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High-Density Adult Community Proposed for 32nd Street

July 2, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News 5 comments
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TMG Construction Corporation, in partnership with architect Michael L. Oxman and Associates, Ltd., has proposed a gated adult townhome development of 50 units on the 10-acre Ball property in Purcellville. The land is just south of the intersection of 32nd Street and Main Street, adjacent to the Loudoun Golf and Country Club.

TMG is owned by Tanya and Joe Matthews. Tanya Mattews is on the board of the Purcellville Business Association and past president of that organization. She currently serves on the Loudoun County Government Reform Committee. … Continue Reading

Catoctin Creek Apartments Approved for Tax Credits

July 2, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News 3 comments
town of purcellville sign

By Karen Jimmerson

The developers behind the Catoctin Creek Apartments have forged ahead, applying for and being approved for housing tax credits through the Virginia Housing and Development Authority (VHDA). The developer is asking the town of Purcellville to change the zoning of a 13.7-acre portion of the 20-acre site on Hirst Road from Commerical-1 to Planned Development Housing -15 to provide for the construction of a 176-unit affordable apartment project. They are also asking for a Comprehensive Plan amendment. … Continue Reading

Ribbon Cutting for the Southern Collector Road

July 2, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Be the first to comment

The Town of Purcellville had the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Southern Collector Road on June 28.  Mayor Bob Lazaro (in the middle of the photo) is flanked on the left by Sean T. Connaughton, secretary of transportation for the commonwealth of Virginia and on the right by Blue Ridge Supervisor Janet Clarke and Chairman Scott York.  Also joining the mayor were present and former council members and former Purcellville Mayor John Marsh.  Dave Stegmaier, director of community outreach for Congressman Frank R. Wolf’s office, was also in attendance. 

492-Home Autumn Hill Development Update

June 4, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News 1 comment

By Mary M. Bathory Vidaver

On May 21 the Loudoun County Planning Commission had its hearing regarding the Autumn Hill (now, Mayfair) application to build communal water and sewer plants to serve development on the property. Autumn Hill is located near the Purcellville Industrial Park in the vacinity of Hatcher Avenue and adjacent to the Chesnut Hill community.

This application is the latest installment in the two-decade endeavor to construct 492 homes, including 120 affordable dwelling units, on 50 acres of the 70-acre property. As such, it is part of a complex issue that includes an outstanding lawsuit between the developer and the county, the March 6 termination of the county’s annexation agreement with the Town of Purcellville, the repeal of the Purcellville Urban Growth Area Management Plan, and the adoption of appropriate amendments to the county’s general plan. The current debate surrounds the 2011 decision by the developer, Brookfield Autumn Hill, LLC, to circumvent a requirement that the project be served by Town of Purcellville water ?and sewer. … Continue Reading

Longstanding Businesses Oppose Purcellville’s 21 Street “Phase II”

May 1, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News 3 comments
town of purcellville sign

21st Street in Purcellville, which anchors the town’s most historic commercial district, is slated to undergo significant changes. In “Phase I,” completed last year, the area adjacent to Magnolia’s at the Mill restaurant and the historic train station saw the addition of new and wider sidewalks and several crosswalks, among other improvements. It also included the earlier installation of angled parking along 21st Street. Phase II includes much more sweeping and widespread changes and has several of the town’s most prominent older businesses, including Nichols Hardware – which faces 21st Street – up in arms.

The major components of Phase II include wider sidewalks, a significant narrowing of 21st Street, an 18-inch lowering of the road bed, more crosswalks, an elimination of the loading zones businesses on the street routinely use for deliveries and the elimination of select parking places. At the same time, developers John Chapman and Mark Nelis have been in discussions with the town over the potential for either a retail/hotel complex or retail/condominium complex of up to 115,000 square feet that will be accessed from the same area. … Continue Reading

Breaking Ground at Saint Francis de Sales

January 25, 2013 by Contributor Development, News Be the first to comment
St Francis_groundbreaking

More than 130 guests and parishioners were on hand as Purcellville’s St. Francis de Sales church broke ground on its new parish center on Thursday, January 24.

When completed, the facility will feature 11 classrooms and a large multi-purpose hall.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Father Ronald Escalante, St. Francis’ pastor, noting that the project originally got started 10 years ago.

