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Purcellville Town Council Meeting, December Wrap-up

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The Purcellville Town Council addressed several important topics in its December proceedings.

Mary’s House of Hope

The Council unanimously approved the sale of the Mary’s House of Hope property.

Mary’s House of Hope is operated by the Good Shepherd Alliance, which has for nine years provided temporary housing for women and children. The Town is selling the property for $300,000. The Good Shepherd Alliance, over the years, has paid for substantial renovations to this formerly abandoned property. … Continue Reading

New Purcellville Town Council Examines Utility Rates

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The Town’s consultant, Municipal & Financial Services Group, will appear before Council in January, to respond to Council’s questions on ways to lower utility rates.

At an October 17 Town Council meeting to review and discuss options, Purcellville Town Manager Rob Lohr talked about availability fees from more growth as a way to defray the rising cost of Town utility rates. … Continue Reading

Purcellville October Town Council Meetings

November 2, 2016 Committees at a Glance, Government, News Comments Off on Purcellville October Town Council Meetings
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Town Council Meeting October 11
Zoning Text Amendment:

In early October, the Purcellville Town Council voted to send zoning text amendments to the Planning Commission for review. The motion, initiated by Council Member Kelli Grim passed 5-2 with Council Members Doug McCollum and Chris Bledsoe voting no. The zoning text aments include the following:
Change the zoning ordinance back to lower the maximum building heights allowed in the C-4 District. This includes 21st Street, Hatcher and parts of Main Street – the Downtown Central Commercial District. In 2008, the Lazaro Council raised the building heights allowed in this district from 35 ft. to 65 ft. – six stories – based on the advocacy of developers John Chapman and Mark Nelis and the Vineyard Square development. This review, if passed, would keep building heights in line with the original purpose of the district. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Strategic Planning Session Brainstorms on Town’s Vision

October 6, 2016 Committees at a Glance, Government, News Comments Off on Purcellville Strategic Planning Session Brainstorms on Town’s Vision
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The Purcellville Town Council held its annual strategic planning session September  9-10 at the Purcellville Train Station. The sessions, taking place on Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., were moderated on Saturday by Mike Chandler.
Sessions with department heads started with Administration/IT, Town Attorney, Finance, Community Development, Public Works, and the Police Department. The council also met with the chairs of the Planning Commission, the Board of Architectural Review, the Purcellville Economic Development Advisory Committee, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and the Arts Council. … Continue Reading

July Purcellville Town Council Meeting and Work Session

August 3, 2016 Government, News Comments Off on July Purcellville Town Council Meeting and Work Session
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By Nathaniel Stephens

On July 12, the newly elected Purcellville Town Council held its first meeting as the official body representing the people of the Town. Key meeting topics and issues included:

Appointments:
The council appointed these individuals: Kelli Grim to the Planning Commission, Chris Bledsoe to the Economic Development Advisory Committee, Ryan Cool to the Parks and Recreation Committee and the Arts Council, Karen Jimmerson to the Tree and Beautification Committee and Nedim Ogelman to the Board of Architectural Review. (Council Member Doug McCollum declined an appointment to the Arts Committee.) Council Member Karen Jimmerson was appointed Vice-Mayor. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Council Meeting and Work Session

June 1, 2016 Committees at a Glance, News Comments Off on Purcellville Council Meeting and Work Session
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By Nathaniel Stephens

The Purcellville town council meeting May 10 discussed three issues of important business: Awarding a contract for the creation of a promotional video for the town, deciding on ticket pricing and discounts for residents in the upcoming Wine and Food festival, and deciding how the council will address complaints brought against a council member by a citizen. … Continue Reading

Fraser Wins Purcellville – Big

May 6, 2016 Elections, News 2 comments
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Bledsoe, Cool, Grim And Ogelman Win Town Council

On Tuesday May 3, incumbent Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser won his re-election bid beating out two term Council Member Joan Lehr with 70.87 percent of the vote. Fraser received 1,090 votes to Lehr’s 440.

