Looking Both Ways on Rail

"Rail Foes Focusing on Higher Cost" [Loudoun Extra, July 10] gives me the opinion that putting rail to Dulles is a waste of time.

Past articles that I've read state that it is more economical to put buses out to Dulles. Hey, it may be more economical, but will it take traffic off the Dulles Toll Road or other roads in the Sterling/Leesburg area? In my opinion, one rail car is equivalent to two buses. Besides, rail is more than 20 years behind the times.

Seems the longer the decision to put rail to Dulles waits, the more it will cost. Duh! Is this simple or not? Also the developers are building single-family homes and townhomes all over the place in Loudoun County and especially western Loudoun. Articles in the past seem to say that using bus transportation would get more drivers off the toll road.

The toll road is quite crowded, and the Greenway is becoming that way. Route 28 isn't much better. What seems to be causing all the backlog in the decision-making? If rail is started out to Dulles in 10 years, which will be more than 30 years late, the price will be double or three times as much. Traffic will be at a standstill in five years if better highways or some type of rail isn't completed to Dulles. People from West Virginia would probably use rail rather than drive in to the D.C. area.

However, I seem to think that we may not get people off the roads because they have their own agenda and would prefer to come and go as they please on their own time frame. Currently the Orange Line that comes into West Falls Church is crowded on the majority of the early morning rush hour runs. The same is almost truein the evenings.

When will those in charge make the correct decision? If the wrong decision is made and only bus service is the way to take traffic off the roads in Loudoun County, I hope it works. If not, then the cost another 20 years down the road to put rail to Dulles will be out of reach. Will this prove a disaster? I hope that I'm not living in this area five years from now to see a total gridlock in Loudoun County, which is what it will be with all the housing being built in this county and north and west of us.

Tim Harr


Deaf Ears on Downzoning

Loudoun's recent public input sessions on zoning were a testament to the success of the educational program promoted by Citizens for Property Rights (CPR) on the detrimental effects of down-zoning.

The CPR presentation was limited largely because of excellent harvest weather, which made it difficult for its farmer members to attend, a known vulnerability previously exploited by no-growth political hackers.

Contrast this vulnerability with that of the well-rehearsed, no-growth advocates who obediently skipped happy hour to attend the meeting and present their orchestrated message before proceeding home.

After all, it was members of Citizens for Property Rights, exercising their right of due process, that allowed the Virginia Supreme Court the opportunity to reject AR-1 and AR-2 as "snob zoning," mercifully masquerading it as a technicality. The court's decision was authenticated by those threatening to sue the Supreme Court, who opted not to rezone their property from A-3 to AR-1 and AR-2 when granted the opportunity, subsequently, by the Board of Supervisors.

Apparently, the Golden Land Rule -- that one should not do with another's property that which they would not want done with their own, -- was deleted from all no-growth repertoires.

Enlisting schoolchildren and assisted elderly as surrogates to advance the failing no-growth cause demonstrated a deep degree of desperation. Enticing a surrogate county schoolteacher to advance the no-growth agenda by polling students whom she teaches and grades, was no less despicable, if not a fraudulent act. Would this individual rely upon her students under similar circumstances for advice on land use, if she owned the land, or on her health should she become seriously ill?

There also were anti-people presenters representing radical organizations, including the Catoctin County secessionists, Between the Hills gang and the Mickey Mouse attackers.

The prevailing mood of the presentations was engendered in the word "down," as in "down with everything and everybody," so that the term "downzoning" appeared to flow hypnotically from their lips at even an impromptu whisper about land.

It is anticipated that there will be few additional opportunities for farmers and other affected landowners to participate in deliberations on zoning before the Board of Supervisors acts. It behooves those potentially bereaved by downzoning to prepare for another expensive, adventurous tour through the halls of justice.

It has become abundantly clear that the supervisors elected in 2003 have recanted their campaign promise to retain A-3 zoning and that the better part of valor for farmers is to preserve their capital and invest it in sound legal counsel rather than waste it on the reelection process.

There is yet time for the board to repent and preserve A-3 zoning by rejecting both the Clem-Burton and the Tulloch-Staton proposals, thus saving the taxpayers millions of dollars defending their misguided attempts at downzoning, while conserving the limited resources of farmers fighting for their property rights, now threatened by the very individuals they elected.

Lawrence v. Phillips

Round Hill

A Mystery Meeting Solved

As we attended the meeting of the Citizens to Save the Transition Area on Jan. 19, we were surprised to hear Barbara Munsey's confirmation that no meeting took place. ["Mystery Meeting," Letters to the Editor, Loudoun Extra, July 17]. So we visited the Arcola Community Center and found both an e-mail and a grounds use application confirming the said meeting. Unfortunately, Arcola didn't put this in their computer, so this may be the basis of Munsey's misinformation. Because the meeting itself is a sidetrack to more pressing issues, this will be our last word on the issue of the mystery meeting.

More pressing issues in Loudoun County rear their heads every day. Among those this week are: the failing septic systems in the rush to development in rural Loudoun, and the refusal of the majority on the Loudoun County Planning Commission on July 11 to foster an informed public dialogue similar to those held by the county during the Revised General Plan process and other Comprehensive Plan updates. The Planning Commissioners indicated that citizens needed to take responsibility for informing themselves and the county had no responsibility to spoon-feed them.

Unfortunately the county's two public input sessions held on the Dulles South amendments included little information from the county on how the approval of these amendments would impact the community.

Monica Patty


Maureen Taylor