roads and lots, bearing in mind that Captaine Graves neighbors reported that noise levels increased considerably when the Rec Center land was cleared;
3. to estimate the likely noise levels that would have to be endured by residents at the proposed new lots close to Busch Gardens;

You answered in the affirmative — that you are talking with an expert on these issues. Moreover, in your answer to another question, you said that this expert had already done other similar studies for Busch Gardens. In the interests of openness and transparency, I would appreciate if you could let me have the name of the expert you are talking to, what his credentials are, and when we might expect to see his report on the above issues. I am also copying this email to Jose Ribeiro at the James City Planning Commission as I believe that these are issues that should also be considered by JCPC in reviewing the application.