Home » Development »News » Currently Reading:

Planning Commission Hearing for Catoctin Creek Town Center Draws Overflowing Crowd

March 11, 2014 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Development, News 15 Comments
town of purcellville sign

By Valerie Cury

Update: Town Council Meeting March 11: Developer Representative withdrew application for Catoctin Creek Town Center. There will be no public hearing March 12.

“I hate to be the one to break the bad news to some people, but Purcellville is not a small town. It’s not a quaint town anymore,” said Mark Fontaine, who spoke at the Purcellville Planning Commission public hearing in late February for the Catoctin Creek Town Center development. Fontaine, who represents the buyers and the sellers for the town center development, was one of nearly a dozen supporters who came forward to support the project.

The developers of the Catoctin Creek Town Center, in separate applications, seek to rezone approximately 33 acres along Hirst Road and Maple Avenue. The proposal includes a 176-unit apartment complex (Catoctin Creek Apartments) on 13.72 acres and an entertainment complex on 18.71 acres with outdoor space for concerts and events. The proposal includes bumper boats, mimiature golf, go-karts and bumper cars. The approximately 30,000 square foot two story main building will include a sports bar, a restaurant, laser tag, and a game arcade, to name a few.

Former Purcellville Mayor Eric Zimmerman who represents the seller of the property said that Catoctin Creek Apartments is not “low income housing.” However, the proposed apartment complex is for a 176 “Qualified Low-Income Housing Project,” according to the Extended Use Agreement filled out by the developer. The application fits under a “Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.”

A tax credit project is a privately owned apartment complex that is financed through federal guaranteed mortgage funds. In exchange for these low interest loans, the property owner must furnish apartments for those who are considered low income, either through some programs of the USDA, the section 8 voucher program, or any other program administered by the property owner. The rental units are meant to serve households with incomes at or below 60 percent of median incomes in the local community. More than 40 percent of low-income housing tax credit occupants earn 30 percent or less of the area median income.

Other supporters of the Catoctin Creek Town Center were either land owners and their extended families or friends of various representatives of the project.

Purcellville town resident and candidate for mayor, Kwasi Fraser said, “Well, I have had the opportunity to review the proposal and presentation of this development in great detail, and it seems to be missing a key element and that is the voice of the citizens of Purcellville. In addition, I have several questions about the size and scope of this project and how it conflicts with the character of the Town of Purcellville and the surrounding area.”

Fraser continued, “First to the voice of the citizens of Purcellville, over the past six weeks I have knocked on over 150 doors and the vast majority of our citizens oppose this development.” He said he has heard comments that this is like “Coney Island Astroland Park comes to Purcellville without Brighton Beach.” Another resident asked Fraser “why not place a mini data center or technology job incubator at the location to bring some high paying jobs to Purcellville.” “Here we go again being sold a dream to live a nightmare,” said another resident to Fraser. His comments received the loudest ovation of the evening.

Citizen Jennifer Alvarez said, “I love Purcellville and I want to keep it a small town and keep the values we have now and the environment we have now. How many more visitors do we need?” Another speaker said that the [current] business park is a good neighbor and urged the commission to keep the current zoning. Judith Theiman said there would be traffic in town late into the night with the proposed entertainment complex. “A lot of residents moved here for the quiet and beauty of western Loudoun. I moved here for Purcellville. This is not right for Purcellville.”

Purcellville resident Karen Jimmerson, who is running for the Purcellville Town Council, said she chose to live in Purcellville not Leesburg or Ashburn. “You have 168 tax credit apartments in South Riding [117 children] and there are 24,000 people living in South Riding. Do the math. “We have 194 tax credit apartments in Purcellville and we have 8,000 residents.” Jimmerson also pointed out that Bowman did the traffic study, and that the company is also hired by the developers. “We need an independent traffic study done,” said Jimmerson.

Maura Walsh Copeland said that she has read 15 planning documents on the town website – all 625 pages. “I did not find any citizen requests for any entertainment venues. I did find a request for Purcellville to maintain a small town feel.” Kelli Grim said that she is opposed to poor planning. “I don’t hear the voice of the people being heard. Residents inside the town matter, we matter.”

HOA Catoctin Meadows president Daniel Shaughnessy pointed out that the project is not consistent with the town’s comprehensive plan. He said the entertainment center was not an appropriate commercial activity and he doubted the project would be sustainable. He also said that he had not seen studies to verify the need for the facility.

