Building on Disinformation
The hysterical disinformation is certainly flying thick and fast, as is evidenced by the selection of letters to the editor published in the Sept. 23 Loudoun Extra. It appears that a desperate effort is underway to subvert existing policy, and the brilliance of the effort is that it accuses the Board of Supervisors of attempting to break with policy by actually adhering to policy.
John LoGalbo ["Moving Too Fast on Homes"] may see a conspiracy in the 21 Comprehensive Plan Developer Amendments (CPAMs) filed if he wishes, but a deadline always produces deadline filings. On any issue. I'm glad he has read a portion of the Code of Virginia, and following it is exactly what the board, the Planning Commission and county staff will do in processing the applications.
If he is truly interested in proper procedure, as his quote of boilerplate suggests, he should get his facts straight on the numbers, which means do not get them from the Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC). This group and its satellites excel in the environmental growth industry of "Interpretive Mathematics."
Nancy West ["Driven by Greed?"]opens the door to another aspect of the same issue and inflames her rhetoric with liberal doses of the word "greed." As with many words in our living language, the core meaning has been altered by people who exemplify the worst aspects of that heinous quality: that the world is subservient to their personal wants.
To refuse even basic application of existing process to the CPAMs is ridiculous, regardless of how the special interests who lost the election may grasp at any straw of outrage.
Here are some cold, hard facts as I (a resident of the area in question) see them:
Under existing policy, approximately 12,000 homes could be built in the Transition Zone by right. Not 60,000; not 40,000. No infrastructure, already years in arrears due to the war of attrition by the PEC on behalf of calming the driveway to Hunt Country to a standstill.
Most of the land is owned by or optioned to development entities. It is their property. If we want to get any dialogue on addressing infrastructure underway, we have no choice but to talk to the people who own the land to do it on. Granted, in the (greedy) fantasy world of those who see the bulk of Loudoun's quarter-million residents as increasingly unpleasant background noise at their tea party, infrastructure is a bad thing, as is an economy. Such things only encourage more people to intrude on the concentric buffered rings of their personal domain.
Consider: If the Transition Zone goes by right, Route 50 and all of southeastern Loudoun permanently becomes another attrition-produced mess. If we have the opportunity to discuss 14,000 homes with $500 million in infrastructure, as opposed to 12,000 homes with nothing, sign me up to talk about it. Or should we go by right, and then discuss raising taxes to pay to build the six schools that will be needed anyway for the existing 12,000 homes, which are proffered via the CPAMS through a special tax district on the proposed new homes?
And how about raising taxes to buy land to build those schools? The land will be someone's yard in a by-right world. So will any land for parks. Are we prepared to never, unless we exercise eminent domain, have the option currently on the table to discuss the land necessary to provide cohesive improvements to the transportation grid? And speaking of that last item, how much would those lawsuits cost, do you think?
As much as some people may wish for everyone to believe that attrition is good, we can't afford to buy any more of it. That's how we got where we are today, and it is only a good thing for people who see a house 20 miles away as too close.
Fence Not Doing the Job
I'm writing to make people aware of the waste of money it was to install a fence on Route 15 between Fort Evans Road and the Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets mall.
If they installed the fence to keep people from crossing in that area, then why is it not enforced? I see people cross in that area on a daily basis, and it scares me to see them take a chance at crossing six lanes of traffic. But they really have no choice, seeing as how the closest crosswalk is about a half-mile walk in either direction.
I think we should do something to improve this area before it is too late.
John J. Green