Preferable to selling to a developer for McMansions: creating a paintball facility

One Fairfax County, Virginia couple has decided to develop their 200 acres as a paintball facility rather than let it go to developers and McMansions:

Jeff Waters and his wife could have sold her family’s 200-acre property at 6390 Newman Road in Clifton in “two seconds” to a developer to carve into McMansion lots.

Instead, they’re developing it themselves — into Fairfax County’s first paintball field. The special use permit application was submitted in June. The fees assessed: $16,375.

“We wanted to come up with some way for the property to generate enough income to justify keeping it,” Waters said. “The county wants it to stay an open space. Despite the fact that it’s taking forever, I think the county wants this to happen.”…

This will be green paintball. What could have been 40 lots, 40 septic fields and 36 new acres of impervious surface — or “1,000 pigs,” Waters said — will be a wooded game arena with a couple ancillary buildings.

I wonder if the county and/or the Park Authority would make a good offer to purchase the land itself. I would guess nearby residents would prefer paintball to more subdivisions but wouldn’t they prefer protected open space even more? As the article notes, getting the paintball operation up and running isn’t cheap (between $150-200k). And, imagine the kind of people that are attracted to paintball operations…are these the kind of people neighbors want to see? Perhaps the stick in the mud here are the current owners who appear to want to keep the land themselves – and who could always look for better development opportunities down the road.

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