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Do You Want a Frat House Next Door to You?

August 9, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader 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”: … Continue Reading

Purcellville Sleight of Hand on Meals Tax Increase

June 12, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader Editorial, Opinion 3 comments
town of purcellville sign

The question is this: If the Budget Committee now supports a 25 percent increase in the meals tax, when did this shift occur – as an increase from four percent to five percent was voted down in April?

At the April 3, 2012 Budget Committee meeting Vice Mayor Joan Lehr made a motion to keep the town meals tax at its current rate of four percent. The motion passed 5-1-1, with Council Member Wiley voting against and Council Member Nave absent for the vote.

The May 8, 2012 Town Council meeting agenda showed the meals tax rate being supported by the Budget Committee at four percent. … Continue Reading

Purcellville Residents Brace for Change …

March 7, 2012 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Our Towns Be the first to comment
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­­­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. … Continue Reading

Richard Lake of Roadside Development Addresses Council

April 13, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, Government, News, Our Towns Be the first to comment

Richard Lake of Roadside Development addressed the Purcellville Town Council at a meeting on April 12.

The Cabal that Spends Your Taxes

April 1, 2011 by Valerie Joyner Editorial, Opinion Be the first to comment
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You sometimes got to wonder how a small town like Purcellville with about 7000 residents got itself into debt to the tune of $66 million. That number adds up to more than $9,000 per person. If you contrast that amount to the $4,000 per person debt of Loudoun County, you’ve got to conclude that something is going on. The answer is not obvious to the casual observer, but I will show you how it happens.

What we have in play in Purcellville is a good old fashioned “cabal” or group of individuals and organizations that has legally figured out how to impose taxes on you, the taxpayer and then spend the money for their benefit and not necessarily yours. … Continue Reading

Purcellville destroys 250 year old White Oaks for Town Hall parking

March 26, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader Development, Government, News, Our Towns 1 comment

VIDEO: March 22, 2011. Town of Purcellville cutting down 250-300 year old White Oak Trees at Fireman’s Field. The trees were removed to make way for more parking for the new Town Hall.

Update: Crooked Run Condemnation Hearing Scheduled for Jan. 11

January 12, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader News Be the first to comment

*UPDATE: At last night’s Purcellville Town Council Meeting January 11, 2011, a public hearing was held regarding Condemnation-Quick Take of the Crooked Run Orchard property. Over 50 Town and County residents attended, and more than 20 people spoke at the hearing. Only two speakers were in favor of the agenda item. In a 7-0 vote, the Purcellville Town Council voted to Condemn via quick take condemnation powers over seven acres of Crooked Run Orchard for the Southern Collector Road. (the parcel is 16 acres)

Town Council members kept repeating that this was the “original” alignment. It is not, it is an entirely new alignment. The road has been moved entirely onto the Brown property, locating the road less than 75 feet from their home and making the annexation of the O’Toole property unnecessary. In preparation to seek State and Federal funding the Town has submitted documents for 4 lanes and 40 mph. The original alignment only required 3.08 acres, the new alignment will take almost half the 16 acres and destroy the main barn and farm road to the back 40 acres.

… Continue Reading

Catoctin Corner Development Is a Go!

August 15, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Our Towns Be the first to comment
The Purcellville Town Council voted Tuesday, August 10, 2010 to approve 6 special use permits for up to 50,000 sq.ft. of commercial development.  The rental/lease sign was put up on the property several days before the Council vote to approve the development.

The Town Council voted Tuesday, August 10, to approve six special use permits for up to 50,000 sq.ft. of commercial development.

At the August 10 Purcellville Town Council Meeting, Mayor Lazaro and the Town Council approved both the rezoning application of Catoctin Corner and the approval of six special use permit applications for the commercial development totaling up to 50,000 sq.ft. The vote was 6-1 with Lehr voting against the rezoning application, and 6-1 to approve the five special use permits Wagner voting no. Catoctin Corner is a 6.5 acre property located at the northwest corner of 287 and West Colonial Highway. This intersection is rated an FF and with planned traffic improvements will be rated a D.

The special use permits for this development that were approved were as follows: one drive through restaurant, one drive through bank, two restaurants of over 4,000 square feet, one drive through pharmacy, and one gas station with pumps and convenience retail area.

The retail advertising sign on the property was put up several days before the Purcellville Town Council vote to approve the development.

