Spiff Up Prince William's

Presidents Cup Campaign

Prince William County did a lousy job of promoting or otherwise marketing the Presidents Cup [Prince William Extra, Sept. 25].

The high-end Robert Trent Jones Golf Club at Lake Manassas in Gainesville ought to be the flagship of golf in this part of the country. This beautiful setting rivals the very best anywhere in the country, and the tournament should have had twice the attendance it did.

The road leading to the course is a disastrous honky-tonk that resembles the road to hell: dirty, dusty, crowded, with convenience stores and gas stations all along the route, without a single flower or flowering tree, and with what remains of the worse-ever junkyard at the entrance to the posh facility. It is not the most welcoming place.

Moving traffic is an art, and 50 or more motorcycle cops along the route would help tremendously. Dedicating a lane for event traffic and working it vigorously to move attendees to and from the event would have mitigated the painful drive for many.

Hotels, motels and decent restaurants are desperately needed along horrible Route 29, as well as quaint shops and boutiques. But even if those were built, there remains the traffic jams and gridlock.

If the county really wants more people to come next time and wants the money to stay here, it has to do a lot more to make that happen.

Prince William officials also need to improve their marketing and promotion effort. They need to sell far more than a golf course -- they need to sell the entire community. To do that, they need a first-rate ad agency.

A much better job needs to be done moving people from parking lots to the golf club. There must be improvement in transportation to hotels, restaurants and entertainment, with perhaps special events staged just for the golf-loving crowd.

And how about organized tours not just in Prince William but also in surrounding areas? Prince William is ideally located in one of the most beautiful and historical areas of the country.

Hard work, investment and imagination can combine to make the next event a real success.

Louis G. Dominguez


Homeowners Want to Work

With County on Easements

The Prince William Board of County Supervisors recently agreed with a request for a citizens committee to address our concerns with the county's current implementation of Resource Protection Area (RPA) easements.

As homeowners, we will participate and work with supervisors. Our direct involvement with the board is necessary to support the clarification of the RPA implementation policy to assure a more appropriate balance between the compelling interests of the county's homeowners and the Chesapeake Bay. Crucial clarification enhancements to the current RPA implementation policy are needed.

The proposed committee must be designated as an "official committee" with adequate funding and composed chiefly by homeowners affected by RPA easements on their properties.

Null and void the county's current distorted practice of using a technical protocol, a so-called scoring mechanism, that intentionally and wrongly reinterprets and reclassifies "non-perennial streams" to magically become "perennial streams." That practice is simply to permit even greater RPA easements.

Whereas technical protocols are permitted by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation as a means to determine whether a stream is perennial, these protocols are not authorized to reclassify intermittent streams wrongly into perennial streams.

The current scoring mechanism is not high science; it's simply high abuse. Virginia does not require it, and the board is within its authority to delete it from the county implementation policy. Instead, the board can and should implement a more effective and fair "perennial stream policy" that adheres to the legal definition of perennial stream, i.e. "a continuing flow of water without cessation through the whole year." Photographic documentation is an honest and acceptable alternative. There is merit in keeping it simple.

Prohibit excessive county taking of homeowner property rights for RPA easements to ensure that homes lose no more than 15 percent of their total residential area to an RPA easement.

Respect and maintain the privacy rights and sanctity of homes by guaranteeing a balance of compelling needs of the home by way of home protection areas. After all, if a puddle of water or a small creek deservers a protection area, so do homes.

Establish a group to amend the current over-restrictive, ridiculous and unconstitutional homeowner prohibitions the county mandates on RPA easements.

This initiative will provide for greater environmental sustainability through the homeowners' direct participation via voluntarily accepted guidelines that respect the homeowners' stewardship of their land and alleviates unnecessary county compliance expenses, legal actions and potentially dangerous enforcement conflicts.

Richard Buresch

Member, Prince William County

Concerned Citizens