Escalante said that the facility would be used primarily for religious education, but also as a meeting place for the church’s youth group. … Continue Reading

Is the Infamous “Outer Beltway” on Its Way?

January 9, 2013 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News 4 comments

By Mary M. Bathory Vidaver

In 2011, the Fairfax and Prince William County representatives to the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) proposed the creation of a North-South Corridor of Statewide Significance (COSS). At the time, elected officials, Loudoun citizens, and the Loudoun representative to the CTB raised concerns that the proposal was an effort to revive the dream of an Outer Beltway with an end run around local citizens and elected officials by an unelected state body whose meetings took place in Richmond.

Not so, defended the proposal’s sponsors, who claimed they were merely initiating the possibility of a public multi-modal planning process for a corridor extending from Route 95 to Route 7 along Routes 234 and 659. In an email to then-Supervisor Jim Burton and State Senator Mark Herring, CTB member J. Douglas Koelemay from Fairfax explained, “The designation simply means ‘ready for multi-modal planning’ and allows a corridor to be considered for a collaborative planning process that includes the state, regional authorities and localities.” … Continue Reading

Developer Advertising Significant Changes to Historic Downtown

December 5, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News 6 comments

The Vienna Virginia based Renaud Consulting Company – described as ” a full service real estate company” – is promoting on its website a significant, to-be-built commercial rental property known as “Vineyard Square.”

Vineyard Square is envisioned as a 100,000 square foot retail/hotel development north of the intersection of Main and 21st Streets within Purcellville’s historic downtown. The project would replace current retail space, small businesses, parts of Purcellville’s original agricultural and industrial-related structures and other properties. The project would also create a new cut through from 21st Street to a commercial/residential portion of Hatcher Street. … Continue Reading

Mosby Heritage Area Association Issues Request for Proposals in Battlefield Protection Plan

December 4, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Be the first to comment

The Mosby Heritage Area Association, the Virginia Piedmont preservation and education organization, has issued a Request for Proposals, seeking to contract a preservation or cultural resource management firm to create a preservation plan for the Civil War Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville.

In August 2012, The Mosby Heritage Area Association announced that it received a grant from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) to fund a community-based preservation plan for the Civil War Cavalry Battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville. The preservation plan will focus on the three cavalry battles at Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville, where General J.E.B. Stuart fought a delaying tactic in June 1863 to screen the northern movement of General Robert E. Lee into Pennsylvania, prior to the Battle of Gettysburg. … Continue Reading

“Minor” Special Exception Sought for New Purcellville Banquet Facility

November 7, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Be the first to comment
special exception article

There will be a public hearing November 13 for a “Minor Special Exception” (SPM1) for a new banquet facility to include indoor and outdoor events. The property is located 1/2 mile south from the Town of Purcellville on Silcott Springs Road (690). The 234 acre property is currently vacant land and is zoned AR1 (agriculture rural-1). Under current zoning, the property owner could host ten events per year with a minimum of 14 days between events. The use is governed under policies of the Revised General Plan.

The Revised General Plan identifies appropriate rural business uses in order to provide opportunities for rural tourism and hospitality services. The potential uses include bed and breakfasts, country inns, rural retreats and corporate retreats, to name a few. … Continue Reading

200 Unit Apartment Complex Update

November 7, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Be the first to comment
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Less than two weeks after attorney and developer Mark Nelis spoke to the board of Old Dominion Valley about the possibility of a 200 unit apartment complex going on the Stupar property, a comprehensive plan amendment application, and a zoning amendment application were filed at the Town of Purcellville for the property. Mark Nelis is representing Nusbaum Realty who envisions developing the 200 unit apartment complex on 13.72 acres of the 20.43 acre parcel. The property is located on Hirst Road in Purcellville across from the Purcellville Safety Center. … Continue Reading

Wolf Releases Statement on DOT IG Report on MWAA

November 1, 2012 by Contributor Development, News Be the first to comment

Rep. Frank Wolf (VA-10) issued the following statement on the release of the Department of Transportation’s IG report on the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA):

“The MWAA described in this report is not the MWAA created 25 years ago. Something has gone terribly wrong in recent years as the board that governs MWAA spiraled into dysfunction. MWAA must immediately implement all the recommendations detailed in the IG’s report so it returns to the authority we once knew.