Attorney and developer Mark Nelis said that the by right zoning (current zoning) would not be the highest and best use of the property – light industrial is not the best use of the property. “The town asked us to bring them something unique and I think we have met that goal.” He also pointed out that the property is zoned for light industrial and offices, and the millennium generation doesn’t seem to want offices. “We can’t grow commercially without providing work force housing.”
Bill Tilley of Tilley’s Entertainment said he is planning one two-story 30,000 square foot. building. He said, “You are looking to bring business here right now. You are fairly limited [now], it’s mostly food and drink. We have an opportunity here to pull in demographics to the area, families something we all want to see working with this. We had a chance to meet with several of the wineries in the last few weeks. One of the things we want to do is offer packages with the wineries where basically they can bring the kids here – drop them off. Let’s say they have a birthday party – we will supervise the kids, they could bring the kids here and the kids could stay here while their parents go visit the wineries. It will be easier for them [parents] to enjoy what they are doing.”

The Purcellville Planning Commission will vote on the proposed Catoctin Creek Town Center at their March 6 meeting, 7:00 p.m. at the town hall.

15 comments

  1. Concerned Loudoun resident says:

    It is difficult to imagine a worse “development” scenario for Purcellville. Although I am not a resident of the town, its measured approach to growth is a model of community involvement. Turning Purcellville into a babysitting center for kids whose parent go off to wineries borders on the inane, and reflects a desperate attempt to find reasons to push unwanted growth on the community. Instead of building Purcellville up, the proposed development will degrade it as a place in which to raise families in a safe and peaceful environment. Let’s not turn Purcellville into another Sterling.

  2. Edith Crockett says:

    Coney Island in Purcellville? A disproportionate allocation of subsidized housing compared to the current population size? What a nightmare prospect! What kind of developer could propose such a degradation of an amazingly prosperous and family-oriented community? Are they living in the Bedford Styvesant section of Brooklyn? Is Purcellvile to become a venue for babysitters who link up with adults wishing to go to wineries? The proposals put forth by the developers are nothing short of astonishing in their greed, shortsightedness, and utter disregard for the community that is Purcellville.
    Shame on you!

  3. David says:

    People don’t go to laser tag and then go to a winery. People aren’t going go to bumper boats and then go to the Mill for lunch-they are going to eat pizza and hot dogs at the park. People aren’t going to go to the batting cage and then go antiquing in town and buy a $17k 1700s dresser from the antique store next to Re Love It. Again what the Chapman folks are doing is KILLING downtown by duplicating services at the “new part of town.”

  4. Tom Christ says:

    ‘“I hate to be the one to break the bad news to some people, but Purcellville is not a small town. It’s not a quaint town anymore,” said Mark Fontaine, who spoke at the Purcellville Planning Commission public hearing in late February for the Catoctin Creek Town Center development.’

    And developers wonder why everybody hates them! They’re the worst curse that can befall a community–worse than drug dealers, worse than street gangs–the damage from which is substantial but doesn’t last forever. First the developers despoil a community . . . and then–per Mr. Fontaine–they tell you that, since your community is already spoiled, why should you object to some more despoiling?!

    • westLOUDOUNer says:

      Yet, if it wasn’t for the developer/builder, you’d have no house to live in, no grocery store for vittles, gas for your guzzler or anything else.

  5. Bob L. says:

    Says Keith Melton for Mayor: “I have launched my campaign for Purcellville Mayor to preserve our small town atmosphere”. According to Mark there is no small town, and thanks to a drive-by Council, nothing left to preserve.

  6. Bob L. says:

    Lazaro created a ‘survey’ and distributed it to his Facebook friends and selected members of the community.
    https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1dZq0OfSouhe9ivyq917hYbp8sXlBd1c0H0YYCRNSYY4/viewform

  7. Alex Santana says:

    Lazaro is the stereotypical carpetbagger from New York who came to Purcellville, looked around, and decided to make it look scummy like the Long Island he is from. He is the worst example of a person in public office who imprints his own ideas for how a town should look and develop. His builder buddies had a run of the town while this despicable mayor ruined the town. I don’t live in P’ville, but if I did, I would be sure to vote out the entire council and get a mayor in place who reveres the town the way it is, not make it another stain on Loudoun’s landscape like Leesburg have become.

    • Mesdi says:

      Alex…I live in Loudoun, and my husband comes from Long Island. Your comment about Long Island is so offensive and disgusting. There are plenty beautiful places in Long Island. Have you ever been to any of them??
      It just illustrates how uneducated idiots who have never traveled outside of Loudoun County see the world.

      The truth is , this landscape of Loudoun small towns is changing.
      There is nothing you can do about. So before you start insulting other areas of the country, get your facts straight and visit other areas before you insult them.

      Not sure why you have such a strong opinion of the Purcellville mayor when you say you don’t even live there.

