Home » News »Our Towns » Currently Reading:

Purcellville Residents Brace for Change …

March 7, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under News, Our Towns No Comments
town of purcellville sign

­­­Board Votes to Dismiss County Lawsuit – Purcellville Moves to Eliminate Barriers to Development

At its recent February 14 meeting, the new Board of Supervisors, on a motion by Supervisor Clarke, voted to direct the Loudoun County Attorney to dismiss a County lawsuit that had challenged the Town of Purcellville’s authority to ignore a longstanding Town/County agreement designed to uncontrolled land annexations.

The following week, the Joint Purcell-ville Urban Growth Area Management Plan (PUGAMP) Committee, consisting of Purcellville’s Mayor Lazaro and Council-man Priscilla, both representing the Town, and Supervisor Clarke and Planning Commissioner Douglas representing the County, met and voted unanimously to recommend that the County and Town nullify the Annexation Agreement and eliminate PUGAMP altogether. It is reasonable to assume that this recommendation will be followed.


PUGAMP is a joint plan between the Town of Purcellville and the County which directs how the land surrounding the Town is developed.

PUGAMP, together with the accompanying Annexation Agreement, provides a process for the Town to expand its borders by annexing land within the designated Urban Growth Area (UGA) in Phases, over a period of many years, and is based on the Town’s ability to provide sufficient water and sewer service for future development in those areas. The Phasing allows for growth to be managed at a sustainable pace in partnership with the County.

Phase I of the PUGAMP and Annexation Agreement, however, allowed for the Town to annex a small portion of land inside the Urban Growth Area without County approval; annexation of land outside of Phase I required agreement by both the Town and the County. It was when the Town of Purcellville, ever expanding its borders, started to annex land outside of Phase 1 without County approval, that things got hot and the Town was presented with a lawsuit.

By the summer of 2009, the Town had annexed all of the land in Phase I and continued annexing land outside of Phase I (2.24 acres of Brown’s Farm, 8.67 acres of the O’Toole property adjacent to Brown’s Farm, and the remaining, undeveloped 66 acres of Patrick Henry College) without County agreement or participation. The Town Council believed that phasing as a concept had expired and that it had the authority to annex any or all of the remaining land in the UGA without County agreement. The County strongly disagreed.

The County Administrator, and then Board of Supervisors Chairman York sent letters of objection to the Town requesting meetings to discuss the disagreement. These requests were ignored. Chairman York, in his letter of September 21, 2009, stated “This [annexation] represents a substantial demand for public utilities, which I believe far exceeds existing capacities.” The basis of York’s comment was a Town consultant’s study (known as the “CH2MHill” study) which concluded that the Town, in 2007/2008, did not have enough water to meet its maximum daily demand and would not be able to meet its average daily demand beyond the fall
of 2010.

The Town would not agree to meet to resolve the disagreement nor agree to a third-party arbitration. So, in December 2009, two days before the annexations were to become official, the County filed an injunction with the court to block the annexations and have the court decide whose interpretation was correct. The trial, following several delays, was set to start in Spring 2012. Now, with a newly elected pro-development Board of Supervisors, it appears that the lawsuit will be dismissed, PUGAMP will be dead, and significant development is likely to proceed without delay and without County input. The consequences for the residents of Purcellville will, in both the near and distant future, be major. Every resident of the Town will be affected. Changes will include:

  • Traffic and Sprawl: The Route 287 corridor from the Route 7 By-Pass to Business 7 will have significant increased traffic. The Harris Teeter shopping center, plans for retail and office space at the O’Toole property (which will be on the Southern Collector Road), the planned Catoctin Corner shopping center (approved for six commercial businesses, four of which are drive thru’s), and the expansion of Patrick Henry College to 1,600 students, 400 faculty and staff, and a “chapel” to seat 2,000 will saturate that area. According to its own traffic analysis, Patrick Henry College alone will generate approximately 3,800 vehicle trips per day, some fifty percent more than Woodgrove High School. The roundabout at Business 7/Route 287 may become clogged because of new traffic lights in close proximity.
  • Historic Old Town Purcellville: The planned expansion of commercial/ retail enterprises in the Route 287 corridor will likely have a negative effect on the business establishments in the downtown area. This has been the typical result in many small towns across the nation where new commercial activity on the edge of town or on a bypass strangled the economic viability of the older sections of town.
  • Water: Mayor Lazaro has announced that the Town has purchased five new wells as recommended by the CH2MHill study, thereby increasing the Town’s capacity from approximately ½ million gallons per day (GPD) to 1 million. He also claims that the Town is working on other projects that will add another ½ million GPD in the future and that the Town now has enough water for the next 20 years. The CH2MHill study contradicts that claim and suggests the Town’s water capacity, without further annexation, will need to be in the neighborhood of 1.9 million GPD by 2032. Councilman Priscilla has announced that the Town has changed its method of calculating future demand for water, so things look better for the future. (Editor’s Note: Revising future estimates to present a rosier picture is a highly practiced art form by politicians. It doesn’t mean the new estimates are true; just rosier!)
  • Future Annexations: At the Joint PUGAMP Committee meeting, Mayor Lazaro stated that the Town does not plan to annex any more land beyond the three properties in question (Brown, O’Toole, and Patrick Henry). While that may be the Town’s current position, there is nothing to prevent future annexations. Since PUGAMP is now dead, the Town stands unprotected from whatever an adjoining landowner might dream up.

