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An Update from Delegate Dave LaRock – 33rd District

November 5, 2014 Government, News 4 comments
Dave_larock

By Dave LaRock

It’s an honor to serve you as Delegate of Virginia’s 33rd House District. I’m writing to give you an update on some of the issues I’ve been working on, but also to invite you to contact me with any questions, concerns, or requests for assistance that you may have. … Continue Reading

Loudoun County Improves Online Format of Zoning Ordinance

October 8, 2014 Government, News Comments Off on Loudoun County Improves Online Format of Zoning Ordinance
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Loudoun County has implemented a new format for the online version of the 1993 Revised Zoning Ordinance. The changes are aimed at making the document easier to use by enhancing a website user’s ability to search the Zoning Ordinance as well as simplifying the posting of changes to the ordinance in the future. The changes include: … Continue Reading

Purcellville Crossroads Draws Community Opposition

October 1, 2014 Government, News, Our Towns Comments Off on Purcellville Crossroads Draws Community Opposition
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At the September Purcellville Town Council Meeting the Tilley/Kline Entertainment Complex proposal was presented to the town council and the public in attendance. The proposal, Purcellville Crossroads, is approximately 50 acres and is not in the town of Purcellville, but north of Rt. 7 on the corner of Rt. 287 and Saint Francis Court (Rt. 722). It is currently zoned JLMA-3. This would allow approximately 16 homes by right (by right allows a development to proceed without a public hearing). The developers are considering asking for a boundary line adjustment and are initially proposing 91 residential units, five restaurants, an 80-room hotel, indoor and outdoor entertainment areas, waterpark areas with bumper boats and miniature golf, batting cages, go-karts and a commercial parking area with 1,035 parking spaces.

The presentation by Kline/Tilley brought strong objections from the Wright Farm community (just north of the proposed development) along with residents from the town of Purcellville. Most speakers said that they moved to Purcellville for its charm and that this dense of a project is the wrong fit for this area. … Continue Reading

Public Meeting Set for September 29 on Proposed Academies of Loudoun

September 18, 2014 Government, News Comments Off on Public Meeting Set for September 29 on Proposed Academies of Loudoun

The Loudoun County Citizen Volunteer Workgroup will hold a public information session on the proposed Academies of Loudoun on Monday, September 29, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. at the Loudoun County Public Schools Administration Building, 21000 Education Court in Ashburn.

The November election ballot features several bond referendums, including one that would finance construction of the Academies of Loudoun. The new facility would be built along Sycolin Road and would combine expanded versions of the existing Academy of Science and C.S. Monroe Technology Center, as well as a new Academy of Engineering and Technology. … Continue Reading

First Meeting of New Administration Foreshadows Change

August 6, 2014 Government, News Comments Off on First Meeting of New Administration Foreshadows Change
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Town Council Divided, But New Mayor Fights for Fresh Approach

The new Purcellville Town Council and Mayor held their first meeting, a work session, on July 22.

The meeting began with the new administration first discussing and then voting to go into closed-session to conduct interviews of six candidates for two vacancies on the Planning Commission.

The vote for the closed session was 4–3 with council members Lehr, McConville, McCollum, and Packard in favor of the closed session, and with Mayor Fraser, Jimmerson, and Nave voting to keep the interview process open to the public. … Continue Reading

County to Hold Community Meeting on Courts Complex Expansion Project July 17

July 6, 2014 Government, Loudoun County, News Comments Off on County to Hold Community Meeting on Courts Complex Expansion Project July 17
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Loudoun County will host a second community meeting about the Courts Complex Phase III Expansion Project on Thursday, July 17, 2014, at 6:30 p.m. in the Board Room of the Loudoun County Government Center, 1 Harrison Street, S.E. in Leesburg.

At the meeting, representatives of the Loudoun County Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure and the architecture and engineering firm of Dewberry Architects, Inc., will present information about the design of the Courts Complex Phase III Expansion Project.