“I think it’s a clear mandate. The people have spoken, said Fraser. “This is a council we can work with. We’ve put four people in place, and we all have the same vision, which is to listen to the voice of the citizens.” … Continue Reading

Chris Bledsoe Announces Bid for Purcellville Town Council

March 2, 2016 Elections, Elections, News Comments Off on Chris Bledsoe Announces Bid for Purcellville Town Council
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Chris Bledsoe, a thirteen year resident of Purcellville, has formally announced his candidacy for Purcellville Town Council in the May 3 elections. After receiving confirmation from the Board of Elections, he is the first Purcellville Town Council candidate to qualify.
Bledsoe states, “After numerous requests and after many discussions with neighbors and small business owners in Purcellville, I have decided that now is the right time to seek a seat on the Town Council. … Continue Reading

Chris Hamilton Announces Run for Purcellville Town Council

February 3, 2016 Elections, Elections, News Comments Off on Chris Hamilton Announces Run for Purcellville Town Council
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On January 16, Chris Hamilton launched his campaign for a seat on the Purcellville Town Council. Instead of holding a traditional kick-off rally, he walked door to door talking to residents about his message of helping Purcellville stay Purcellville for the next generation. “I’m focused on representing the people and guiding the town forward based on principles, not politics,” said Hamilton. … Continue Reading

Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman Announces Bid for Town Council

February 3, 2016 Elections, Elections, News Comments Off on Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman Announces Bid for Town Council
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Nedim Ogelman, a Purcellville Planning Commissioner, on February 1 launched his campaign for a seat on the Purcellville Town Council.

“I look forward to continuing to serve Purcellville and adding another voice of leadership and expertise to our Town Council,” said Ogelman. “As a planning commissioner, I have gained an understanding of the complexities of our Town and its governance, including its capabilities and limitations.” … Continue Reading

Vice Mayor Packard Resigns Purcellville Town Council

January 13, 2016 Government, News 1 comment
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At the Purcellville Town Council meeting Tuesday, January 12, Vice-Mayor Ben Packard submitted his resignation which he said would be effective at the end of the council meeting. He said he had been looking at other options and would be listing his house on the market in February. He said that he had planned to live in Purcellville for 15 years, but his plans had changed. Additionally, he said that he had to deal with a health problem and would be in surgery the next day, January 13.

In his resignation letter which he did not read, he said, “As I have mentioned informally to several friends over the last few months, I have been exploring housing options. As this is not a move of necessity, but choice, I did not feel it appropriate to make any comment over the dais until I crossed a certain point in the process where I felt confident that things were going to move forward.” In his letter he also said that he would rather resign before the budget process starts.

At the end of the meeting the Town Council voted to appoint Council Member Patrick McConville Vice Mayor.

Defiant Planning Commission Sends Zoning Changes To Town Council

September 30, 2015 Development, News 1 comment
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In a dramatic 5-1-1 vote, the Purcellville Planning Commission has put the ball squarely in the Purcellville Town Council’s court, recommending dozens of sweeping zoning changes fought for tooth and nail by developers. The vote shifts the focus of the debate from the Planning Commission to Town Council meetings and public hearings scheduled to start in October.

Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman was the sole dissenter in the Planning Commission’s dramatic volley, voting no on the proposed changes. Planning Commissioners Chip Paciulli, Theresa Stein, Edward Van Istendal, Doug McCollum and Gil Paist, voted yes, with planning commissioner Chris Bledsoe absent for the vote.

At the Planning Commission public hearing Mayor Kwasi Fraser said, “A vast majority of the proposed changes will increase the value of a few property owners by granting by right use…while other citizens will lose out on the ability to obtain value added conditions for development that might compliment the lifestyles and environment they cherish in Purcellville … the majority of the residents with whom I have spoken … are recommending that we suspend making these drastic changes to the zoning uses … all energy should be on the Comprehensive Plan review; you have the attention of the citizens so let’s do it.”

A few of the changes proposed by the Planning Commission include:

  • Allowing completely new uses in select districts.
  • Eliminating Special Use Permits for many uses.
  • Increasing limits on restaurant size.
  • Adding big box retail up to 10,000 square feet to the C-4 and C-1 Districts to name a few.

