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Defiant Planning Commission Sends Zoning Changes To Town Council

September 30, 2015 Development, News 1 comment
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In a dramatic 5-1-1 vote, the Purcellville Planning Commission has put the ball squarely in the Purcellville Town Council’s court, recommending dozens of sweeping zoning changes fought for tooth and nail by developers. The vote shifts the focus of the debate from the Planning Commission to Town Council meetings and public hearings scheduled to start in October.

Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman was the sole dissenter in the Planning Commission’s dramatic volley, voting no on the proposed changes. Planning Commissioners Chip Paciulli, Theresa Stein, Edward Van Istendal, Doug McCollum and Gil Paist, voted yes, with planning commissioner Chris Bledsoe absent for the vote.

At the Planning Commission public hearing Mayor Kwasi Fraser said, “A vast majority of the proposed changes will increase the value of a few property owners by granting by right use…while other citizens will lose out on the ability to obtain value added conditions for development that might compliment the lifestyles and environment they cherish in Purcellville … the majority of the residents with whom I have spoken … are recommending that we suspend making these drastic changes to the zoning uses … all energy should be on the Comprehensive Plan review; you have the attention of the citizens so let’s do it.”

A few of the changes proposed by the Planning Commission include:

  • Allowing completely new uses in select districts.
  • Eliminating Special Use Permits for many uses.
  • Increasing limits on restaurant size.
  • Adding big box retail up to 10,000 square feet to the C-4 and C-1 Districts to name a few.

Noted dissenting commissioner Nedim Ogelman, “We said we would not change the purposes of the districts to avoid claims we are engaging in rezoning, yet the draft ordinance amendment before us … is essentially rezoning … We are tasked with advising the Town Council on planning issues. My advice to the Town Council is to listen to what citizens have been telling us in our information sessions, through correspondence, in our public hearing, and in the town survey … that we table the draft zoning use changes until after we have a Comprehensive Plan Review.”
Many citizens spoke at the Planning Commission public hearing including Ed Need who highlighted the negative effects of rezoning.

Developer interests, however, presented a very different point of view. Attorney Mark Nelis, representing Jiffy Lube and others continued to press for a reduction in the number of zoning districts and a reduction in the number of special use permits required for various uses; the goal? – to save his clients time and money.

At the Town Council work session in late September, Councilmember Ben Packard made a motion to put the proposed zoning changes on the Oct. 13 town council meeting agenda.

Mayor Kwasi Fraser and Councilmember Karen Jimmerson objected, with the mayor noting that over the last three months he had sent numerous questions about the Planning Commission’s long list of zoning changes to Commissioner Gil Paist, but, had received no answers.

Said Mayor Fraser “ … we have a Planning Commission that refuses to answer fundamental questions about the economic, social, and environmental impacts of their recommended zoning use changes … There seems to be this continuous push to erect buildings without careful thought about supporting infrastructure and the impact to the surrounding environment … experts in the field of town planning warn [that] it is poor practice and could result in legal trouble for a community to adopt a zoning ordinance first and then write up a town plan.”

Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman, town council member Karen Jimmerson, Mayor Fraser and others are also expected to continue to push for a thorough Comprehensive Plan review before any major zoning changes are put in place.

PDH Districts Go Down, More Big Box Stores and Restaurants

August 7, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on PDH Districts Go Down, More Big Box Stores and Restaurants
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You win some you lose some. But, citizens participating in three days of Purcellville Planning Commission public input sessions held their own in expressing concerns about the large number of town zoning use changes being proposed by the commission.
With more than 200 zoning regulations up for debate – covering everything from alterations to the purpose of the Planned Development Housing Districts (PDH) to additional permitted uses in the Commercial, Mixed-Use Commercial, Industrial and other designations – the tenor of the three public input sessions – held July 7, 8 and 9 – reflected the polarized zoning debate taking place in Purcellville, pitting the preferences of most citizens against the special interests of a few. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Crossroads Developers Seek 50+-Acre Annexation

August 7, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on Purcellville Crossroads Developers Seek 50+-Acre Annexation
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Developers are requesting that some 50 acres at the intersection of Route 287 and St. Francis Court be annexed into the Town of Purcellville for the purpose of developing an intensive residential and commercial project known as Purcellville Crossroads. Proposed in conjunction with the Tilly’s Entertainment Company, the development would bring in dense commercial and residential uses – including national chain restaurants, a hotel, go-carts, commuter parking and other uses. The area is now predominated by 3-acre residential properties, and farms and wineries consistent with distinctly rural uses. As such, Purcellville Crossroads is drawing the ire of the homeowners and rural businesses in the area. … Continue Reading

“Future Developers Must Follow The Rules Of Law Set Forth In Our Town” Citizen Activist Challenges Vineyard Square Development

July 1, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on “Future Developers Must Follow The Rules Of Law Set Forth In Our Town” Citizen Activist Challenges Vineyard Square Development
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– By Andrea Gaines

Purcellville resident and businesswoman Mary Ellen Stover addressed citizens June 27, as she explained her legal challenge to Purcellville Zoning Administrator Patrick Sullivan’s decision to let the historic downtown project known as Vineyard Square proceed, despite at least two expired Certificate of Design Approval permits.

