The social media world lit up recently with, Sam Chapman’s Facebook claim that Sam and Uta Brown, owners of Crooked Run Orchard in Purcellville, were seeking new commercial zoning for their property. Chapman also suggested that the rezoning might be connected to the current Comprehensive Plan Review, citing the website developed to keep citizens updated on the process: www.planpurcellville.com. The post was also marketed as an advertisement for greater coverage.
Chapman, son of developer John Chapman, was defeated early this year in his quest to join the Purcellville Town Council, but is still maintaining his Facebook page for that purpose.
Referring to the comp plan review, Sam Chapman’s October 22 message urged readers to “Attend these meetings and see first hand [sic] how the crooked ran orchard will get their property ‘upzoned’ to commercial FREE of charge.” The message and challenging tone of Chapman’s post continued, “The Browns are the most clever developers in Purcellville. More details coming soon. Who’s in whose pocket?” and finished with the hashtag #scheme #factcheck.
This is a baseless statement and the Browns continue with their long-term goal of placing their entire farm in a conservation easement to protect and preserve it for future generations.
Sam and Uta Brown have been working to hold on to their farm and protect it from development for many decades, despite the town taking eight acres by quick take condemnation that split their farm in two. A post on the citizen-member Facebook page called Purcellville Matters described Chapman’s post as “sour grapes” referring, perhaps, to Chapman’s electoral defeat.
The farm, in fact, has been in Sam Brown’s family for 250 years, and part of the property is already under conservation easement. Citizens attending Comprehensive Plan meetings have continued to express their desire to see the farm remain open space.