… Continue Reading

June 17 Swearing In – Purcellville New Mayor And Council – Terms Begin July 1 –

July 3, 2014 Government, News, Our Towns Comments Off on June 17 Swearing In – Purcellville New Mayor And Council – Terms Begin July 1 –
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Gary Clemens, Clerk of the Loudoun County Circuit Court delivered the oath of office to Mayor-Elect Kwasi Fraser, and Council Members-Elect Karen Jimmerson, Doug McCollum and Ben Packard. Father Escalante, from Saint Francis De Sales gave the invocation. Former Purcellville Mayor Eric Zimmerman delivered opening remarks and told the newly elected members that they represent all the citizens of the town.
The swearing in ceremony ended with Clemens telling the attendees that the new council members are “accountable to you.”

… Continue Reading

Planning Commission Still Moving Forward With Major Zoning Changes

July 3, 2014 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

Proposed Code Changes Delayed

July 3, 2014 Development, Government, News Comments Off on Proposed Code Changes Delayed
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Public Pressure Pushes Decision To New Mayor And Council

The outgoing Purcellville Town Council held sway over a loud and angry crowd in a packed meeting on June 24 as it considered whether to make significant changes to amend town code Section 54-78. In the end, the decision was delayed until the next Town Council meeting, when Mayor-Elect Kwasi Fraser and a new Town Council will have taken office. Section 54-78 controls the expiration dates of what are known as “Certificates of Design Approval” (CDAs) by the town’s Board of Architectural Review related to the demolition of historic structures, site plans, zoning permits, and other construction-related documents.

While the town’s public hearing notice for the proposed code changes did not specify that these changes related to the 100,000 plus square feet mixed use Vineyard Square development, the majority of citizens attending the meeting clearly believed otherwise.

… Continue Reading

Mike Seigfried is Loudoun County’s New Director of Building & Development

July 3, 2014 Government, Loudoun County, News Comments Off on Mike Seigfried is Loudoun County’s New Director of Building & Development
Mike_Seigfried

Mike Seigfried has been selected as the new Director of the Loudoun County Department of Building & Development, County Administrator Tim Hemstreet announced today. Seigfried has been serving as Interim Director of the department since January 1, 2014, following the retirement of former director Terry Wharton.

“We conducted a nationwide search for this position and had a very strong and competitive applicant pool. Mike stood out as an exceptional leader and manager,” said Hemstreet. “I am confident that under his leadership, the Department of Building & Development will continue to provide for the public’s safety and welfare as it oversees all phases of construction within Loudoun County.”

Seigfried began his service in Loudoun County in 1987 when he was hired as a planner. Over the past 27 years, he has moved up through the department with progressively responsible positions, becoming Assistant Director in charge of Land Subdivision in 2005.

… Continue Reading

Planning Commission Exploring Major Zoning Changes

June 3, 2014 Government, News Comments Off on Planning Commission Exploring Major Zoning Changes
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Catoctin Creek Town Center Property – Take Three
By Valerie Cury

At the May 15 Purcellville Planning Commission meeting work session town staff proposed an “Action Plan” to change the zoning on a collection of properties located from the corner of Hirst/Maple Avenues to nearly the corner of Hirst and Hatcher. Under the proposal this area, currently zoned CM1 Office/Light Industrial, would become MC Mixed Use Commercial – which allows residential units, entertainment and commercial uses.

This is the land, with the exception of one parcel owned by developer John Chapman, that was the proposed site for the Catoctin Creek Town Center complex. This proposal complete with bumper boats, go carts, bumper cars and more – plus a 178-apartment complex – was denied by the planning commission. The developers withdrew the project before the Town Council had a chance to vote, one month before the May 2014 town-wide elections. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Town Council Loosens Employees As Candidate Rules

March 4, 2014 Government, News 4 comments
town of purcellville sign

Many localities require that town employees desiring to run for elected office take an unpaid leave of absence while campaigning. They also require that, if elected, the employee resign their original position. Laws such as these prevent potential conflicts of interests. For example, a newly elected member of a town council might serve as a member of law enforcement while at the same time, now voting on budgetary matters related to his/her job as a police officer. Or, an individual who, as a town employee and member of the town council might feel pressured to vote on town matters in a certain way.

