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Zoning Administrator Rules Vineyard Square Project May Proceed Despite Expired Permits

April 3, 2015 by Valerie Cury Development, News 17 comments

Decision Goes Into Effect Unless Challenged By April 13

In a surprising reversal of policy, Purcellville Zoning Administrator Patrick Sullivan is siding with Vineyard Square developers John Chapman and Mark Nelis and allowing their project to proceed, despite the fact that numerous dates for their project have expired.

Sullivan’s action is in direct conflict with a Purcellville Town Council vote in July 2014 denying an extension.


Vineyard Square, a 5-6 story mixed use development planned for downtown Purcellville, obtained Certificate of Design Approval (CDA) permits from the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) to demolish certain buildings on 21st Street, each requiring a separate CDA.

… Continue Reading

Study For The Northern Collector Road Advances

April 2, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on Study For The Northern Collector Road Advances

At the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors (BOS) March 4 Business Meeting, the board unanimously approved the funding to complete the Northern Collector Road (NCR) study. The total amount approved was up to $166,883, which includes funding for two phases.
The concept study for the NCR will include the following areas: Allder School Road to the north, Purcellville Road (611) to the west, Berlin Turnpike (Route 287) to the east and Main Street in Purcellville to the south.

The present and future developments listed as the reasons why the study is needed include: the Wright Farm residential community, the Fields Farm School Complex, the Mayfair/Autumn Hill community (not yet built), the yet to be built Loudoun Youth Football Stadium, the yet to be built second access road to Woodgrove High School, the build-out of St. Francis de Sales Church and the future Route 690 interchange (projected to begin in 2025). Future build-out conditions for the town and the county will also be taken into consideration.
According to the March 4 BOS Business Meeting Action Item, Phase I of the study will determine if the NCR “is still needed given the level of actual and planned future development … ” This phase will cost approximately $123,544, and is estimated to take 8 months.

… Continue Reading

Planning Commissioner Raises Red Flag for Second Time

April 1, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, Government, News Comments Off on Planning Commissioner Raises Red Flag for Second Time
town of purcellville sign

Ogelman Challenges Significant Rezonings And “Muzzling” Of Zoning Debate

– By Andrea Gaines

Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman is not afraid to put it in writing.

In passionately worded statements entered into the March Purcellville Planning Commission record, Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman called out his colleagues for taking actions in direct contradiction to the Purcellville Comprehensive Plan. Ogelman also challenged one town council member’s characterization of recent proceedings as negative and unproductive, saying “Sometimes we confront positions with which we disagree, but that doesn’t make them negative … I read that as short-hand for trying to muzzle debate.”

Ogelman’s statement comes in response to a long series of Planning Commission and Purcellville Town Council sessions where developers have pushed for sweeping zoning changes via what is essentially a closed door administrative process, versus the public process called for by Comp Plan defenders, including Mayor Kwasi Fraser and Town Council member Karen Jimmerson.

At issue is whether the major changes proposed should happen piecemeal and in contradiction of the Comp Plan, or whether the changes should be delayed to allow the public to participate as part of the plan’s mandated 5-year review.

… Continue Reading

Phase II of Downtown Project Will Commence in Spring

March 4, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on Phase II of Downtown Project Will Commence in Spring
town of purcellville sign

The Purcellville Town Council voted unanimously to authorize town manager Rob Lohr to execute the contract with Jefferson Asphalt Products Company for Phase II 21st Streetscape improvements and also to GeoConcepts Engineering.

The project has changed from the initial concept. There will be no loss of parking on the east side. The project will consist of drainage work starting at the lowest point – from near the train station and moving up to close to the Pancost building, which is near the White Palace Restaurant. The work will be done from 10:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m., starting Sunday and stopping Friday morning 10:00 a.m. … Continue Reading

Board of Architectural Review Discusses Duplex Design of M/I Homes Proposed “Cottages at 32nd Street”

March 4, 2015 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on Board of Architectural Review Discusses Duplex Design of M/I Homes Proposed “Cottages at 32nd Street”
town of purcellville sign

Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review on February 17 heard from M/I Homes’ representatives regarding their proposed duplex development on S. 32nd Street, in the town’s historic overlay district. The property is currently zoned for 19 homes and M/I Homes has applied for a comprehensive plan amendment as well as a zoning amendment to allow for a density increase to 42 units on 10 acres. Each unit is proposed to be between 2,500 to 2,800 square feet with a price tag of $450,000 to $500,000. BAR Chairman Pat Giglio noted that M/I Homes’ application is currently undergoing review by town staff. Representatives of the developer presented plans for four building models that would consist of two units each. They displayed drawings of the duplex designs, showing that each unit making up one building would have different architectural features. Architect David Robbins described the building design plans to the BAR, saying the developer is incorporating multiple features to reflect design patterns seen on the existing neighborhood’s homes. BAR members, however, having heard the presentation informed the M/I Homes representatives that among other things their design “has many inconsistencies with BAR guidelines,” “is too busy,” “is of a mass and design inconsistent with S. 32nd Street and Purcellville,” and “is inconsistent with architecture throughout the town.” … Continue Reading

York Flips – Deciding Vote To Approve 189 Foot Red Hill Road Water Tower

November 10, 2014 by Mary M. Bathory Vidaver Development, News Comments Off on York Flips – Deciding Vote To Approve 189 Foot Red Hill Road Water Tower

The Red Hill Road water tower saga took yet another surprising turn at the Board of Supervisors November 5th business meeting. Reversing his Transportation/Land Use Committee vote against the towers, Board Chairman Scott York (R-At-Large) failed to support Blue Ridge District Supervisor Janet Clarke’s (R) motion to deny Loudoun Water’s application to build two 189-foot, million-gallon water storage tanks alongside rural unpaved Red Hill Road. Instead, he voted against Clarke’s motion and then offered an alternative motion to approve a single 189-foot, million-gallon water tank on the property. Community members and their supporters watched surprised and stunned, as a majority of the Board voted to approve York’s proposal. Clarke, Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling), Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin), and Ken Reid (R-Leesburg) voted against the towers.

Ashley Ziviello, co-chair of the No Red Hill Water Towers Coalition, commented in an e-mail, “I left the Boardroom feeling totally disgusted with this process. Some Supervisors forgot who they were elected to represent. They had the chance to affect change and hold Loudoun Water accountable but they chose to reward them instead. Where is the accountability?”

… Continue Reading

Hirst Road Developers Continue Push for Quick – Fix Zoning

November 5, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on Hirst Road Developers Continue Push for Quick – Fix Zoning
town of purcellville sign

Special Treatment vs Full Comprehensive Plan Review

At the Purcellville Planning Commission over the past several months, town staff has addressed significant zoning changes along Hirst Road.

The properties set for development are along Hirst Road east and west of Hatcher. One of the parcels was recently proposed for comprehensive plan amendments and zoning amendments to accommodate the Tilley Entertainment and 178 unit apartment complex (Catoctin Creek Town Center) that was eventually withdrawn because of community opposition. The community wanted the zoning to stay as CM1 light industrial similar to the building the town leases for the police department. … Continue Reading

High Density Rezoning Again Proposed for S 32nd Street

November 5, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on High Density Rezoning Again Proposed for S 32nd Street

high density ball property
MI Homes is proposing to rezone the 10-acre Ball property on 32nd Street (S 690) to PDH-5. The property is zoned R-2 which means two houses per acre (19 single family homes) of low-density single family ?detached residential development. The current zoning is consistent with the neighborhood which is single family detached residential houses. This neighborhood is in the Historic Overlay District. … Continue Reading

Update On Red Hill Road Water Towers

October 31, 2014 by Mary M. Bathory Vidaver Development, News Comments Off on Update On Red Hill Road Water Towers

Board Vote On Nov. 5

The Red Hill Road Water Towers story took a surprising twist at the Board of Supervisors’ Transportation / Land Use Committee meeting on October 17, when committee members Scott York (R-At-Large), Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge), and Eugene Delgaudio (R-Sterling) voted to send the application to the full board with a recommendation that the board turn down Loudoun Water’s proposal for two 189-foot, 1 million-gallon water tanks alongside unpaved Red Hill Road. Committee Chairwoman Suzanne Volpe (R-Sugarland Run) was the sole vote in opposition; the committee’s fifth member, Geary Higgins (R-Catoctin), was absent from the meeting.

