Home » Editorial »Opinion » Currently Reading:

Bystanders or Leaders?

June 6, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Editorial, Opinion 1 Comment
blueridge2

In the past 20 years Purcellville has changed from a very rural, quiet and polite town to a suburban outpost with a lot more noise, activity and impatience. Loudoun County, the wealthiest county in the country, harbors a vast government machine whose contractors and subcontractors, and those who benefit from these businesses with all sorts of spinoffs and support industries, is not suffering from the affects of the economic downturn felt in other jurisdictions.

But fast growth – the town grew by over 11 percent every year of the housing bubble – is often poorly planned growth. A growth of almost 70 percent in six years stretches the resources of any town or county, and can cause grievous harm to the needs of those who live in that community. Decisions on growth have to be tempered with a sense of scale and balance. Where will the water come from? How many children are going to be included in the new subdivision and what impact will that have on our present school system? How will the roads handle the new traffic? How will the quality of life be affected? What sort of mix between residential and commercial should be encouraged so that the tax base doesn’t throw a burden on the residents? How can small business, which keeps its dollars in the community, be encouraged over chain stores which drain not only money but a sense of place from the town? What makes this place special, even precious, and how can we preserve the very character that shaped it over its long history? How do we respect and cherish it and still incorporate the new and changing landscape?

During the past 15 years there were two documents that were supposed to safeguard this community from being overrun by poorly planned growth and the destruction of the sense of community living, a quality present in a small town surrounded by the overwhelming heritage of open lands and history, and the beauty and bounty that they express. One document is the Comprehensive Plan (CP) which is reviewed every five years. The second was the Purcellville Urban Growth Area Management Plan (PUGAMP), which was adopted by the town in 1995. The CP was more about zoning within the town. PUGAMP was more of a vision about the encroachment of the town on adjacent properties, and whether or not that encroachment was warranted by the capacity of the town to provide utilities. It was an attempt to fine tune the growth of any town with its ability to provide services and thus keep the population well supplied with those services. In other words, to respond to the needs of the citizens in an “orderly, harmonious” way.  That was, in fact, the core purpose of the PUGAMP. It was written with the attempt to keep the quality of life at a peak level even as the population grew.

The vision of a community is expressed, and protected, by the leadership of that community. Those who have leadership skills and truly care about their communities, make plans. And, they stick with them. They protect the quality of life of the people who live within those communities, as opposed to letting what the town will look like be dictated by developers.

All the town has done for the last 10 years is make excuses. It takes a great deal of time and effort and money to make excuses. A constant stream of media is needed to distort reality. In Purcellville, the need to create a totally false vision of what the town is doing required them to hire a public relations expert to the tune of $90 an hour.   And this person is not there to tell you what is actually going on. Perhaps we should call this person, not a public relations expert, but a purveyor of dreams. The town is all too willing to talk about the awards they are given and to send out a quarterly update that is nothing but a compilation of self congratulatory articles. 

Now the town is saying that they are helpless about all this development.  They are saying zoning is by-right.  That they don’t choose what kinds of retail establishments come into town.  The truth is the town has complete control of the type of vision they want for the town.  The town promoted as much growth as possible in the past 20 years. If the town felt that the rate of growth was too rapid, they could have chosen to slow it down by overturning the annexations and not increasing the density of the zonings.

No one forced the Town Council to greatly accelerate the rate of new commercial development.  The original commercial footprint on Cole Farm was half of this one and there were no Big Box Stores.  Since the town had to use the Special Use Permit, a device which the Town Council has used on numerous occasions to change the zoning, they were certainly in control of the situation.  But, a more glaring example that the Town Council has gone out of its way to grow the town unwisely is the annexation of the Catoctin Corner property and its zoning into another unnecessary and repetitive shopping center.  The fact that the town did this over and above the objections of the Planning Commission demonstrates very clearly that the town is insincere when it depicts itself as helpless bystander in the zoning process.

Again, the vision of a community is expressed, and protected, by the leadership of that community.

1 comment

  1. Kelli Grim says:

    I think the better words to describe the current so-called adults in power in Purcellville would be tagged as: Bully’s, Liar’s, Coward’s, and a word that best describes someone with no conscience and an empty black heart. (oops, one has to have a heart to have a black one) A child would see it best described as Grinch (a heart 3 sizes too small, and because he was unhappy, he enjoyed hurting others to try to make them unhappy)

    Unfortuntate for Bob Lazero, Sam and Uta Brown have hearts 3 sizes too big, they resemble all that is historic, sustainable, and green in the world and they are kind, hard working, and faithful to actually producing something with their bare hands.

    I am thankful to believe the teachings of the Bible that tell us “You will reap what you sow”…. Sad to imagine what the seeds sown by the town politicians will produce, certainly nothing good in the long term.

Comment on this article


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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

Ice house, Hot House and Mad House

noerpel_new

Recently, I was asked: “I know we are putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and scientists say that will warm the planet but there were also ice ages and warmer climates in the past before humans so what caused those …

Sugar Crash

Lunde new

Sugar runs inside our body and fuels our very being. In biology they teach us that sugar is really glucose which is broken down in the body to produce ATP (adenine tri-phosphate). So why bring this up? Well, sugar is …

The Art of Memory

moore-sobelnewmug

By Samuel Moore-Sobel Still Alice. A movie that not only elicits tears, but naturally incurs reflection. This heartrending movie was the starting point of a personal wrestling with the implications of human memory. Remembering can bring us back to a …

Living in Debt

Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike, My husband has issues with money that are hurting our relationship and family. He makes a lot of money, but he spends more than he makes and we are in debt. He can’t just have a luxury car, …

