Home » Dear Editor »Opinion »Uncategorized » Currently Reading:

Do You Want a Frat House Next Door to You?

August 9, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Dear Editor, Opinion, Uncategorized 7 Comments
town of purcellville sign

On August 16 at the new Town Hall (7:00 p.m.) the Purcellville Planning Commission and Town Council will hold a joint meeting on a proposal to amend residential zoning to accommodate “Student Homes”. What is driving this proposed amendment? Patrick Henry College wants to rent available homes and put up to eight students and a Residential Assistant (and other employees) per home to resolve their obvious failure to properly plan for the needs of their expanding student population. Patrick Henry also appears to be in a bit of a time crunch; trying to gain approval using combined Planning Commission/Town Council meetings where minimal quorums for both can be gathered. Taking from a popular conservative broadcaster’s mantra, “Here is what you need to know”:

  • The zoning amendment effects nearly every neighborhood in Purcellville.
  • No analysis has been conducted to support their claim that the zoning amendment is “in the interest of public necessity, general welfare and good zoning practice”. (Give me a Break!)
  • This is not good legislation as currently proposed. Its poorly written ordinance contains multiple pitfalls that could lower your home values and be further exploited if permanently enacted.
  • The criteria under which the proposed amendment would be executed and/or constrained is woefully inadequate, and does not consider the infrastructure confines of many Purcellville neighborhoods.
  • Residential areas with covenant restrictions will not be immune as those houses backing up to areas with no such restrictions may be more susceptible to having to put up with the fallout from this proposal.

Imagine the Used Car lot in the driveway next to you, the noise and the sudden increase in traffic. What kinds of economic and urban planning analysis has been conducted to warrant such as sweeping waiver of standing zoning ordinances (particulary to areas designated soley for single family dwellings). The answer is none.

Numerous reasonable alternatives to this amendment could provide Patrick Henry College an interim solution until such time as they can build adequate facilities on their recently expanded campus. For instance, the College could work with the Purcellville populace to establish cooperative student housing provisions for individual students (similar to hosting foreign students or when the town provides for the Little League Tournament’s needs). This could be of tremendous benefit to many upstanding local families (voters) in need of extra income during these hard economic times without stressing local neighborhoods. We have seen no such pursuit of an effort like this from Patrick Henry to overcome their self-imposed problems. Their approach instead, is to exert leverage on the Town Council and permanently burden the Purcellville populace. Make no mistake, this “Institution of Higher Learning” that specializes in the protection of individual freedom, is counting on your apathy towards your community to get what they want.

What do you think? Is this being done in the spirit of community partnership or does the need to house a few students, outweigh the needs of Purcellville residents? This amendment is simply not ready for prime time, nor is it good for our community. It solves Patrick Henry’s problem at our enduring expense.

Last Sunday, I spoke with several supportive local business owners and residents who all had very negative things to say about the Town Council’s lack of regard for their interests. Almost all expressed to me that my individual opinion wouldn’t matter. My response to this is simply that many voices are more likely heard than just one. If voters do not show up, we cannot hang this mistake on our Town Council’s shoulders. Please come to the Town Hall meeting on Thursday August 16 at 7:00 p.m. (be aware of sudden “changes” to the date/time of the meeting) to express your opposition to this amendment. We can find a better solution for all involved, if we get involved.

Chris Funkhauser
Purcellville

7 comments

  1. Cassandra says:

    Having lived in several well-known “college towns” around the country I can tell you from personal experience that no good would come from passage of Patrick Henry’s proposal. I’ve seen it in Cambridge MA and in Berkeley and Palo Alto CA. Cramming groups of students into what are supposed to be regular family homes makes for neighborhood problems and increased public safety pressures. Such homes are often subject to deferred maintenance, suffer from parking, noise and trash collection issues, and would likely reduce neighborhood real estate values. Once they are permitted, what limit is there on how many such homes can be accommodated, and where? Face it: Students are in essence transients, whose priorities are unlikely to include neighborhood improvement.

    Encouraging housing of one or two students at a time with willing local families is a much more neighborhood-resident (and student) -friendly policy. The monkey is properly on Patrick Henry’s back to house their students on campus, and Purcellville shouldn’t have to bear that cost by rushing into altering its SFR zoning. If the zoning doesn’t now include boarding houses, Purcellville ought to think twice or maybe three times about this.

  2. Bob L. says:

    What PHC wants, PHC gets, right GOBGN? Think we’ll ever see this happen in Bob or Janet’s neighborhood?

  3. Purcellville Resident says:

    I cannot believe this is even making it to be on an agenda.
    This should have been rejected immediately by the Town.