Davenport Report on Current and Future Status of Town Funds Delayed

April 29, 2010 by Contributor News, Our Towns Be the first to comment

Submitted By Ryan Cool

Peel back the layers of the front page news of an “equalized tax rate” a bit more and some of the realities of the Town’s Financial situation come into view. The Town employs Davenport and Company, LLC to evaluate the current and future status of the Town’s General Fund and Utility Enterprise Funds Capital Plans. Here are some … Continue Reading

Voters Toolbox

April 29, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Our Towns, Uncategorized Be the first to comment

When: Tuesday, May 4, 2010, 6:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Where: Emerick Elementary School, 440 South Nursery Ave., Purcellville, VA 20132
Absentee Voting: Absentee in-person voting begins approximately 45 days prior to a general election (30 days for primaries) and ends at 5:00 p.m. this Saturday (May 1, 2010). Obtain Absentee … Continue Reading

New Blood Needed

April 28, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Dear Editor, Opinion Be the first to comment

In this election, I believe voters in Purcellville have a clear choice to make: continue the policies of the current Council or vote to bring new, fresh thinking and – frankly – some dissension to our Town Council.

Under the current Council, our debt has risen to a staggering $61.5 million while our population has hardly increased at all over the same time period. Some examples of the spending practices of this Council include the purchase of an 80 year old church with a flooding basement and mold to become the new Town Hall with a total cost projected to reach upwards of $8 million. The town also approved the building of a new maintenance building at a cost of $5 million.

The town takes credit for good financial stewardship on the basis of awards for budget presentation (note: not actual financial performance). They claim a surplus each year, despite an unprecedented growth in Purcellville’s outstanding debt. The Mayor and Council continue to pass an equalized tax rate year after year while shoving off to future Councils and generations the fiscal responsibility for repayment of the debt they have accumulated. This makes perfect political sense: it makes the incumbents look good and, should they lose, those future representatives will be left holding the bag and the bills.

This year the Council has changed their budget format to hide the full cost of capital improvement projects (CIP) by not including the “out” years. This means you and I, the taxpayers, do not see the true cost. For example, instead of the real cost of the Main/Maple intersection improvement of over $9 million, the cost shown in this year’s budget shows a mere $1.9 million. And now the Council has delayed the scheduled budget meeting of April 28 to a date after the election.

The choice seems apparent to me: vote for the current fiscal policies that have spent millions and run up our debt for which we all must somehow pay or, vote in new, fresh thinking that will counterbalance some of these decisions and enable some alternative ideas to spend, borrow and spend more. Let’s reestablish democracy in action within the Council. We need representatives on the Council that have full access to all of the information and discussions that the council members have and who can raise the concerns that many share to curb spending. I endorse Sam Brown, Kelli Grim and Keith Melton to represent the cause of true fiscal conservatism and responsibility.

Chris Bledsoe
Purcellville

Temporary Injunction Granted

January 22, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader Loudoun County, News, Our Towns Be the first to comment

In August and December of 2009 the Town of Purcellville, without county participation, annexed four properties that, by their own admission, were outside of the Phase I annexation area outlined in PUGAMP (Purcellville Urban Growth Area Management Plan). The county objected … Continue Reading

Condemnation

January 20, 2010 by Blue Ridge Leader News, Our Towns Be the first to comment

At the Purcellville Town Council meeting January 19, the Purcellville Town Council voted 7-0 in favor of a resolution which authorizes condemnation and exercise of quick-take powers to acquire a portion of Crooked Run Orchard in order to proceed with the Purcellville Town Council’s plan to build the Southern Collector Road. Crooked Run Orchard, a 250 year old working farm, will be split in two by this action. Customers of the farm will have to traverse (with the full buildout) a four lane road with a speed limit of 40mph.

Councilman CJ Walker, in his council comments, stated that because only two and a half acres of Crooked Run Orchard are needed to move forward with the SCR (splitting the farm in two), he would support the road. In 2004 Councilman Walker wrote the following: “There are proposals now by developers for the town to annex as many as six new parcels. This along with the Southern Connector Road, a ten million dollar developer’s dream, will make traffic worse and inevitably increase taxes. There are millions of dollars at stake. Theirs and yours. If we don’t have a town council willing to stand up to the developers to defend our small hometown, Purcellville will become another Ashburn, just as a new member of the board of supervisors said we should be.” Former Mayor Bill Druhan in his 2002 campaign brochure echoed a similar position against the Southern Collector Road. When Mayor Lazaro ran for town council in 2004, he was against putting in the Southern Collector Road, also.