The committee’s action means a final vote will occur at the board business meeting on November 5 with at least four Supervisors aligned against the project. Clarke, Higgins, and Delgaudio voted against the application at the Board’s Public Hearing in September. York’s decision not to support the application now leaves tower opponents within one vote of their goal. The Blue Ridge Leader attempted to contact the remaining supervisors, but only reached Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn), who commented, “At this point I am still evaluating my position.”

… Continue Reading

Public Encouraged to Vote for Favorite Name for Silver Line Stations in Loudoun

October 20, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News Comments Off on Public Encouraged to Vote for Favorite Name for Silver Line Stations in Loudoun

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors is seeking public input into the naming of the Route 606 and Route 772 Silver Line Metro stations that will be constructed in Loudoun County. The names under consideration for the stations are:
Route 606 Station
Broad Run
Dulles Gateway
Loudoun East
Loudoun Gateway
Loudoun Dulles North … Continue Reading

Property Owner Exploring Purcellville Annexation of Warner Property

October 1, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, News 3 comments

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and the Town of Purcellville have begun preliminary discussions on the possibility of bringing land that is now within county boundaries into the Town of Purcellville.

The Warner property as it is known consists of two parcels equaling 131 acres bordered by Rt. 611 Purcellville Road on the west near the recently annexed development, Autumn Hill/Mayfair. The property is currently zoned JLMA 3, and by county zoning regulations can be developed by right with 35 residential lots. … Continue Reading

“Glamping” Recreational Area Proposed for Paeonion Springs/Waterford

October 1, 2014 by Andrea Gaines Development, News Comments Off on “Glamping” Recreational Area Proposed for Paeonion Springs/Waterford

It’s a term not many people have heard but many may soon find in their backyards.

“Glamping” stands for “glamorous camping for families,” and is the subject of a new kind of recreational project in preliminary application stages for a site just east of Purcellville near the corner of Rt. 9 and Rt. 7.

The rural recreation pre-application project envisions a site that will accommodate approximately 210 persons at any one time. The property consists of 30 acres and is proposed to include: … Continue Reading

Planning Commission Still Moving Forward With Major Zoning Changes

July 3, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, Government, News Comments Off on Planning Commission Still Moving Forward With Major Zoning Changes
town of purcellville sign

In one of the most significant zoning shifts in recent months, the Purcellville Planning Commission has made clear its intent to move forward with a proposal to eliminate the CM1 (Office Light Industrial) zoning along the Hirst Road corridor. The collection of properties is located on Hirst Avenue from the corner of Hirst and Maple Avenues to shortly before the corner of Hirst and Hatcher Avenues. The area is zoned for office light industrial (CM1) and if changed would become Mixed Use Commercial (MC). This change would allow residential units, entertainment venues such as Tilley’s Entertainment, and commercial uses.

This land was the proposed site for the Catoctin Creek Town Center complex. The proposal – complete with bumper boats, go-carts, bumper cars and more – was denied by the planning commission shortly before the May 2014 town elections. If the Planning Commission undertakes and approves this change after a public hearing has occurred, the land owners would then have “by right” zoning – including the ability to construct residential units, commercial buildings and entertainment businesses. Further, the “by right” designation means that the land’s zoning uses cannot be challenged.

… Continue Reading

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Sustainable Planet

Not Your Father’s El Nino

15 Aug 2015


NASA and other agencies now forecast the incipient El Nino conditions to continue at least into the winter and the early part of 2016. Figure 1 compares Pacific sea surface temperature anomaly for the El Nino of 1997- 1998 with …

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Ask Dr. Mike

At Wits End

7 Aug 2015


Dr. Mike, My sister’s son is autistic, but she is in complete denial. I’ve done my research and he fits a diagnosis of autism. He is three years old and doesn’t talk or socialize. He has meltdowns that are out …

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Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth

Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth: Morven Park

7 Aug 2015


I think what strikes me most about this place – as over the top as it is in many ways – is how understated it really is; I know that’ll take some explaining. I’ve been to Morven Park hundreds of …

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Mount Zion Church

1 Jul 2015


– By Tim Jon So: You’ve never given the American Civil War a great deal of thought, much less walked the grounds of Gettysburg or some of the other, major battleground sites located in our region; you may not be …