At the Purcellville Town Council Worksession on February 25, council members voted unanimously, with Mayor Bob Lazaro absent for the vote, to repeal Purcellville’s Town Code Section 42-41 (Political Activity). This would allow a town employee to serve on town council, for example, without resigning their original job with the town. Earlier in the month the town manual was also changed so that a town employee would not be required to take an unpaid leave of absence while running for political office. Lt. James Rust of the Purcellville police force is running for town council. Under the new rules, Rust is not required to take an unpaid leave of absence while campaigning, and if elected, he can still hold positions on both the police force and the town council.

Business Interests Seek To Weaken Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review

March 4, 2014 Government, News Comments Off on Business Interests Seek To Weaken Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review
town of purcellville sign

The Town of Purcellville functions through several legislative committees, including the Board of Architectural Review, the Board of Zoning Appeals, the Committee on the Environment, the Economic Development Advisory Committee, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Planning Commission and the Tree and Beautification Commission.

The Board of Architectural Review, known as the BAR, is a five-member volunteer board appointed by the Purcellville Town Council. BAR members have special expertise in the areas of architecture, architectural history, town history and town planning and/or landscape architecture, and are charged with helping to implement Purcellville’s historic preservation and community design goals. The BAR’s responsibilities include reviewing and approving new construction and alterations of existing structures on non-residential properties, including new buildings and building additions. The BAR must also approve the demolition or relocation of any historic structures within the Historic Corridor Overlay District, which includes all properties adjacent to Main Street, and 21st, 23rd and 32nd Streets, in addition to Route 287 ( Berlin Turnpike). … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

Columns

Asterisk No More

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By Samuel Moore-Sobel “Moods come and go, but greatness endures.” These prescient words were uttered by President George H.W. Bush, a man who knows firsthand the truth of his own saying. In 1992, President Bush garnered only 37 percent of …

Second Bull Run

Bull Run Creek

It may not have been a battle, but – seeing as how it was my second attempt at getting a good look at Bull Run Creek – coupled with the fact that I’m a native Northerner – I felt a …

Snowmageddon III?  Seven Survival Tips for Parents

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. “snOMG,” “snowmageddon,” “snowpocalypse,” and “kaisersnoze” are a few terms to describe what just happened in Northern Virginia. The storm was reported to be the second worst storm on record. And while many children and teens gladly …

What Is a Sport?

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By Mary Rose Lunde On January 10, hundreds of talented dancers from across the East Coast competed at the Universal Dance Academy Regional Championship at West Springfield High School. Tensions were high and the stakes couldn’t have been greater. What …

Six Things to Know to Weather a Market Downturn

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It’s natural to be nervous when the markets head for negative territory. Keep a positive perspective with these six investing reminders. It can be very unsettling for investors when their portfolios and the markets start heading for the red and …

El Nino Evolution

Figure 3. Sea-surface height as inferred by by NASA satellites during the current El Niño (December 27, 2015, at left, from Jason-2) and at a comparable point during the last “super” El Niño (December 28, 1997, at right, from TOPEX/Poseidon). Warmer temperatures in the upper ocean result in higher sea-surface heights, as the seawater expands. In 1997, the above-average sea surface height was generally more intense and peaked in November. In 2015, the area of high sea levels was less pronounced but considerably broader. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. (see [4])

Figure 1 shows the annual global temperature anomaly since 1980 up to November 2015 using the NASA GISS data set [1]. NASA has not yet published December’s data though BEST has [2] and yes 2015 was the hottest year on …

Editorial

Grief and Greed

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By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Oh No, It’s the Christians!

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By Nicholas Reid In the hours and days following every massacre perpetrated by radical Muslims, there is one unifying theme across most news coverage of the massacre, wherever it may …

Dear Editor

Job Well Done!