    The Town Council is ELECTED to represent and do what is BEST for the residents of the town.
    NO ONE in their right mind could think this is good for the town or residents.
    However since the PHC are well connected and could help some members (meaning Mayor) achieve greater political power of course the Town will have to give it serious consideration.

    I can only say that if this passes, every current member of the Town Council and the Mayor should step down because they have completely forgot who they are suppose to be representing and working for.

    Wake UP PURCELLVILLE these folks are taking you for a HECK of a ride.

  4. Ron K says:

    8 students and a resident assistant are not a Frat, You all are denying needy students housing, you should be ashamed of yourselves.. With the right permissions in place, those empty houses could be making people some money, and some people will even keep their houses this way. Don’t be NIMBY’s, remember the poor student living on ramen noodles..

  5. The Imitator says:

    The idea that eight PHC students and a RA constitute a frat house is laughable. We’re talking about Patrick Henry College, not University of Florida at Gainesville. Relax.

  6. PHC Senior says:

    I understand the potential for houses full of college students to be a detriment to the community. By all means, if voting community members are opposed to this proposal, their voices should be heard and considered.

    Here are just a few things to consider:

    – Quite a few students have arrangements to live with local families.

    – It would be absurd for the college to build a dorm (capacity 100-150 students) to meet the needs of, say, 40-odd students.

    – It would be difficult to arrange with 40+ different families for the housing of said students, especially considering that quite a few students already are living in such arrangements.

    – I’ve never seen alcohol or any other banned substances on campus, and there is no reason to assume that alcohol would be present in RA-supervised houses.

  7. PHC alumni says:

    Having attended PHC for 4+ years I can safely say that the community can rest at ease. It is incredibly unfair to compare the college to Berkley or any other government funded liberal institution.

    Unlike those Universities, students at PHC do not attend to party and sleep around. Alcohol and Tobacco are banned, not only on campus but for the entire duration of attendance at PHC. When I attended all students were required to sign a code saying they would not use either, a violation of this code resulted in disciplinary action by the school (I don’t know if students physically have to sign the code anymore, but it is still in affect).

    PHC students are extremely mature (in some cases more so than 40 or 50 year old people I know). Unlike our peers we are very goal oriented and responsible.

    We have always been grateful for the hospitality of Purcellville and will continue to be in the future.
    Yours,
    Joshua Gibbs
    2010 PHC Grad

Comment on this article


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


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

A Look Into What Is Learned in High School English

Lunde new

By Mary Rose Lunde English is the arguably the most important subject for a student in high school to learn. The most successful people in the world have one thing in common — being able to communicate effectively. This is …

Remembering Nancy Reagan

moore-sobelnewmug

By Samuel Moore-Sobel The passing of Nancy Reagan, a former First Lady who completely transformed the role and helped catapult her husband to greatness, marked the end of an era. Her death also happened to coincide with a turning point …

How To “File and Suspend” Before It Is Too Late

Smith0035

With the recent changes to Social Security rules, filing and suspending will soon be phased out, but there’s still time to take advantage of the strategy. Here’s a quick guide to maneuvering this rule while it still lasts, but as …

Concerned Parent

Michael_Pic

By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, We are concerned about some habits our nine year old son demonstrates and would love some advice from you.  We are unsure whether it’s anxiety, nervousness, or just nervous/an excess of energy.  A few …

Temple Hall Farm

timjon

I only met the late AV (Val) Symington once; it was a Sunday evening in my first year or two at Wage Radio (this would be the late ‘90’s) and I was putting things in order for the next morning’s …

Am I an Enabler?

Michael_Pic

Dr. Mike, My husband thinks that I’m harming our son for life because of the way I parent. Our son is 12 years old and he was diagnosed with ADHD in the 1st grade. My husband calls me “the enabler” …

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

Campaign of Untruths

jimmerson

Elected officials have done some pretty despicable things while serving in office. They range from bribery, beating a spouse, cheating on a spouse, obstruction of justice, and various forms of …

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

April 2016
M T W T F S S
28

Classical Avant Garde

29

Classical Avant Garde

30

Classical Avant Garde

31

Classical Avant Garde

1

Last Ham Comedy Improv: April FOOLS SHOW

2

West Loudoun County Methodist Stop Hunger Now

Writer's Project Runway

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

3

Praise Concert

4 5 6 7 8 9

My Child's Closet Consignment Sale

Cherry Blossom Celebration

A Springtime Serenade Concert

10
11 12 13 14 15

Woodgrove HS presents the musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"

16

Woodgrove HS presents the musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"

Woodgrove HS presents the musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"

17
18 19 20 21 22

April Fourth Friday

Woodgrove HS presents the musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