Comment on this article

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









2016 Energy Summit – George Washington University


On Friday evening, October 28, George Washington University, Virginia Campus in Ashburn will host the 10th annual Don Sandros Energy Summit in cooperation with local businesses and non-profits. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for a reception with wine donated by …

Attributing Disaster


“Humans are likely to create a catastrophe, and possibly an associated disaster, that vastly exceeds our own ability to recover from it. In the face of all our efforts, it will persist.” – Richard Guthrie [1] “Here we show that …

Concerned Parent


By Michael Oberschenider Psy.D. Dr. Mike, We recently signed our four-year-old daughter up for gymnastics. It wasn’t cheap, but her friends from the neighborhood do it, and she has been begging us to go. It turned out to be a …

Invisible Illnesses

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde It is general knowledge that when people think about illnesses, they don’t think about illnesses that aren’t physically apparent. Sure, people know about conditions such as multiple sclerosis and other diseases with visible symptoms, but many …

Robinson Park

robinson park

Looking back, now – I’m glad it wasn’t what most people would’ve considered a nice day; I don’t know about you, but I’ve had my share of hot and sunny to last me for at least a generation (especially since …

Are Your Estate and Financial Plans Shock-Proof?


Don’t wait until “what if?” becomes “what is.” Where will you live as you age? Think about your housing options now, so you have choices and won’t have to make a hasty decision should an unexpected health event force you …

In Defense of ‘Adulting’


By Samuel Moore-Sobel Most friends transitioning from college to the workforce long for the days of college, wishing to be back in class and participating in campus life. To be honest, I may be in the minority, but I have …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016


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


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


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)


October 2016
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
September 26, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 27, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 28, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 29, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

September 30, 2016

Dreams of Trees and Other Living Things

October 1, 2016

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

October 2, 2016
October 3, 2016 October 4, 2016 October 5, 2016 October 6, 2016 October 7, 2016 October 8, 2016

Virginia Outdoors Foundation 50 years of Conservation Celebration

October 9, 2016
October 10, 2016 October 11, 2016 October 12, 2016

Barefoot Puppets: Dreamtime, Tales From Down Under

October 13, 2016 October 14, 2016 October 15, 2016

Loudoun Centre Theatre: The Scamps Of Scapin!

October 16, 2016

Harvest Celebration & Fall Farm Tour


October 17, 2016 October 18, 2016 October 19, 2016 October 20, 2016 October 21, 2016

Anthony Semiao Live at North Gate Vineyard


October 22, 2016 October 23, 2016

Come Paint with us at Breaux Vineyards

October 24, 2016 October 25, 2016 October 26, 2016 October 27, 2016 October 28, 2016

October Fourth Friday

October 29, 2016

2 Pound Sterling Live at North Gate VIneyard

October 30, 2016

Music With A Cause - Music of Colonial America

October 31, 2016 November 1, 2016 November 2, 2016 November 3, 2016 November 4, 2016 November 5, 2016

OysterFest at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

November 6, 2016
Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

Steady and NoBull


Leesburg-Daybreak Rotary Club Sends Supplies and Funds to Haiti

24 Oct 2016


The Rotary Club of Leesburg-Daybreak shipped water purification supplies and emergency funds to Haiti following the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew. Partnering with an anonymous local corporation, the club shipped 3,000 water purification tablet packages via FedEx to Haiti. These packages, which were sent to an area battling a cholera outbreak, will clean 3,000 liters of unsafe water. Instructions translated …

(Be the first to comment)

Veteran’s Day 10k Raises Funds for Veteran Causes

13 Oct 2016


On November 6, the Loudoun County Road Runners Club will again conduct the annual Loudoun 10K Trail Race in order to raise funds for veteran causes. Since it’s origin in 2011, the trail race has generated more than $90,000 with 100 percent of proceeds going directly to veteran’s charities, specifically Boulder Crest Retreat and Pets for Vets.

(Be the first to comment)

FBRM Clean-Up Day at Blue Ridge Regional Park

6 Oct 2016


Join Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains for an Autumn clean-up to remove invasive vegetation from Blue Ridge Regional Park on Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Some tools and equipment will be provided, but please bring your clippers, pruning shears, or saws if you can. Directions: From Leesburg, drive west on Route 7 past the turnoff …

(Be the first to comment)


Grief and Greed


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 …


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


– 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


– 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

New Proposed Uses for Western Loudoun

Loudoun County Seal Color

If you live in the middle or western part of Loudoun where you enjoy a parcel of open space near your property (which probably was put into an open space …

Bennett Knows How To Make Economy Work for All


In the election for the 10th District House seat, only one candidate has a more than three decades of success growing a local business. As the owner of a successful …

View From the Ridge

Broken Promises, Hidden by a Six-Foot Berm


By Andrea Gaines On August 9, 1825 at the age of 69, French military officer the Marquis de Lafayette was honored in Leesburg by former President James Monroe. The French-born …

Around Virginia

History’s Holy Places: Four Local Sites Worth Exploring This Fall


The Journey through Hallowed Ground is a 180-mile long, 75-mile wide trek from Gettysburg to Monticello, encompassing nine presidential homes and places, 18 national and state parks, and thousands of small and large historical sites. Dozens and dozens of these sites and related museums are short ride from just about …

(Be the first to comment)

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


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)


Hunter’s First Professional Race

7 Sep 2016


Drew Hunter and Loudoun Valley classmates at his first professional race, Sir Walter Miler in Raleigh, NC in early August , l to r:  Marcos Pierce, Matt Slook, Drew Hunter, Max McNerney. Hunter finished with a time of 3:57.15. Hunter turned professional and signed with Adidas.

(Be the first to comment)

Let’s Make Some Memories

3 Aug 2016


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)


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