Planning Commission member declares candidacy

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February 5, 2010

3:03 AM

Another contender has declared his candidacy for the Williamsburg City Council.

Planning Commission member Sean Driscoll officially announced his candidacy for the Williamsburg City Council Tuesday.

“I grew up here, [and have] been active in the city … for the last 10 years,” Driscoll said in an interview Thursday. “I want to help shape and grow the city.”

Driscoll has served on the city’s planning commission for four years, and says he plans to work with the College if elected to the council.

“Unfortunately, some people view [town-gown relations] as strained,” he said. “I’d be willing to sit down with the College and figure out what needs to be done.”

In recent planning commission meetings, several commissioners have urged the city and the College to explore public-private projects as a way to improve the College’s housing situation.

“It would make sense to cluster students so they have access to certain services,” Driscoll said.

He added that he would like to see projects in the same vein as the apartment and retail complex being built by the College of William and Mary Real Estate Foundation near Wawa on Richmond Road

While on the planning commission, Driscoll voted against expanding the city’s occupancy limit to more than three unrelated individuals.

“We were for keeping the three-person rule,” Driscoll said. “My biggest thing is preserving certain neighborhoods. I’ve been in favor of supporting higher density, which works.”

Currently, the city prohibits more than 14 individuals from living on an acre of land. Increasing that density limit could potentially allow for the development of larger multi-family dwellings or apartment buildings.

According to the city’s voter registrar office, five people have begun filing the paperwork necessary to run for the council.

Driscoll is the second person to officially declare his candidacy, behind Scott Foster ’10. Dr. David Dafashy, a physician at the College’s Student Health Center, has said that he, too, plans on running for the council.
Council member Bobby Braxton said that he will be announcing whether or not he will run today. The registrar’s office did not identify the fifth individual to take out paperwork for filing candidacy.

The city council election will take place May 4.

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