The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has made a pitch for a "Field of Dreams," but the board isn't sure whether it wants a baseball stadium built in its own back yard.
At its Tuesday meeting, the board passed a routine resolution encouraging major league baseball to put a big league team in the Washington area. But when Supervisor Steve W. Stockman (R-Broad Run) tried to go a step further -- proposing a resolution to support a team that would build a stadium in Loudoun -- none of his colleagues would step up to the plate.
Capital Region Baseball is the latest in a series of business concerns that have tried to get an existing or newly created team to come to the Washington area, possibly playing first in Robert F. Kennedy Stadium and then moving to the suburbs.
The group is considering several sites across Northern Virginia for a possible stadium, including a Loudoun location near Dulles International Airport. One of the group's financial backers is Sterling real estate developer William Bryant. A competing group wants a team to move to -- and stay in -- the District.
Stockman noted that National League team owners are scheduled to meet later this month. The league has been considering expansion for some time, with the Washington area one of several contenders. A strong resolution of support now, Stockman said, would help Capital Region Baseball in its long-shot struggle to obtain a franchise for this area. Stockman said he understands that some D.C. area jurisdictions have let it be known that they don't want a new stadium.
To some other supervisors, however, Stockman's high-hard pitch was a bit wild.
"There are an awful lot of impacts that could be brought about to Loudoun County," said board Chairman Betty W. Tatum (D-Guilford). A stadium and major league team could add money to the county treasury, she said, but there might be hidden pitfalls. The business group "should talk with our economic development department," Tatum added.
Supervisor Ann B. Kavanagh (D-Dulles) agreed, urging more study of the impact of a stadium. There are "certain intangibles" that could make it a bad deal for Loudoun, such as a decline in the county's quality of life through increased traffic, crime and drugs, she said.
In other matters at Tuesday's meeting, the Board of Supervisors:Said it plans to amend the zoning ordinance to permit small, home-based businesses to hire one employee each if off-street parking is provided. Nearly 3,000 such firms are registered with the county commissioner of revenue, with the largest category being contractors. Supervisors said some of these businesses will eventually grow and rent space in office buildings, adding to county revenue.
Delayed until next year a process under which county residents will be able to appeal the names given to rural roads. Signs are still going up on streets previously known primarily by route numbers. Names have been selected by a citizen committee, in part to help ambulances find addresses quicker in emergencies.
Scheduled a July 3 public hearing on proposals to raise $44 million for school construction projects through the Virginia Public School Authority and to raise $11.3 million for improvements to the current county landfill through a fall voter referendum. The school bonds would not require voter approval.