Hillsboro Annexation Breaks 250 Years of History
The historic western Loudoun Town of Hillsboro – originally spelled Hillsborough as locals love to remind us – added 108 acres to its previous 56-acre footprint … just as 2016 was coming to a close. The action, supported broadly in the community was seen as a very special New Year’s gift to all.
The boundary line adjustment had been in the works for some time, and, according to Hillsboro Mayor Roger Vance was done for very practical reasons, some quite unrelated to the political considerations often at work as small towns seek to expand their borders.
In this case, the move will make the Town more walkable, give it more opportunities to move forward with aspects of the town’s current Hillsboro Comprehensive Plan, and help with grants, and other sources of funding small communities rely on to get capital projects and other things done. The Town’s comp plan takes into careful consideration the citizens’ desire to carefully direct its future, with open space requirements, a focus on low-density and medium-density residential development, and measures it has devised to protect the town’s floodplains.
The increase in size will help Hillsboro realize that vision, bringing into town the Hillsboro Charter Academy, the Old Stone School, the Hillsboro United Methodist Church, Stonybrook Farm & Market and the Hillsboro Bed & Breakfast – public and private assets that have always given it a special and functional sense of place.
In a sentimental twist common to small, self-determined towns like Hillsboro, the boundary line adjustment also brings in several neighboring properties, the owners of which have always considered themselves residents. Now, they can say – I’m the oldest new addition to Hillsboro.
The change to Hillsboro seems to have a special, private relevance for long-term Mayor Roger Vance. Vance is known as a real team player, riding the state, county and legal procedures that went into the annexation with great grace. He said he was extremely grateful for the help he received from Hillsboro Town and County officials to make this a reality. But, this is clearly a legacy that will attach in large part, to him.
Some say the annexation makes Hillsboro a small town no more.
But, locals will beg to differ.
While the boundary line adjustment is a large one in terms of Hillsboro’s original size, it brings into town land and historic features that people have always associated with this charming place.
In that way the town’s increased size confirms it is now steward of many more of the things that make it so special.
Congratulations, Hillsboro and Happy New Year.