In 2002 when Bill Druhan ran for mayor, in a letter to the editor to the Loudoun Times Mirror, he stated: “One reason the PBA (Purcellville Business Association) strongly supports the planned road (SCR) is quite simply that everyone on the Town Council, including the Town Manager, is a member of this organization…I would submit that this organization ought more accurately to be viewed as a mouthpiece for the Town governmant.” He goes on to write: ” No one would question that the area in and around Purellville is experiencing high levels of growth. Town population grew by 106 percent, and that growth is partly responsible for the congestion problem on Purcellville’s Main Street. However, in the absence of compelling proof that southern commuters are primarily responsible for the congestion, it makes sense to examine cheaper, less disruptive, and more environmentally friendly alternatives to a southern collector road.” In the same article Druhan wrote: “Who, then, are the drivers, who are choking Main Street during the rush hour identified by the study? In all likelihood, they are the bus drivers, the faculty and staff of the schools, the merchants in town, and the parents dropping off their children at schools and preschools.These people will still be driving on Main Street between 8 and 10 regardless of how many new bypasses and collector roads we might build.”

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Sustainable Planet

Pungent Curry

9 Apr 2014

noerpel

The latest version of the IPCC report is published and once again it will go unread by the great masses of climate science deniers and unreported by the media. So it might be useful to revisit the fundamental physical realities …

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Ask Dr. Mike

Understanding Teen Suicide

1 Apr 2014

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By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Northern Virginia has recently experienced several teen suicides. Last month, two Langley High School students took their own lives just a day apart from one another, and this month it appears two students at Woodson High …

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Virginia Gardening

Spring Is Coming

4 Mar 2014

springiscoming

By Donna Williamson March is an in-between month – some cold and the return of glorious warmth now and then. One way to bring some delight inside is forcing spring-blooming branches. You can cut branches of forsythia, cherry, crabapple, kerria, …

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Sushi's Corner

An Easter Swim

1 Apr 2014

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I felt like a silly nim “cow” poop with these Easter bows in our hair. Okay Nelly, maybe you didn’t because you’re a girl. But me, a Mighty Cairn Terrier male? – PLEASE! Pleasing Mrs. B for Easter pictures was …

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Amy V. Smith's Money Talks

What Baseball Can Teach You About Financial Planning

1 Apr 2014

Amy Smith-BRL

Spring training is a tradition that baseball teams and baseball fans look forward to every year. No matter how they did last year, teams in spring training are full of hope that a new season will bring a fresh start. …

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Go Take a Hike

Blandy Experimental Farm

6 Jun 2012

Molly

By Molly Pinson Simoneau It’s no secret that I love a challenging hike. I’ve written here about hiking sections of the Appalachian Trail and Shenandoah National Park. I’ve taken vacations with my family to Colorado where I’ve attempted to conquer a “fourteener” (a summit that is higher than 14,000 feet), …

(2 comments)

Real Estate Ticker

A Buying Opportunity?

6 Nov 2013

Carl Fischer headshot

By Carl Fischer As a direct result of the uncertainty that has arisen from national and regional politics, with its unsettling effect on the Northern Virginia area, for the past two months there has been a market slowdown which has …

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From the Farm

From the Farm

5 Jul 2012

From the Farm

When the heat index reaches 110 degrees, as it has been doing recently, I try to keep in the shade, or stay indoors. But my lavender, about halfway from full bloom, seems to thrive in it. Hot and dry, I …

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Events

April 2014
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: Art Gallery Reception for Featured Artists -- Abstract painter Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and contemporary painter Sandra Iafrate

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April 12, 2014N/A

Meet Evelyn and Sandra and other gallery artists during a free, open to the public reception for this month's Featured Artists' exhibit "Living Color,” showcasing two accomplished painters Evelyn Lopez de Guzman and Sandra Iafrate, in a vivid and dynamic presentation of color, shape and our surroundings.

Evelyn Lopez de Guzman’s vibrant paintings awaken the viewer to connect with nature and the modern world through an interplay of shape, color, and textural materials.

Sandra Iafrate’s combination of realistic and surrealist interpretation of flowers, foliage and landscapes on spacious canvases convey a sense of movement and playfulness.

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Easter at "The Park"

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April 19, 2014

Celebrate Easter at historic Morven Park with crafts for kids, an egg hunt in the formal gardens plus a traditional egg roll on the Davis Mansion lawn. Have a family photo taken with the Easter Bunny. Children should bring a basket for the hunt and a large spoon for the egg roll. $10/participating child (ages 2-12), $3/adult. Register at www.MorvenPark.org.

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VAL's Pals Kids Club

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April 30, 2014

Join Inova Loudoun Hospital as the present their Beamer the Dog Program.