  8. WeLoCo Resident says:

    One specific point about these types of things. It would seem that the there are really understandable physical measures relating to traffic, travel times, density, revenue etc.. that are known, projected, committed to (road improvements that the developer probably was coerced into doing etc) that everyone would want to know.
    They seem to never be proactively revealed.
    Not anti-build necessarily, but in this case, the traffic effect is a fair question. What is the maximum cars per hour that the city management in its wildest dreams would tolerate? Now what is that measurement now…. what will be after this is built (BTW lets make sure the job growth that was forecasted is the same one driving revenue that necessarily tells you the traffic) …. anyway… how about that really basic statistic? Whether or not they ever build something… why doesn’t Pville go ahead and let the citizenry know “hey… traffic is only at about 60% of what we would consider high”.
    When you don’t have a town’s leadership parse out these things, you’re never going to know the real disposition and sensibilities of its leaders.
    Best Wishes for Whatever is Decided.

  9. Laura says:

    We wanted to move to Purcellville and buy an old home in town. We have to rethink b/c of this development – so sad! Tilly Entertainment is a “gaming” company – gambling. Is that what they’re bringing next? Gambling (ok “gaming”) next door to low-income housing? That is a model for towns all over the world in decline! And this mayor will be long gone by then. Please keep up the fight Purcellville and shut this down….

  10. Paul says:

    Personally, I wish the “growth” had stopped in ’88 when we had 1700 people and no real shopping centers but the old one (now revitalized and largely empty). Interestingly, many “come heres” who came here, bought a tract house on an old farm or field now feel empowered to say stop development, no more, I guess it was OK for their house to be built but no more.

    This entertainment center is a lot like Go-Karts Plus (Google it) in WIlliamsburg, a touristy town. From what I hear Pville is a touristy town (or aspires to be) so why the outcry when we get touristy things? This will bring jobs and revenue into the area and also a lot of traffic…especially traffic. Rather than bicker about how to bar the gates and man the barricades to keep it out I’d like some realistic answers on how traffic at Hirst and Maple and Hirst and 287 will be dealt with. A four way stop sign ain’t gonna cut it this time. Maybe a traffic circle will work at BOTH intersections as they sure have helped Gilbert’s Corner for those of you that recall the stoplight and endless columns of traffic gridlocked heading west.

    If we need a traffic circle or circles the developer should pay for 100% of the costs or no go. It is great to keep calling Pville a small town, it was once really small, but with each of the thousands of new houses and suburban subdivisions it became a lot less “smaller”. At this point, I hope for insightful “management” of growth that preserves what is left of the history, grows the local economy, eases transportation and enhances pedestrian access, etc. Anything else is wishful thinking and that will not build a traffic circle.

  11. Blue Ridge Leader says:

    Update: Developer Representative withdrew application for Catoctin Creek Town Center. There will be no public hearing March 12.

Comment on this article


By commenting, you agree to abide by our Terms of Service.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

Hundreds Will Join 20th Annual Butterfly Count August 6

spring garden butterfly

By Andrea Gaines How Is a Butterfly Like a Rainbow? Scientists recently discovered that some butterfly wings contain tiny structures called gyroids that diffract or break up light into the colors of the spectrum. You may also have seen this …

Your Retirement Plan B

Smith0035

Take the time to design an alternative retirement plan should retirement come earlier than expected. Imagine this. You’ve spend decades working, saving, and planning for your version of the ideal retirement. Your company was just acquired, and your boss is …

Learning Patience As a Camp Counselor

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde They say that one of the biggest blessings is being a teacher. It is also one of the hardest. Explaining to nine-year-old kids how to build a fire is one of the most challenging things I’ve …

Remembering the Man Who Never Forgot

moore-sobelnewmug

By Samuel Moore-Sobel “God is God because He remembers.” The implication being that the defining element separating humans from God is the Divine’s inability to forget. Elie Wiesel was defined in part by his willingness to remember, along with his …

Just Like Nothing (Else) On Earth: Balch Library

Thomas Balch Library

By Tim Jon Solitude, peace, and quiet: Not exactly the first three adjectives I’d choose to describe the greater portion of downtown Leesburg, although its charms do shine through even on the busiest of weekday afternoons. The last morning I …

Superforecasting a Book Review

noerpel_new

The book “Superforecasting” by Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner contains a nearly complete list of the attributes of superforecasting, as well as critical thinking. Tetlock’s research empirically confirms the aspects of critical thinking I’ve been discussing in this column. Their …

Pokémon GO: A Fun New Gaming App or an Accidental Treatment?

Michael_Pic

Penicillin was accidently discovered in 1928 when scientist Alexander Fleming returned to his lab from vacation to notice that a strange fungus growing on a culture had killed off the neighboring bacteria. After WWII, psychiatrist and researcher, Dr. John Cade, …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

grads_woodgrove

Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

(Be the first to comment)

Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

buckland

Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

(Be the first to comment)

Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

adamspromoted

Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

(Be the first to comment)

Calendar

August 2016
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
August 1, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 2, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 3, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 4, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 5, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 6, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

OysterFest & Roussanne Release!