23

Virginia Touch-A-Truck

Breaux Vineyards Wild Game Winemaker's Dinner

Woodgrove HS presents the musical "The Mystery of Edwin Drood"

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

24

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

25 26 27

Hamilton Town Hall

28 29

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

30

Lobster Day with Chef Seb at North Gate Vineyard

CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG at Franklin Park Arts Center

1

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

Spring Wine Glass Painting with Penny

Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

  • Wendy Lyons on Election 2016: Joan Lehr: "Each of us has a mortgage, car payment, credit cards, college loans, etc. Most of us pay 25 percent or...
  • Nocount on Recent Rise in Mulch Fires Draws Warning from Fire Officials: “Virginia’s fire safety regulations aren’t adequate to reduce the fire potential that mulch presents when placed in proximity to exterior...
  • Mark Gunderman on Remembering Nancy Reagan: Sam, I believe you have a future in journalism. This was a great article. I will forward on to...
  • Mary S. on Election 2016: Kelli Grim: Certainly everyone is able to decide who they will vote for. But Ms. Herman's comments are deceptive and best....
  • Wendy Lyons on Election 2016: Kelli Grim: "Being a coach for someone’s daughter’s basketball team for a few months and being on her HOA board does not...

Lifestyle

5K and 10K “Ringing in Hope” Race Slated for Memorial Day

27 Apr 2016

run

The third annual “Ringing in Hope” 5K and 10K race will be held on Memorial Day (Monday, May 30) at One Loudoun. A 1K fun run/walk will also be held. The 5K begins at 8:00 a.m., the 10K at 8:10 a.m. and the 1K at 9:30 a.m. Proceeds will benefit Boulder Crest Retreat, a retreat for America’s seriously wounded warriors …

(Be the first to comment)

Bluegrass Performers Reno and Harrell To Appear at Lucketts on April 23

15 Apr 2016

music note

The Lucketts Bluegrass Concert Series continues its 42nd season of weekly concerts at the Lucketts Community Center on Saturday, April 23 at 7:00 p.m. with a show featuring Reno and Harrell. Tickets are $15 at the door, and the doors open at 6:00 p.m. Hot dogs, barbecue sandwiches, snacks and drinks will be available at the kitchen.

(Be the first to comment)

April in the Garden: Be a Freestyle Beekeeper

6 Apr 2016

aprilinthegarden

As the sun’s lengthening days settle us into the spring, newborn bees and their caretakers are emerging from their hives and going to work, collecting pollen and nectar and replenishing the colony’s food stores. Along the way, any number of the 60,000 or so bees that make up a single hive may be stopping by your garden or yard to …

(Be the first to comment)

Around Virginia

Update: Remains Located in Shenandoah National Park; Search Efforts Suspended

VSP Photo - 4-21-16 Whiteoak Canyon Trail Entrance VSP

Update: Body preliminarily identified as Nicole K. Mittendorff, 31, of Woodbridge. The physical and digital evidence collected during the course of this investigation includes a note recovered from the car leads investigators to believe there was no foul play involved in her death. ——————– Search efforts in the Shenandoah National …

(Be the first to comment)

Virginia Trooper Shot and Killed at Richmond Bus Terminal

Tpr Dermyer Patrol Car in front of VSP SPHQ

A Virginia State Police trooper has died as a result of his injuries after being shot on March 31 at the Greyhound Bus station in the 2900 block of North Boulevard in Richmond. At approximately 2:40 p.m., Virginia State Police Trooper Chad P. Dermyer approached a male subject just inside …

(Be the first to comment)

Governor McAuliffe Announces Designation of Four New Virginia Main Street Communities

McAuliffe

Governor Terry McAuliffe has announced the designation of four communities in the Virginia Main Street (VMS) program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The newly-designated communities include the town of Wytheville, the cities of Danville and Lexington and Gloucester Courthouse in Gloucester County. The communities …

(Be the first to comment)

Sports

Western Loudon Volleyball Club “Hitmen” Team Finishes Second

3 Feb 2016

westernloudounvolleyballclub

The Western Loudon Volleyball Club U14 boys team, called the “Hitmen,” finished second in a tournament held January 17. This is the first ever boys team for the WLVBC (and only the second boys club in the area). Coach Allan Kotmel led the seven-member team. WLVBC started eight years ago, …

(Be the first to comment)

ODFC West Travel Soccer Program Shines

2 Dec 2015

ODFCsoccerpics

The Old Dominion Football Club West boys and girls middle school travel soccer program scored big the weekend of November 21 and 22.  The girls Quest Premier 22 team took home the championship in the U12 Girls Premier Division of the Hunt Country Classic located in Fauquier County. The boys …

(Be the first to comment)

Archives

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