June in the Garden

juneingarden flowers

Conserve Water, Beat the Heat and Keep Things Blooming By Andrea Gaines It’s getting hot out there. And, there’s nothing more discouraging for a gardener that to come home after a weekend away – or miss a regular watering schedule …

Potoma Wayside

potoma wayside

My advice is: Don’t look straight down; the combination of rushing highway traffic a couple of feet away and, what’s – to me, anyway – a dizzying height, can produce some unsettling sensations. I came to this conclusion after walking …

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

Oh No, It’s the Christians!

blueridge2

By Nicholas Reid In the hours and days following every massacre perpetrated by radical Muslims, there is one unifying theme across most news coverage of the massacre, wherever it may …

Dear Editor

Thank You Purcellville Voters

kelligrim

I would like to thank you, the Purcellville voters, for your tremendous support of my campaign for Town Council.  I appreciate that so many of you put signs in your …

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 …

Student News

Four Scouts Achieve Eagle Scout Rank

3 Feb 2016

eaglescout

Joel Gicker, Kyle Siecker, Sam Soltis and David Watson achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at Blue Ridge Bible Church in Purcellville on January 9. The four Eagles are members of Troop 711 of …

(Be the first to comment)

8th Grade Writers Honored At Blue Ridge Middle School

2 Jul 2015

blueridgemiddleschool

Sixty-seven Blue Ridge Middle School eighth graders have been honored for their writing during the 2014-2015 school year. Many students had their writing selected for publication by Creative Communication, a program for student writers, while others won county-wide writing contests. …

(Be the first to comment)

Ben Kellogg Achieves Eagle Scout

1 Jul 2015

benkellog

Benjamin Robert Kellogg achieved the rank of Eagle Scout at a Court of Honor conducted at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Purcellville on March 29. Friends, family and troop leaders attended the celebration, including his parents, Robert and Deirdre Kellogg. …

(Be the first to comment)

Calendar

June 2016
M T W T F S S
30

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

31

Sea & Sky – an exhibit by copper artist Anne Jordan and mixed media artist Karen Watson

1

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

2

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Free Gardening Lecture

3

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

4

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Yard Sale

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

PAUL REISLER TRIO WITH LEA MORRIS AND MARSHALL KEYS

5

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

6

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

7

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

8

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

9

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

10

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

11

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

19th Annual Cajun Festival & Crawfish Boil

12

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

13

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

14

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

15

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

16

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

17

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

18

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Goats at BRNP

19

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Bring Dad to North Gate Vineyard

20

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

21

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

22

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

23

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

24

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

June Fourth Friday at Breaux Vineyards

Love, He Called It

25

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Love, He Called It

26

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

Sip & Paint at Breaux Vineyards

Love, He Called It

27

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

28

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

29

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

30

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

1 2

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

3
Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

Lifestyle

Troy and Paula Haag Perform at Old Stone School

9 Jun 2016

troy and paula haag 1a

Troy and Paula Haag, will appear on The Gap Stage at the Old Stone School on Saturday, June 18. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Dinner will be sold by Big Mike’s BBQ, drinks will be sold by the glass, and there will be desserts at intermission. Troy and Paula will be joined by Max Haag …

(Be the first to comment)

Here’s To the Colorists, Manicurists and Blow Dry Mavens… Thanks for Listening!

1 Jun 2016

hair color

Sunday, June 26 is Beauticians Day, celebrating the cosmetology and other experts who keep us looking and feeling our best – whether it’s with a haircut and style, a facial, a manicure, or just some quiet and light conversation.

(Be the first to comment)

Wait. Something That’s Really Healthy Can Be Really Fun … Too?

1 Jun 2016

poolsafety2

Parents of small children, and property owners with pools, ponds and other water features know that swimming safety is a must. You need to have clear rules about how ponds, pools and other places are to be used, and when. Safety equipment needs to be up to date and accessible, and it is critical that there be a responsible adult …

(Be the first to comment)

Around Virginia

HUD Awards $2 Million in Housing Counseling Grants To Virginia

Kaine

Sens. Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) announced today that Catholic Charities USA, headquartered in Alexandria, will receive $951,150 in federal funding, and the Virginia Housing Development Authority, located in Richmond, will receive $1,040,918. This nearly $2 million grant by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) …

(Be the first to comment)

Four Hop, Skip and a Jump Local Destinations

morven

Last month we encouraged our readers to consider visiting any one of five great destinations within just a stone’s throw of Loudoun’s history-lined borders – Berryville and Harper’s Ferry among them. This month we feature four destinations – two right here in our much-celebrated county, and two just over the …

(2 comments)

Out and About Loudoun and Beyond

The Plains’ charming restaurants, shops and sidewalks.

Five Stone’s Throw Spring and Summer Destinations By Andrea Gaines Bordered by the Potomac River to the north and beautiful mountains to the west – and with easy access to Rt. 95, the Dulles Toll Road and Route 66 – Loudouners have no short list of fun spring places to …

(Be the first to comment)

Sports

The Lady Vikings Earned Back-to Back Conference Title

1 Jun 2016

lvhs

The Lady Vikings earned the back-to back conference title with a 4-1 win over Heritage in late May. The team earned a first round playoff bye finishing first in the conference and then went on to defeat Rock Ridge 12-0 in the conference semi-finals. The Lady Vikings ended their regular …

(Be the first to comment)

Big Baseball Coming To Fireman’s Field

1 Jun 2016

purcellville cannons

Got Your Father’s Day Gift Lined Up Yet? The Purcellville Cannons’ Brett Fuller couldn’t be happier. He’s the owner of one of the most popular teams in the Valley Baseball League. The team, up until recently was called the Charles Town Cannons but now calls Purcellville its home.

(Be the first to comment)

Archives

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