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

The Trump Effect

noerpel_new

“Corals are marine magicians. As colonies of the tiny ocean organisms grow, they transform the calcium that circulates in seawater into enormous limestone reefs. These reefs—which can extend for more than 1,000 miles and provide homes for crabs, eels, sea …

Six Tips To a New Year and a New You in 2017

drmikenewpic

By Michael Oberschenider, Psy.D. Research has shown that as many as 45 percent of us make New Year’s resolutions, but only about eight percent are actually successful in achieving them. And it seems that age is a factor: about 39 …

Investing in the Family Stock

Smith0035

Family relationships are usually not considered under the rubric of “investments”. Yet, the personal gain and loss from family relationships is much more significant than economic return from stocks and bonds. Taking time out to relate to a person without …

Choosing a Different Lens

moore-sobelnewmug

We have all heard, “A picture’s worth a thousand words,” maybe even said it aloud while perusing old photo albums or scrolling through Facebook timelines. Sometimes words fall short of adequately describing an emotion encapsulating a distinct moment. Pictures fill …

Freedom Park

freedom park

A great name for a great place, this public space shows us – in my opinion – what’s best about Leesburg, Loudoun County and our country. Freedom Park – just off the Dulles Greenway on the South side of Town …

The Grim Reaper and the Great Barrier

grimreaper

(to be presented to the Board of Supervisors in January) “The recent frequency and intensity of mass coral bleaching are of major concern, and are directly attributable to rising atmospheric greenhouse gases.” [1]

Pearl Harbor

flag

By Nicholas Reid Seventy-five years ago this December 7, to quote President Franklin D. Roosevelt, “the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” It will have been 75 …

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

January 2017
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
December 26, 2016 December 27, 2016 December 28, 2016 December 29, 2016 December 30, 2016 December 31, 2016

Family New Year’s Eve Celebration

January 1, 2017

New Year's Day Musikabend

Restore & Renew

January 2, 2017 January 3, 2017 January 4, 2017 January 5, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

January 6, 2017 January 7, 2017

Core Purpose, Core Practice Yoga

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

January 8, 2017
January 9, 2017

AUDITIONS - SEUSSICAL

January 10, 2017 January 11, 2017

Beale Street Puppets: Dig Those Dinosaurs

January 12, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

January 13, 2017 January 14, 2017

THE IMMORTALS

January 15, 2017

Come Paint with Us at Breaux Vineyards

January 16, 2017 January 17, 2017 January 18, 2017

Virginia Opera: Deep River- The Marion Anderson Story

January 19, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

January 20, 2017

LAST HAM STANDING COMEDY IMPROV

January 21, 2017

DANNY KNICELY CONCERT

January 22, 2017
January 23, 2017 January 24, 2017 January 25, 2017 January 26, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

January 27, 2017 January 28, 2017 January 29, 2017
January 30, 2017 January 31, 2017 February 1, 2017 February 2, 2017

Chair Yoga

Yoga for Men

February 3, 2017 February 4, 2017

CHINESE NEW YEAR EVENT

GALLERY COFFEEHOUSE: Readers Theater

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

February 5, 2017
Current Print Issue:
Sign up for our email newsletter:

Recent Comments

Steady and NoBull

Lifestyle

Upcoming Waterford Concerts Feature St. Lawrence String Quartet and Four Other Acts

18 Jan 2017

waterford

Subscriptions and tickets are now on sale for five upcoming concerts, the Waterford Concert Series announced. All concerts begin at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday afternoons in the Waterford Old School auditorium, 40222 Fairfax Street in Waterford. The concert series begins March 19 with the St. Lawrence String Quartet, known for exalted performances and joyful connection with audiences. First violinist Geoff …

(Be the first to comment)

Historian Rich Gillespie Speaks on Haunts on the Loudoun Landscape

12 Jan 2017

The Mosby Heritage Area Association announced an event in conjunction with the Purcellville Library on January 29, at 2:00 p.m,. which will feature Rich Gillespie, Historian Emeritus of the Mosby Heritage Area Association, speaking on the “Haunts on the Loudoun Landscape.” The stories are all from the personal experiences of long-time local historian and teacher Rich Gillespie, or from close …

(Be the first to comment)

Help Joseph … and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

4 Jan 2017

blueridge2

Blue Ridge Middle School’s PTO is seeking help with its drama department, working diligently on the production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamboat. The children in the show are enthusiastic and very talented. And, the school has a long history of first class productions with recent shows such as The Lion King, which won 11 National Youth Arts Awards …

(1 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

Vote No To the Minor Special Exception

catesbyproposal

We are a group of Loudoun County citizens who will be adversely affected if the board grants a special exception for the Catesby Farm property at your upcoming meeting. You …

It’s Our Right

catesbyproposal

On December 6, the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to vote on a “Minor Special Exception” proposal we submitted earlier this year concerning our Catesby Farm property. Unfortunately, our limited …

View From the Ridge

Broken Promises, Hidden by a Six-Foot Berm

blueridge2

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

Office Building on Capitol Square To Be Named After Civil Rights Pioneer Barbara Johns

image002

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced that the newly renovated state building located at 202 N. 9th Street on Capitol Square in Richmond (currently known as the 9th Street Office Building) will bear the name of civil rights pioneer Barbara Johns. The building, which reopened last year, houses the Virginia Attorney General’s …

(Be the first to comment)

Rep. Comstock’s Key Top Priority Legislation Initiatives

barbaracomstock

Signed into Law in Her First Term Rep. Barbara Comstock, who serves the 10th congressional district in Virginia, recently reviewed the achievements of her first term in office, identifying 17 legislative initiatives that she supported that were adopted. She said: “My staff and I have met with stakeholders, local elected …

(Be the first to comment)

Man Killed Walking To Gas Station on I-95

police_tape

Virginia State Police Trooper M.J. Kryznefski is investigating a fatal pedestrian crash in Prince William County. The crash occurred at approximately 4:10 a.m., on Monday, December 26, on Interstate 95 near Exit 158B. Three males were traveling south on Interstate 95 when their Honda CRV ran out of gas. They …

(Be the first to comment)

Sports

Ida Lee Spring NFL Flag Football Registration Filling Fast

18 Jan 2017

NFL_Flag_Football_at_IdaLee

Deadline for the House League registration is February 13. Registration for the Spring 2017 NFL Flag Football League at Ida Lee is currently open and filling fast. We are excited to offer again two great leagues: Ida Lee NFL Flag Football House League and the Ida Lee NFL Flag Football …

(Be the first to comment)

Woodgrove Grabs First at Glory Days

10 Jan 2017

Woodgrove Gymnastics

The Woodgrove Varsity Gymnastics took first place in the red division of the Glory Days Invitational at Park View High School on Saturday, January 7. Woodgrove competed against Rock Ridge, Potomac Falls, Loudoun Valley and Heritage high schools. Host team Park View came in first in the lower blue division. …

(Be the first to comment)

Archives

  • +2017
  • +2016
  • +2015
  • +2014
  • +2013
  • +2012
  • +2011
  • +2010
  • +2009