Stover’s antique shop, Mary Ellen Stover Antiques, is located in a part of historic downtown Purcellville that will be directly impacted by the 5-6 story, mixed-use Vineyard Square development. But, according to Stover, while she opposes the project on principle, believing that its size and scope is inappropriate for the spot and incompatible for historic downtown, the essence of her legal challenge centers on the special treatment being given to developers John Chapman and Mark Nelis.

… Continue Reading

Stage Is Set For Purcellville’s July 7, 8, 9 Zoning Debate

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No-Size-Limit Big Box Stores, By-Right Drive-Thrus And More On Developers’ Wish List

The Purcellville Planning Commission has finalized its agenda for the approximately 229 zoning regulations that will be the subject of three major public input sessions in early July.

The commission’s agenda ranges from uses that will remain unchanged in residential, commercial and industrial zones, to new uses that would now fall into the by-right category, eliminating requirements for public input before a particular project can proceed. These by-right uses include drive-thrus, no-size-limit big box stores, and high-density town center-style developments.

… Continue Reading

Public Asked To Weigh in on Developer Demands for Sweeping Changes to Zoning Map

June 3, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on Public Asked To Weigh in on Developer Demands for Sweeping Changes to Zoning Map
town of purcellville sign

Expanded Big Box Stores, By Right Drive-Thrus, Data Centers and More on Planning Commissioner’s Agenda

Purcellville Planning Commission Chairman Gilbert Paist – under significant pressure from Mayor Kwasi Fraser, Town Council member Karen Jimmerson, Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman and others – is asking for public input on a long and increasingly aggressive list of developer demands for sweeping changes to town zoning regulations.

Paist, serving on the Planning Commission since 2011 and as chairman since 2014, is viewed by the preservation community as decidedly pro-developer, as are many long-standing members of both the Planning Commission and the Purcellville Town Council. … Continue Reading

Kline Proposal Update

June 3, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on Kline Proposal Update
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In late May the developers of the Purcellville Crossroads Property had a meeting at the Carver Center to update the neighbors on the proposed annexation project – although the residents in the town of Purcellville were not notified of the meeting.

Pleasants Kline, along with three other property owners, is requesting the annexation of approximately 50.4 acres. The property is currently zoned JLMA-3 (one house per three acres). It is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Berlin Turnpike (Rt. 287) and Harry Byrd Highway (Rt. 7) and along St. Francis Court. … Continue Reading

BOS Approves $167,000 For Northern Collector Road Study

June 3, 2015 Development, News 3 comments
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Another Give Away To “Deep-Pocketed” Developers, Says One

In March, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors approved funding for a study of the NCR. The road –envisioned as a four-lane highway – appears on Loudoun’s Countywide Transportation Plan. However, smart growth advocates point out that collector roads are often purely conceptual in nature, put on transportation documents in the event they are needed in the future. Loudoun’s official transportation plan map, in fact, is designed to chart county transportation needs through the year 2030. Said Wright Farm resident Ray Baker, whose residential neighborhood would be directly impacted by the road “ … for every deep-pocketed voice which demands zoning changes, there are dozens of regular folks like myself who moved to Purcellville specifically to be away from the noise and congestion of other areas … the last thing this area needs is a four-lane Northern Collector Road running through our peaceful development.” … Continue Reading

Help Shape Loudoun’s Future; Attend a Silver Line Scenario Planning Work Session May 28

May 10, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on Help Shape Loudoun’s Future; Attend a Silver Line Scenario Planning Work Session May 28
Silver Line Land Use Scenario Planning Study Area Map

Loudoun County encourages anyone interested in the development around the future Metrorail stations in Loudoun to attend an interactive work session from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, May 28, at Moorefield Station Elementary School, 22325 Mooreview Parkway in Ashburn.