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SCOUTING FOR BRICKS

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May 4, 2014

Scouting for Bricks is an exhibit showing the Love for everything LEGO® . Come see amazing LEGO® creations by Fans of LEGO®, LEGO® trains, Mindstorms robots. We will also have live Star Wars Stormtroopers and an interactive play area with over 100,000 LEGO bricks. Scouting for Bricks is fun for the Whole Family! Visit us at www.ScoutingForBricks.com.

Recent Comments

View From the Ridge

Rural Loudoun Is Different, and We Say Dark Skies Do Matter

4 Mar 2014

viewfromridge

In February of this year a sell out crowd gathered at the county public seat in Leesburg to provide feedback to the Loudoun County Planning Commission on the idea of adding additional sports lights to the upper athletic fields at Franklin Park. Franklin Park includes a really wonderful performing arts …

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Editorial

Steady and Nobull

4 Mar 2014

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Park and Ride Lots for Western Loudoun

4 Mar 2014

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In 2003, the county purchased 22 commuter buses to serve a growing demand for bus service to Washington D.C. The demand has grown exponentially ever since. The county now owns or leases 65 large commuter buses (with plush seats and on board restrooms) and more are being added every year. The buses are often filled to standing room only as …

(2 comments)

Lifestyle

Sadie’s Race 5K and Fun Run Scheduled for Sunday May 18

9 Apr 2014

sadiestart

Sadie Smile Foundation is putting on the third annual Sadie’s Race/Walk and Kids Fun Run to Benefit Smile Train in Purcellville Sunday, May 18th this year. The race starts at 8:00 a.m. at the train station at 200 N 21st Street in Purcellville. Sign up at Active.com. When Sara Ablard lost her five year-old daughter, Sadie, two years ago, she …

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Dr. Joseph Rogers Dies at Family Farm

1 Apr 2014

Dr. Joseph Megeath Rogers, 90, died on Saturday March 8, 2014 at his Hillbrook Farm near Hamilton following a stroke. Physician, farmer, businessman, rural land conservationist, philanthropist and expert horseman, Dr. Rogers was a tireless advocate and practitioner of country living whose contributions in a broad range of interests were made quietly and with little fanfare. His public persona was …

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Zoldos Presented Citizen of the Year Award

1 Apr 2014

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At the biweekly March meeting of the Lovettsville Town Council, Mayor Bobby Zoldos was presented the 2013 Citizen of the Year from the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans. Presenting the award was Rick Adams, current president along with Board Member Peter Mullally and  Vice President Jeff Boogaard. Adams said, “On behalf of the Lovettsville Waterford Ruritans, we would like to present the …

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Around Virginia

Wolf Won’t Seek Re-election

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Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) today announced that he would not seek election to an 18th term in 2014. He released the following statement announcing his decision: “I have decided not to seek re-election to the U.S. Congress in 2014. It has been an honor to serve the people of northern …

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Virginia Can and Should Work Harder to Combat Hunger

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By Congressman Frank Wolf Last year, the USDA reported a record number of Americans are struggling to put food on their tables. Across the nation, 49 million people – including 17 million children and six million seniors – are going hungry, a number that has grown substantially over the last …

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Kaine Statement on Navy Yard Shooting

Kaine

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released the following statement on today’s shooting at the Washington Navy Yard: “My thoughts and prayers are with everyone impacted by today’s tragic shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. As we learn more about the horrific events that unfolded this morning, my deepest sympathies go out …

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Sports

Nominate Your Hometown Hero

9 Apr 2014

ulll

Upper Loudoun Little League’s Hometown Heroes scholarship closes on April 21, 2014. The application is available online at ULLL.org. The scholarship is open to all graduating seniors who played baseball for ULLL at some point in their growing up years.

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Lady Vikings Give Back

10 Feb 2014

The Loudoun Valley Girls basketball team held an event on Friday, February 7 at LVHS. The Lady Vikings celebrated “Pink Night” by honoring those who are battling breast cancer or have been affected by breast cancer. The event was held in conjunction with an event held at Woodgrove earlier this …

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Letters

Medicaid Expansion Battle Heating Up

4 Mar 2014

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Did you know that there’s a very real possibility that a DC-style budget battle and government shutdown could come to Virginia? The Medicaid expansion battle …

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Endorsing for Profit Businesses?

4 Mar 2014

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I recently received an automated email message from the Town of Purcellville soliciting nominations for volunteer award recipients in cooperation with the Purcellville Business Association …

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Another Vote To Overrule Purcellville’s Board of Architectural Review

4 Mar 2014

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The Purcellville Town Council, foolishly, in the view of many and perhaps most, has overruled its Board of Architectural Review and approved Mark Nelis’s and …

(3 comments)

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