Home » News »Our Towns » Currently Reading:

Hirst Farm Residents May Face Up to $1,000 Per Home In Assessments

August 7, 2011 by Contributor filed under News, Our Towns 3 Comments
Hirst_farm

Town of Purcellville Failed to Secure Performance Bond –

By Kelli Grim

The Hirst Farm subdivision has a wet pond that is a dedicated storm water management area. It was supposed to be drained and converted to a “dry pond” when the last home was constructed in 2010. Imagine the surprise to residents when they learned that the Town of Purcellville had failed to obtain a performance bond from the developer of Hirst Farm to ensure that the pond would be converted as expected.

The pond does not have sufficient capacity to retain water during major storms, nor does it provide adequate dissipation of the water collected. The County of Loudoun holds a separate Erosion and Sediment Control Surety Bond (E&S) for the Hirst Farm project. County staff was recently asked by the Town of Purcellville to release this bond to the Town. But the staff charged with enforcing soil and erosion control regulations feel they have no legal basis to call the bond, because the work covered by the bond was done correctly.

There are a number of different kinds of bonds municipalities require when a residential or commercial development is being built. These bonds are critical insurance for communities to insure projects are built as shown in final plans. But the most important bond of all is a Performance Bond, which covers the end product and insures it is completed correctly.

Purcellville Town staff updated the Infrastructure Committee in May, indicating that they had been working with the Hirst Farm Homeowners Association (HOA) and the County to find solutions to the existing storm water management pond. The developer is now in default, and the Town hired an outside law firm to begin the process of calling bonds to get unfinished public and private improvements completed – such as asphalt paths, sidewalks, grading issues, and final topping of road pavement. Town staff said they analyzed state regulations and County ordinances and provided County staff with their “interpretation” of these regulations that might allow the Town to use the bond being held by the County.

Hirst Farm board members spoke on behalf of the HOA at the meeting and shared concerns regarding liabilities on the current condition of the pond. It is a safety hazard, which is only magnified during the summer with children out of school. The HOA is also very concerned that the expense of converting the pond might have to be absorbed by the residents of Hirst Farm. One harsh reality is that, legally, the Town can step in at any time if the HOA is not maintaining the storm water facility, and bill the HOA for repairs. Since the pond was never built to standard, an HOA board member said it is likely the HOA would litigate the issue before anything was done to the pond.

Town staff was instructed by Mayor Lazaro to arrange for a meeting with Loudoun County Chairman Scott York, members of the HOA and Town representatives to discuss the issue. A June letter sent by the Hirst Farm HOA president to all residents indicated that a Town employee had been directed to obtain this specific bond a couple of years earlier, but failed to do so. (a FOIA request for this correspondence also said that no bond records existed). The letter went on to inform residents that there was a possibility that an assessment of $500 to $1000 per home might be enacted to pay for the storm water pond, or the Town might create a Hirst Farm Tax District to spread the cost over an undesignated time period for the Town’s oversight. The letter also indicated that the HOA had requested a meeting with Blue Ridge Supervisor Jim Burton and Chairman Scott York to discuss the legal basis for “taking” the County E&S bond. When a FOIA request was submitted to the County for copies of this correspondence to the Blue Ridge Supervisor, the answer came back that no documents existed. Supervisor Burton was asked if he had been contacted by the Hirst Farm HOA. He stated, “I never received any correspondence from the Hirst Farm HOA requesting a meeting, nor did they alert me to the nature of the problem. Had I actually been contacted, I would have been more than willing to meet with the HOA officials and discuss the issue.”

The County is still holding the Erosion and Sediment Bond of $348,000, and has been asked by the Town staff not to release the funds without notification. In a July meeting between Loudoun County and the Town of Purcellville, the County advised the Town that a full review of the issue determined it did not have a legal basis to call the E&S Bond and use the money for a purpose other than that for which it was intended. County representatives told Town representatives that if the Town of Purcellville thinks they can legally call the bond that is designated for one thing, and use the funds for another purpose, the County is willing to transfer the bond to the Town. The Town would then have to make the decision on whether or not to call the bond. This would likely result in a lawsuit with the bond company. The Town said they would take the offer under advisement and get back to the County.

3 comments

  1. Clayton Reid says:

    Why not publish the name of the developer? You make a statement of fact that the developer is in default. Regardless of the reason for the default, this developer is obviously not an honorable company or person and the public has a right to know. As long as individuals and companies like this are permitted to anonymously shaft individuals and municipalities and move on to the next set of victims, they will continue to do so. The fifth estate has a duty to “out” these people very publicly.

    • Kelli Grim says:

      Our subdivision developer was Jost Development out of Maryland. Unfortunately, the town did not watch over this project as they should have, and not town residents will foot the bill for the attorney fees, and the cost to complete projects that should have had a “Performance Bond” in place.

  2. BRLeader says:

    Maybe we can clarify this a bit:

    The issue is not with the developer. It appears that the Town of Purcellville failed to get a Performance Bond on this project. That means that the Developer can’t be held responsible for the final work performance. Because of this error, the Town is thinking of assessing the residents of Hirst Farm a fee to pay for their (the Town’s) mistake.

    On the other hand, the County of Loudoun DID get a Soil and Erosion Bond, and all work regarding soil and erosion has been completed by the developer as required.

Comment on this article


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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

Defending the Over-Pampered

noerpel_new

“The purpose of studying economics is to learn how not to be deceived by economists.” Joan Robinson, Professor of economics at Cambridge University, Basel Lecture, 1969. “[W]hereas classisists [economists] turned the spotlight on change, flow, process and dynamics, the neoclassicists …

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 …

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