Noted dissenting commissioner Nedim Ogelman, “We said we would not change the purposes of the districts to avoid claims we are engaging in rezoning, yet the draft ordinance amendment before us … is essentially rezoning … We are tasked with advising the Town Council on planning issues. My advice to the Town Council is to listen to what citizens have been telling us in our information sessions, through correspondence, in our public hearing, and in the town survey … that we table the draft zoning use changes until after we have a Comprehensive Plan Review.”
Many citizens spoke at the Planning Commission public hearing including Ed Need who highlighted the negative effects of rezoning.

Developer interests, however, presented a very different point of view. Attorney Mark Nelis, representing Jiffy Lube and others continued to press for a reduction in the number of zoning districts and a reduction in the number of special use permits required for various uses; the goal? – to save his clients time and money.

At the Town Council work session in late September, Councilmember Ben Packard made a motion to put the proposed zoning changes on the Oct. 13 town council meeting agenda.

Mayor Kwasi Fraser and Councilmember Karen Jimmerson objected, with the mayor noting that over the last three months he had sent numerous questions about the Planning Commission’s long list of zoning changes to Commissioner Gil Paist, but, had received no answers.

Said Mayor Fraser “ … we have a Planning Commission that refuses to answer fundamental questions about the economic, social, and environmental impacts of their recommended zoning use changes … There seems to be this continuous push to erect buildings without careful thought about supporting infrastructure and the impact to the surrounding environment … experts in the field of town planning warn [that] it is poor practice and could result in legal trouble for a community to adopt a zoning ordinance first and then write up a town plan.”

Planning Commissioner Nedim Ogelman, town council member Karen Jimmerson, Mayor Fraser and others are also expected to continue to push for a thorough Comprehensive Plan review before any major zoning changes are put in place.

Public Hearings

September 2, 2015 Committees at a Glance, News Comments Off on Public Hearings
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Planning Commission And Town Council This Month
The Big Giveaway

At the Purcellville Town Hall on Thursday, September 3 at 7:00 p.m., the first of two public hearings on the proposed zoning use changes will occur to amend sections of the zoning ordinance. One big change to the C-1 District is to allow for the addition of general retail sales to this district which is along Hirst Road. Currently not allowing for “big box,” this district’s use is being proposed to up to 10,000 square feet and a special use permit for anything above. The stated purpose of the C-1 District is to provide for planned office parks, offices, and similar business buildings and is limited to office support uses – in attractive surroundings with types of uses, structures, plantings, and signs so controlled as to be generally compatible with medium or low density residential surroundings. According to the spring Town of Purcellville 2008 minutes, a pharmacy was allowed, but it was supposed to be located in an office building, not stand alone. In fact, the current Comprehensive Plan does not allow for uses like “big box” retail. Some of the current proposed additions for this area are: Retail sales, child care, financial institution, fitness center, hotel, parking lot and structure, recreation facility, and temporary food trucks and trailers. Further, Special Use Permits (SUPs) are proposed to be eliminated for eating establishments. … Continue Reading


 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

The Trump Effect

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“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

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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

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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

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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

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(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

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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

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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, …

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

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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. …

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Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

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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 …

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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
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Lifestyle

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 …

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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 …

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Remembering George Kakouras

4 Jan 2017

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Georgios “George” Evangelos Kakouras, of Purcellville passed away on December 22, 2016. Born on February 22, 1938 in Gorianades, Greece he was the son of the late Evangelos and Elizabeth Kakouras. Kakouras came to the United States from Greece in 1955 at the age of 17. He began working for his late uncle Nick Fragakis at the White Palace Restaurant …

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Editorial

Grief and Greed

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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!

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– 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

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– 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

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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

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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

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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

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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 …

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Rep. Comstock’s Key Top Priority Legislation Initiatives

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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 …

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Man Killed Walking To Gas Station on I-95

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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 …

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Sports

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. …

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Deadline Extended for Purcellville Sports Funding Application

4 Jan 2017

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The Town of Purcellville has extended the deadline to apply for the Annual Sports League Funding. The new deadline is January 9 at 5:00 p.m. Applicant organizations must serve the Town of Purcellville area, have citizens of the Town of Purcellville as players, and provide a letter to the Town …

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