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Doug Parks

August 7, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 8, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 9, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 10, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 11, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 12, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 13, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 14, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 15, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 16, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 17, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 18, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 19, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 20, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

The Lucketts Fair

Live Music: Stealing Dawn

August 21, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

The Lucketts Fair

August 22, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

AUDITIONS

August 23, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 24, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 25, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 26, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 27, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

The Fabulous Hubcaps

August 28, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 29, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 30, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

August 31, 2016

Hot & Cool featuring glass artists Dave & Dale Barnes and abstract painter Kay Layne

September 1, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 2, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 3, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

Dear Creek Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

Snaggy Mountain Boys

September 4, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

Steady and NoBull

Lifestyle

Winchester Plans Patsy Cline Music Festival Labor Day Weekend

11 Aug 2016

Patsy Cline

The Patsy Cline Music Festival will be held Labor Day weekend in her hometown of Winchester, Va. in honor of the legendary singer’s birthday anniversary on September. 8. Celebrating Patsy Cline sponsors the celebration that begins with a block party from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in front of the Patsy Cline Historic House, 608 S. Kent St. Music will …

(Be the first to comment)

Vigil for Lost Promise to Remember Loved Ones Lost to Drugs

11 Aug 2016

sheriff

Residents and local leaders are encouraged to join the many families, friends and community groups to share the light of their loved ones lost to drugs. The Vigil for Lost Promise will be held Tuesday, August 16, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Drugs: Cost and Consequences Exhibit (DEA Museum), located at 750 Miller Dr. …

(Be the first to comment)

August Is National Peach Month: Eat a Peach in Salad

3 Aug 2016

peach

Are You Kidding? No. A nectarine and a peach are basically the same species. Nectarines are bald peaches, in effect. In early cultivation, nectarines occasionally appeared on peach trees, the result of a recessive allele, the fruit from which were then cultivated as nectarines. Peaches are also part of the rose family. No wonder why we like all three, so …

(Be the first to comment)

Editorial

Grief and Greed

blueridge2

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

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

blueridge2.jpg

– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

blueridge2.jpg

– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

Lessons from Short Hill

shorthillmeeting

It’s been a little over two weeks since the Commission Permit for the proposed AT&T facility on Short Hill was overruled by the Board of Supervisors. This is just about …

Thank You

speak

Dear Citizens of Purcellville: As your town council member it is my vision and priority that you feel welcome at your Town Hall and take part in shaping Purcellville’s future …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

blueridge2

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 …

Around Virginia

Land Trust Receives Large Donation

land trust

On August 22, The Land Trust of Virginia received a $10,000 gift from the Sharon D. Virts Foundation, based in Herndon. The presentation of this grant was part of the Foundation’s official launch event, held at Selma Plantation in Leesburg. Notable speakers included Sharon D. Virts, FCiFederal Founder and Chair, …

(Be the first to comment)

Farmers Urged To Be On The Lookout For Marijuana

marijuana

Farmers in Southwest Virginia are being urged to check their property for marijuana planted by trespassers. Within the past year, hundreds of marijuana plants have been discovered between rows of hay bales on farms in and around Pulaski County, according to the Claytor Lake Regional Drug Task Force. “Unfortunately this …

(Be the first to comment)

State Senators Investigate University of Virginia’s $2.3 Billion Operating Surplus

Uva-logo

Senators Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax City) and Bill DeSteph (R-Virginia Beach), are calling for an investigation into disclosures that the University of Virginia has accumulated a $2.3 billion operating surplus, now titled a “Strategic Investment Fund,” that is significantly larger than the Commonwealth’s own cash reserves. Both senators agree that the …

(Be the first to comment)

Sports

Let’s Make Some Memories

3 Aug 2016

baseball

American Legion Baseball At Fireman’s Field, August 3 – 7 By Andrea Gaines American Legion Baseball is here at Fireman’s Field in a big way, featuring five consecutive blockbuster Mid-Atlantic Tournament games – August 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. Our local Leesburg Post 34 Rangers had some nice wins …

(Be the first to comment)

Registration Open For Ida Lee’s Fall NFL Flag Football

7 Jul 2016

NFL_Flag_Football_at_IdaLee

Ida Lee’s Fall 2016 NFL Flag Football League will begin with player evaluations on Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31.  Players must be registered by Tuesday, July 26, to participate. This fall, Ida Lee’s Leesburg NFL Flag Football House League will have the following age groups:  6-7; 8-9; 10-11; …

(Be the first to comment)

Archives

  • +2016
  • +2015
  • +2014
  • +2013
  • +2012
  • +2011
  • +2010
  • +2009