The work session will include a presentation and interactive activities. Participants will hear about the process the Loudoun County project team is using to consider alternative growth scenarios for land around the future Metro stations. People attending the work session will help shape the future of Loudoun County by sharing their ideas about new development. During the work session, participants will have the opportunity to talk to team members about the issues most important to them and help set priorities for the land use scenario planning study as the process moves forward. … Continue Reading

Annexation Requests Move Forward Along the Proposed Northern Collector Road Corridor – And Beyond

May 6, 2015 Development, News 2 comments
town of purcellville sign

– By Valerie Cury

Three new annexation requests are in process or will be submitted shortly to the Town of Purcellville. These include:

The Purcellville Crossroads Proposal

Pleasants Kline, along with three other property owners, is requesting the annexation of approximately 50.4 acres. It is located at the northwest corner of the intersection of Berlin Turnpike (Route 287) and Harry Byrd Highway (Route 7) and along St. Francis Court. The property is currently zoned JLMA-3 (one house per three acres). … Continue Reading

Sullivan Vineyard Square Ruling Facing Official Appeal

May 6, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on Sullivan Vineyard Square Ruling Facing Official Appeal
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On March 9, 2015, Purcellville Town Manager Rob Lohr received a letter from developer John Chapman asking the town manager, who has broad powers, to confirm that the Vineyard Square development project had “commenced” – thus eliminating the need for the developers to reapply for long-expired permits and start the project over. The project “ … is well under way,” according to the letter. Chapman asserted that because he had demolished three buildings under CDAs 13-13 and 13-14 – the project as a whole had started.

Prior to this letter, Vineyard Square, which is a planned 5-6 story mixed-use development on 21st Street, had a time limit for the Certificate of Design Approval (CDA) permits from the Board of Architectural Review to demolish certain buildings on 21st Street. Developers Chapman and Mark Nelis had to meet time limits on each CDA. At the time, zoning administrator Patrick Sullivan said in a memo dated May 29, 2014, “Each of the CDAs has a time limit of one year that is imposed by ordinance (Chapter 54 Section 54-78 F of the Town Code). The expiration dates laid out in Sullivan’s memo were November 14 2014, December 16, 2014 – with a required approved site plan and zoning permit, and January 14, 2015 – again with an approved site plan and zoning permit. … Continue Reading

Brand New Home for a Battle-Injured Soldier

May 6, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on Brand New Home for a Battle-Injured Soldier
homeforsoldier

Construction on a brand new home for a battle-injured soldier is well underway in western Loudoun County.

The home is a project of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation of New York City, with secondary funding by the actor Gary Sinise’s foundation and the Building for America’s Bravest Foundation. Crews from Fuog/Interbuild, Inc. located in Purcellville and sub-contractors from western Loudoun have passed the half-way point in construction with a July target date for completion of the project outside Lovettsville.

John Fuog said his firm was awarded the contract by the foundation, “And we’re very happy to be a part of this historic project which honors a critically injured warrior, as well as a New York City fireman who lost his life trying to rescue people on 911 in the World Trade Center disaster.” … Continue Reading

Purcellville Meeting On Proposed Northern Collector Road – May 5 At Loudoun Valley High School

May 1, 2015 Development, News Comments Off on Purcellville Meeting On Proposed Northern Collector Road – May 5 At Loudoun Valley High School
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There will be a community meeting Tuesday, May 5, at 7:00 p.m. at Loudoun Valley High School to discuss plans for the Northern Collector Road study as well as the re-alignments. Many citizens see this proposed road as leading to further high density development, as most large parcels of land along this proposed route are undeveloped, and currently have low density zoning. Supervisors Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge) and Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin) have set up this meeting.

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Joel Gicker, Kyle Siecker, Sam Soltis and David Watson achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at Blue Ridge Bible Church in Purcellville on January 9. The four Eagles are members of Troop 711 of …

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8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

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Calendar

June 2016
M T W T F S S
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Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

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Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Free Gardening Lecture

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Yard Sale

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

PAUL REISLER TRIO WITH LEA MORRIS AND MARSHALL KEYS

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

19th Annual Cajun Festival & Crawfish Boil

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Goats at BRNP

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Bring Dad to North Gate Vineyard

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

June Fourth Friday at Breaux Vineyards

Love, He Called It

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Love, He Called It

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Sip & Paint at Breaux Vineyards

Love, He Called It

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

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Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

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Lifestyle

Troy and Paula Haag Perform at Old Stone School

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Troy and Paula Haag, will appear on The Gap Stage at the Old Stone School on Saturday, June 18. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Dinner will be sold by Big Mike’s BBQ, drinks will be sold by the glass, and there will be desserts at intermission. Troy and Paula will be joined by Max Haag …

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Here’s To the Colorists, Manicurists and Blow Dry Mavens… Thanks for Listening!

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Wait. Something That’s Really Healthy Can Be Really Fun … Too?

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