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Kudos to Town Manager Rob Lohr and his awesome hard working staff. You did a fantastic job of snow removal throughout the Town of Purcellville this past week. Mr. Lohr …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

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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 …

Student News

Four Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

3 Feb 2016

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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

2 Jul 2015

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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

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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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Calendar

February 2016
M T W T F S S
1 2 3

Loudoun Valley Boys Basketball Spirit Night at Coach's Corner

4

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

5

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

6

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

7

5K Race to Benefit Riverside High School Athletic Department

8 9 10 11

Music Together Classes - Winter Session

12

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

13

Loudoun Centre Theater: HAIRSPRAY

14

Gallery Coffeehouse: READERS THEATRE "LOVE LETTERS" BY A. R. GURNEY

15 16 17

Mad Cap Puppets: UNDER THE BONSAI TREE

18 19

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

20

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT: Year Of The Monkey

21

Loudoun Symphony presents A LITTLE CHAMBER MUSIC

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

Gallery Coffeehouse: THE COMEDY CULT IMPROV

22 23 24 25 26 27

THE EDGE: Malone Benefit Concert

28

Loudoun School of Ballet Winter Showcase

29 1 2 3 4

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

5

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

6

VSA of Loudoun Spring Musical: SPECTRUM’S JOURNEY

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theatre, 100 Lunches" by Jack Sharkey & Leo Sears

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Lifestyle

Run and Walk To Your Nearest 5K Pregame Event Happening on Super Bowl Day In Leesburg

3 Feb 2016

runandwalk

There is a new Running Company, the Pace Makers Running Company, in town and they are on a mission to help the local population with their health goals while raising money for selected charities. The race at The National Conference Center in Leesburg on February 7, is to help benefit the Riverside High School Athletic Department. The upcoming race on …

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Lovin’ Leesburg for All Its Beauty

3 Feb 2016

lovinleesburgrealestate1

By Hannah Hager We may be in the thick of winter, but this home on Cherry Spring Lane will melt your heart. Come spring you’ll fully be able to enjoy this simple, yet elegant brick home and its surrounding green pastures enclosed by miles of black wooden fences. Beyond your immediate yard are sweeping views of the mountains and valleys …

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6th Annual Loudoun Grown Expo February 27

3 Feb 2016

loudoungrownexpo

It’s that exciting time of year again for the Sixth Annual Loudoun Grown Expo. The yearly event will take place at the Bush Tabernacle 250 South Nursery Avenue, Purcellville, on February 27 with new expanded hours starting at 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There will be wine and beer exhibitors, farm exhibitors, artisans and makers, restaurants and other rural economy …

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Around Virginia

Education Savings Accounts Make Big Move in House

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The Virginia House of Delegates gave a strong push to House Bill 389, Delegate Dave LaRock’s (R-33rd District) innovative Education Savings Account legislation, as the House Education Committee voted 13-9 in favor of advancing the bill forward. “This is definitely an exciting development for parents and students in the Commonwealth,” …

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Kaine to Hold Hearing on Opioid Abuse

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On Monday, February 1, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, will hold a field hearing in Loudoun County to examine the ongoing fight against opioid misuse and abuse among older Americans. Kaine has met with families, law enforcement and business leaders across Virginia …

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Youth Can Apply for 2015 Livestock Exhibitor Scholarships

Virginia_seal

Youth who exhibited beef cattle, sheep, meat goats or swine in the 2015 State Fair of Virginia 4-H and FFA youth livestock program are eligible to apply for 12 new scholarships being offered by the State Fair of Virginia. Scholarships will be offered in three age groups: Juniors (9-12), Intermediate …

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Sports

Western Loudon Volleyball Club “Hitmen” Team Finishes Second

3 Feb 2016

westernloudounvolleyballclub

The Western Loudon Volleyball Club U14 boys team, called the “Hitmen,” finished second in a tournament held January 17. This is the first ever boys team for the WLVBC (and only the second boys club in the area). Coach Allan Kotmel led the seven-member team. WLVBC started eight years ago, …

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ODFC West Travel Soccer Program Shines

2 Dec 2015

ODFCsoccerpics

The Old Dominion Football Club West boys and girls middle school travel soccer program scored big the weekend of November 21 and 22.  The girls Quest Premier 22 team took home the championship in the U12 Girls Premier Division of the Hunt Country Classic located in Fauquier County. The boys …

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