“The issues raised by the IG are serious and troubling. The successful operation of Ronald Reagan and Washington Dulles airports and the Metrorail extension project requires an organization that is ethical, honest and beyond reproach. Public trust in MWAA is imperative as the airports are partly funded by taxpayer money, and the extension project partly by tolls on the Dulles Toll Road. MWAA must be a good public steward of taxpayer and toll-payer dollars. … Continue Reading

New Purcellville Apartment Complex Project in Planning Stages

October 3, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News 2 comments
town of purcellville sign

Attorney and developer Mark Nelis, a member of the Loudoun Government Reform Committee, spoke to the board of the Home Owners Association (HOA) of Old Dominion Valley in late September. Nelis is representing Nusbaum Realty which is considering a multi-family housing rental project on part of the Stupar Property on Hirst Road in Purcellville across from the Purcellville Public Safety Center. Nelis said that his client is interested in possibly purchasing 13 acres of the 20+ acre parcel that is located within the town limits of Purcellville and backs up to Old Dominion Valley Subdivision. Nusbaum Realty envisions developing an apartment complex on the 13-acre parcel. … Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Pungent Curry

9 Apr 2014


The latest version of the IPCC report is published and once again it will go unread by the great masses of climate science deniers and unreported by the media. So it might be useful to revisit the fundamental physical realities …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Understanding Teen Suicide

1 Apr 2014


By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Northern Virginia has recently experienced several teen suicides. Last month, two Langley High School students took their own lives just a day apart from one another, and this month it appears two students at Woodson High …

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Virginia Gardening

Spring Is Coming

4 Mar 2014


By Donna Williamson March is an in-between month – some cold and the return of glorious warmth now and then. One way to bring some delight inside is forcing spring-blooming branches. You can cut branches of forsythia, cherry, crabapple, kerria, …

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Sushi's Corner

An Easter Swim

1 Apr 2014

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 11.10.56 AM

I felt like a silly nim “cow” poop with these Easter bows in our hair. Okay Nelly, maybe you didn’t because you’re a girl. But me, a Mighty Cairn Terrier male? – PLEASE! Pleasing Mrs. B for Easter pictures was …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

What Baseball Can Teach You About Financial Planning

1 Apr 2014

Amy Smith-BRL

Spring training is a tradition that baseball teams and baseball fans look forward to every year. No matter how they did last year, teams in spring training are full of hope that a new season will bring a fresh start. …

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Go Take a Hike

Blandy Experimental Farm

6 Jun 2012


By Molly Pinson Simoneau It’s no secret that I love a challenging hike. I’ve written here about hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah National Park. I’ve taken vacations with my family to Colorado where I’ve attempted to conquer a “fourteener” (a summit that is higher than 14,000 feet), …


Real Estate Ticker

A Buying Opportunity?

6 Nov 2013

Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer As a direct result of the uncertainty that has arisen from national and regional politics, with its unsettling effect on the Northern Virginia area, for the past two months there has been a market slowdown which has …

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From the Farm

From the Farm

5 Jul 2012

From the Farm

When the heat index reaches 110 degrees, as it has been doing recently, I try to keep in the shade, or stay indoors. But my lavender, about halfway from full bloom, seems to thrive in it. Hot and dry, I …

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April 2014
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: Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists -- Abstract painter Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and contemporary painter Sandra Iafrate


April 12, 2014N/A

Meet Evelyn and Sandra and other gallery artists during a free, open to the public reception for this month's Featured Artists' exhibit "Living Color,” showcasing two accomplished painters Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and Sandra Iafrate, in a vivid and dynamic presentation of color, shape and our surroundings.

Evelyn Lopez de Guzman’s vibrant paintings awaken the viewer to connect with nature and the modern world through an interplay of shape, color, and textural materials.

Sandra Iafrate’s combination of realistic and surrealist interpretation of flowers, foliage and landscapes on spacious canvases convey a sense of movement and playfulness.

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Easter at "The Park"


April 19, 2014

Celebrate Easter at historic Morven Park with crafts for kids, an egg hunt in the formal gardens plus a traditional egg roll on the Davis Mansion lawn. Have a family photo taken with the Easter Bunny. Children should bring a basket for the hunt and a large spoon for the egg roll. $10/participating child (ages 2-12), $3/adult. Register at www.MorvenPark.org.

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VAL's Pals Kids Club


April 30, 2014

Join Inova Loudoun Hospital as the present their Beamer the Dog Program.