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Sushi's Corner

March Sushi

4 Mar 2015

pot of gold

Hello everyone, this is Hokie Cat from Fields of Athenry Farm. Sushi is in big trouble as we speak and is residing in doggy dungeon. I am here to fill you in on what took place. My brother Mountie loves …

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Virginia Gardening

Planting an Allergy-Free Garden

5 May 2015


By Donna Williamson Tom Ogren has a long-time interest in allergy-inducing plants. He has written several books on the topic and in February released his latest The Allergy Fighting Garden. He explains why plants can stir up allergies and has …

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Samuel Moore-Sobel

What It Means To Be a Man

7 Aug 2015


By Samuel Moore-Sobel As I have gotten older I have noticed that there are more and more young men who ask me for advice. To me it seems silly – I am often not much older than the person asking, …


Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

A Social Security Strategy Could Enhance Your Retirement Income Plan

7 Aug 2015


By Amy & Dan Smith What do you think of when someone mentions Social Security? Many people consider Social Security and retirement as one and the same. More than 90 percent of working Americans plan for Social Security to replace …

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Student News

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015


Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

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Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015


Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

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Blue Ridge Middle Places 11th In National Science League

1 Jul 2015


Blue Ridge National Science Day Declared Tuesday, June 10 has been officially been declared Blue Ridge National Science Day. At a recent Purcellville Town Council Meeting, Mayor Kwasi Fraser and members of the town council signed a proclamation designating this …

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August 2015

Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Friday Night Live with Emma Rowley & Saffron Gourmet Food Truck


Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Chef Sebastian Oveysi's Saffon Gourmet Food Truck at North Gate VIneyard

Book Signing: 'Beyond Jefferson's Vines' by Richard Leahy

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event



Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Annual Summer Sidewalk Sale Returns with Bargains for Everyone

Chef Sebastian Oveysi's Saffon Gourmet Food Truck at North Gate VIneyard

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Live Music: Connor Duffy at North Gate Vineyard

Ronnie Milsap


Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show


Live Music: Willie White at North Gate VIneyard


Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Lovettsville Historical Society Lecture: "Hex Signs: the History and the Mystery"




Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show


Dinner and a Dive In

Creedence Clearwater


Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Emily Guagliardi Live at North Gate Vineyard


Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show


Mobile Hope’s “Back to School” Shopping Event Helps Loudoun Struggling Youth


Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Culinary Garden Summer Music Series

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

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Afghan Treasures Trunk Show

Notaviva Vineyards Monthly Bluegrass Jam is BACK w/Short Hill Mountain Boys

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event


Recent Comments

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  • Kathleen Hannon on What It Means To Be a Man: Great article Samuel! We have two daughters and we try to teach them to look for qualities such as...
  • R. Ohneiser Esq. on Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers: Interesting discussion but let's consider how to actually resolve this problem permanently FOR THE BENEFIT OF LOUDOUN NOT JUST FOR...
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View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

5 May 2015


Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input sessions June 4, 11 and 18 at 7:00 p.m. at town hall for the proposed sweeping zoning changes. These major …

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Getting Purcellville Out of the Conflicts of Interest Trap

7 Aug 2015

town of purcellville sign

Three Virginia laws address openness in government: the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (VFOIA), The Virginia Public Records Act (VPRA) and The Virginia State & Local Government Conflict of Interests Act (VCOIA). VFOIA guides how public bodies conduct their meetings and regulates access to government records. VPRA establishes basic rules about what constitutes a public record and what the government’s …

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Historic Village Prepares for 46th Annual Bluemont Fair

25 Aug 2015


The sleepy Blue Ridge village of Bluemont in western-most Loudoun County, Virginia, is bustling with activity as it prepares for the 46th ANNUAL BLUEMONT FAIR, September 19 & 20, 2015 from 10AM to 5PM both days, rain or shine. Admission is still only $5/adults, under 10 free, with free parking available. One-way traffic and crosswalks will be enforced in the …

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Register for Rally for the Cure™

