Several residents of Fry Farm Road near Lovettsville, concerned about increased development, traffic and speed, won a battle yesterday when the Board of Supervisors decided not to pave their 0.4-mile stretch.
The board voted unanimously to ask state officials to consider alternatives, such as lowering the speed limit or applying "road bind" to reduce dust. Tom Mott, who lives on the road, described the decision as "quality-of-life preservation."
"This small nonpaving issue is just the kind of slow-growthing we need in Loudoun County," Mott told supervisors.
Proposed paving projects on many gravel roads in Loudoun have neighbors debating whether paving will make travel safer or simply encourage more traffic and housing.
Residents of Old Wheatland Road were met with a compromise plan yesterday. Supervisors approved paving only the section between Rosemont Farm and Waterford--not the entire road, which runs from Route 9 to the edge of Waterford. Supervisors also approved the "pave-in-place" option, in which the road is widened only slightly.
"I'm trying to strike a balance," said Supervisor Helen A. Marcum (R-Catoctin). "It's probably about half the people who are for [paving] and half the people who are against."
Supervisors Eleanore C. Towe (D-Blue Ridge), James G. Burton (I-Mercer) and Scott K. York (R-Sterling) voted against the compromise. Supervisor David G. McWatters (R-Broad Run) abstained.
York said the board should "sit down and really discuss this business of rural roads. If we're going to remain a rural county, we need gravel roads. If people think paving is going to save lives, they're wrong."