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May 4, 2014

Scouting for Bricks is an exhibit showing the Love for everything LEGO® . Come see amazing LEGO® creations by Fans of LEGO®, LEGO® trains, Mindstorms robots. We will also have live Star Wars Stormtroopers and an interactive play area with over 100,000 LEGO bricks. Scouting for Bricks is fun for the Whole Family! Visit us at www.ScoutingForBricks.com.

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View From the Ridge

Rural Loudoun Is Different, and We Say Dark Skies Do Matter

4 Mar 2014


In February of this year a sell out crowd gathered at the county public seat in Leesburg to provide feedback to the Loudoun County Planning Commission on the idea of adding additional sports lights to the upper athletic fields at Franklin Park. Franklin Park includes a really wonderful performing arts …



Steady and Nobull

4 Mar 2014

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Park and Ride Lots for Western Loudoun

4 Mar 2014


In 2003, the county purchased 22 commuter buses to serve a growing demand for bus service to Washington D.C. The demand has grown exponentially ever since. The county now owns or leases 65 large commuter buses (with plush seats and on board restrooms) and more are being added every year. The buses are often filled to standing room only as …



Sadie’s Race 5K and Fun Run Scheduled for Sunday May 18

9 Apr 2014


Sadie Smile Foundation is putting on the third annual Sadie’s Race/Walk and Kids Fun Run to Benefit Smile Train in Purcellville Sunday, May 18th this year. The race starts at 8:00 a.m. at the train station at 200 N 21st Street in Purcellville. Sign up at Active.com. When Sara Ablard lost her five year-old daughter, Sadie, two years ago, she …

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Dr. Joseph Rogers Dies at Family Farm

1 Apr 2014

Dr. Joseph Megeath Rogers, 90, died on Saturday March 8, 2014 at his Hillbrook Farm near Hamilton following a stroke. Physician, farmer, businessman, rural land conservationist, philanthropist and expert horseman, Dr. Rogers was a tireless advocate and practitioner of country living whose contributions in a broad range of interests were made quietly and with little fanfare. His public persona was …

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Zoldos Presented Citizen of the Year Award

1 Apr 2014


At the biweekly March meeting of the Lovettsville Town Council, Mayor Bobby Zoldos was presented the 2013 Citizen of the Year from the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans. Presenting the award was Rick Adams, current president along with Board Member Peter Mullally and  Vice President Jeff Boogaard. Adams said, “On behalf of the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans, we would like to present the …

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Around Virginia

Wolf Won’t Seek Re-election


Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) today announced that he would not seek election to an 18th term in 2014. He released the following statement announcing his decision: “I have decided not to seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2014. It has been an honor to serve the people of northern …

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Virginia Can and Should Work Harder to Combat Hunger


By Congressman Frank Wolf Last year, the USDA reported a record number of Americans are struggling to put food on their tables. Across the nation, 49 million people – including 17 million children and six million seniors – are going hungry, a number that has grown substantially over the last …

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Kaine Statement on Navy Yard Shooting


U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on today’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard: “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by today’s tragic shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. As we learn more about the horrific events that unfolded this morning, my deepest sympathies go out …

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Nominate Your Hometown Hero

9 Apr 2014


Upper Loudoun Little League’s Hometown Heroes scholarship closes on April 21, 2014. The application is available online at ULLL.org. The scholarship is open to all graduating seniors who played baseball for ULLL at some point in their growing up years.

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Lady Vikings Give Back

10 Feb 2014

The Loudoun Valley Girls basketball team held an event on Friday, February 7 at LVHS. The Lady Vikings celebrated “Pink Night” by honoring those who are battling breast cancer or have been affected by breast cancer. The event was held in conjunction with an event held at Woodgrove earlier this …

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Medicaid Expansion Battle Heating Up

4 Mar 2014


Did you know that there’s a very real possibility that a DC-style budget battle and government shutdown could come to Virginia? The Medicaid expansion battle …

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Endorsing for Profit Businesses?

4 Mar 2014

town of purcellville sign

I recently received an automated email message from the Town of Purcellville soliciting nominations for volunteer award recipients in cooperation with the Purcellville Business Association …


Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review

4 Mar 2014

town of purcellville sign

The Purcellville Town Council, foolishly, in the view of many and perhaps most, has overruled its Board of Architectural Review and approved Mark Nelis’s and …



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