24 Aug 2015


Want to participate in a fun tournament for a great cause? Then sign up to participate in the Stoneleigh Women’s Golf Association’s annual Rally for the Cure ™ golf tournament in Support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month! This is a great opportunity to play at the golf course recently cited as being the Prettiest Golf Course in Northern Virginia by …

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LCSO Announces 36th Citizens’ Police Academy

24 Aug 2015


Loudoun County Sheriff Michael L. Chapman announced the formation of the 36th Citizens’ Police Academy, which will commence on September 15, 2015. Members of the class will participate in training classes taught by Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office personnel. The classes provide an overview of all the aspects of law enforcement within the agency. Members of the class may also have …

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Wild Loudoun

Dragonflies – To See Is To Believe

7 Aug 2015


Shadow Darner. Unicorn Clubtail. Black Shouldered Spinyleg. Blue Dasher. Ebony Jewelwing. Calico Pennant. Sanddragon. Their names conger up some magical place inhabited by devils and demons, elegant queens, daring lovers – creatures you would need to see with your own eyes to believe really existed. But, each of these, including the Calico Pennant, is actually one of the most common …

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Around Virginia

Congress and MWAA VS Loudoun Taxpayers


By Delegate Dave LaRock It’s no secret that population growth and business development have left Loudoun County, especially busy areas to the east, with some pretty challenging traffic. The process of expanding the local network of roads and transit always seems to be playing catch-up, usually tied to availability of …

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Governor Signs Senator Black’s Campus Sexual Assault Bill


On Thursday, May 28, Sen. Richard Black traveled to Richmond for the bill signing ceremony of his bill, Senate Bill 712, the Campus Sexual Assault Bill. Black’s law will change the way that Virginia’s colleges and universities handle sexual assault cases.  “When I heard about the Hannah Graham case, I …

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McAuliffe Announces Movie To Film in Virginia


Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced that Virginia has been selected as the filming location for “Loving,” a motion picture based on the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a Virginia married couple who, in 1958, were arrested for violating a state law at the time prohibiting interracial marriage. The couple …

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Drew Hunter Heading To Pan American Games

7 Aug 2015


Loudoun Valley’s Drew Hunter placed second in the United States Track and Field 1500-meter run Junior National Championship. That earned him a spot on the United States Junior Team going to the Pan American Games in Edmonton, Canada in late July. Drew lost to college freshman Blake Haney of the …

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American Legion Post 34 Hosting Mid-Atlantic Regional Baseball Tournament

5 Aug 2015


Batter up! Chartered in 1919 by an act of Congress, the American Legion is one of our country’s oldest, largest and most prestigious veteran’s organizations – dedicated to mentoring youth, sponsoring community programs, promoting national security and supporting veterans and members of the armed forces. Specific programs include scholarships, scouting, …

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This Month in History

July, 1776: Loudoun’s Revolution Within A Revolution

1 Jul 2015


– By Andrea Gaines Loudoun County was heavily invested in the fight for independence from Great Britain. Loudouner Francis Lightfoot Lee was one of 56 delegates to sign the Declaration of Independence. More Loudouners served in General George Washington’s army than any other county in Virginia, and the county’s enormous …

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Mary Rose Lunde

More Than a GPA

7 Aug 2015

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde In school we are measured in every way based on a number system from a point scale resulting in grades then translated into a GPA that can’t be easily fixed in just one semester. Students are forced to think that all they have to achieve is …

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Sarah's Closet

Go Pink … As Pink As You Like

1 Jul 2015


– By Sarah Nearis Look at these sweet and summery pink blouses and tops. Don’t you want to try one on? Some women are afraid to wear pink, thinking it’s a bit too feminine. But, pink comes in such a wide variety of shades – from soft mauves to fuchsias …

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Thank You Purcellville

7 Aug 2015

town of purcellville sign

I want to express my sincere appreciation for the outpouring of support by the local business owners and residents in relationship to my challenge to …

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Independence Won – Much Left To Be Done

1 Jul 2015


With graduations behind us and summer vacations ahead, we have much to look forward to. My summer will be full of events and opportunities to …

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Reflections for Father’s Day, a Child’s Constitutional Rights

15 Jun 2015

Bob Ohneiser

I’ve been a licensed attorney and a father since the late 80’s. Yet, I wonder about how many of our country’s legal theories – theories …

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