Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category

Final Appeal to the Loudoun BOS regarding the rezoning of land for the True North Data Center

Join our effort to send an appeal to the Loudoun BOS to DENY the rezoning of land along the Goose Creek for a Data Center. Please download the following letter, sign and email to all the Supervisors listed.

Thank you for your support. Click link for copy of letter.

True North Sample letter 12-18-17

To: The Honorable Members of the Loudoun Board of Supervisors

Phyllis J. Randall (Chair at Large): phyllis.randall@loudoun.gov
Ralph M. Buona, Vice Chairman (Ashburn): ralph.buona@loudoun.gov
Suzanne M. Volpe, (Algonkian): suzanne.volpe@loudoun.gov
Tony R. Buffington Jr., (Blue Ridge): tony.buffington@loudoun.gov
Ron A. Meyer Jr., (Broad Run): ron.meyer@loudoun.gov
Geary M. Higgins (Catoctin): geary.higgins@loudoun.gov
Matthew F. Letourneau (Dulles): matt.letourneau@loudoun.gov
Kristen C. Umstattd (Leesburg): kristen.umstattd@loudoun.gov
Koran T. Saines (Sterling): koran.saines@loudoun.gov

Re: True North Data Center Rezoning Request, ZMAP-2017-0003, ZMOD-2017-0011

Dear Supervisor

Protecting and preserving the environment and quality of life in the Goose Creek Watershed and ensuring the integrity of Goose Creek itself is a matter of critical importance to residents and visitors of Loudoun County. I am writing today to ask that you PLEASE VOTE TO DENY THIS REZONING APPLICATION, scheduled for final vote on January18, 2018.

The True North Data center rezoning decision now pits vital resource protection against potential revenues. This stream of revenue is likely be replaced by continued data center development in areas of the county now zoned and prepared to host such a use. To approve this untimely and ill-warranted rezoning request is to bow unnecessarily to accommodate an industry already provided with multiple site options available without resort to rezoning.

Goose Creek is a valuable source of drinking water for Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. I ask you, the elected representatives of the individuals and families who live in and love this County, please vote to protect our irreplaceable and threatened water resources, protect Goose Creek, Deny the True North rezoning application. All Loudoun residents and visitors will thank you for protecting our state scenic river.

With sincere regards,

Recent Comments to the Fauquier BOS on the Waterloo Bridge Rehabilitation

November 8, 2017

Fauquier County Board of Supervisors
Warren Green Building
10 Hotel Street, Suite 208
Warrenton, Virginia 20186

RE: Comments On Resolution Supporting Rehabilitation of the Waterloo Bridge

Dear Supervisors:

The Goose Creek Association1 (GCA) is pleased to provide you with the following comments related to the Waterloo Bridge Resolution:

• GCA urges the BOS to vote in favor of the resolution supporting the rehabilitation of the Waterloo Bridge.

• Good citizens and the community have joined together to protect and preserve the bridge’s historic heritage in a cost efficient and economical manner.

• A vote in support of the resolution is a vote for preserving the historic character of our countryside and local roadways.

For these reasons, we urge the Board of Supervisors to vote in favor of the resolution supporting the rehabilitation of the Waterloo Bridge.

Sincerely yours,

Lori Keenan McGuinness
Chair for Fauquier County

VIA EMAIL:

Richard Gerhardt, Chairman – Cedar Run District – rick.gerhardt@fauquiercounty.gov
Christoper Butler – Vice Chairman – Lee District – chris.butler@fauquiercounty.gov
Mary Leigh McDaniel – Marshall District – maryleigh.mcdaniel@fauquiercounty.gov
Christopher Granger – Center District – chris.granger@fauquiercounty.gov
Holder Trumbo, Jr. – Scott District – holder.trumbo@fauquiercounty.gov
Board of Supervisors – Main – bos@fauquiercounty.gov

____________________
1 The Goose Creek Association (GCA) is charged with monitoring stream water quality, proposed developments, zoning changes, and other actions that have potential impact on the environment and quality of life in the Goose Creek watershed in Fauquier and Loudoun Counties, VA. We are a nonprofit 501C3 organization with hundreds of members who share a determination to protect and preserve the natural resources, historic heritage and rural quality of life found in this beautiful part of Virginia.

GCA/LTVA Presents “Earth from Space” by Ellen Stofan – Nasa Chief Scientist

On Friday, February 2nd, 2018 The Goose Creek Association and The Land Trust of Virginia have once again teamed up to present an interesting lecture and presentation by Dr. Ellen Stofan, Nasa Chief Scientist, entitled “What we can learn about Earth from space”. Join us at the Hill School Theatre at 6pm. This event is open to the public.

GCA submits comments to the Loudoun County BOS regarding the True North Data Center

To: The Honorable Members of the Loudoun Board of Supervisors:
Phyllis.Randall@loudoun.gov ; ralph.buona@loudoun.gov ; suzanne.volpe@loudoun.gov ; Tony.Buffington@loudoun.gov ; ron.meyer@loudoun.gov ; Geary.Higgins@loudoun.gov ; Matt.Letourneau@loudoun.gov ; Kristen.Umstattd@loudoun.gov ; Koran.Saines@loudoun.gov

From: Goose Creek Association
Re: True North Rezoning Application ZMAP-2017-0003, ZMOD-2017-0011

Date: October 25, 2017

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the Board:

This letter is written to you to express the strong opposition of the Goose Creek Association regarding the proposed rezoning application from True North Data, requesting 105.6 Acres to be rezoned from TR-10 to Planned Office Park, in order to accommodate a 750,000 square foot data center. We urge you to deny this application for the following reasons:

1. The proposed new use is NOT in conformance with and is a fundamental direction change from the existing Comprehensive Plan. Additionally, given that the County has entered into a public process, “Envision Loudoun,” to review and update its current Plan, the decision to approve the proposed rezoning would be premature and would be taken without proper consideration due such a significant use change.

2. Questions still remain regarding the protection of Goose Creek, a State Scenic River and an important source of clean drinking water for thousands of users in the Goose Creek and Potomac River watersheds. While we appreciate Low Impact Development practices have been proffered, there is no way to ensure that they will result in adequate, effective storm water management in an area immediately adjacent to a significant expanse of Goose Creek. Accidental chemical spillage, possible impact of flooding of Goose Creek onto the subject property, large expanses of asphalt and a 42% developed building site utilizing impervious surfaces generating significant water and pollutant run off, and the potential for a compromised riparian buffer zone may impact the integrity of Goose Creek and the acceptability of its waters as a public resource for consumption and recreation.

3. A globally rare Northern Piedmont Maffic Barren Rock Community has been identified by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation on the northeast portion of the proposed site. It is unclear what, if any effort will be taken to protect this important area.

It is well known that Loudoun County benefits economically from the development and operation of data centers. The County has wisely zoned for such development in areas within the Suburban Policy Area that can and do appropriately provide both an acceptable commercial environment and adequate infrastructure to serve data centers. According to the Loudoun County Department of Economic Development, the Route 606 corridor has current approved zoning for 43 additional data center sites of varying size where several data centers are now located. These already zoned areas can reportedly accommodate millions more square feet of development.

Rezoning in this particularly environmentally sensitive area of the TPA would send the wrong signal to residents in the TPA who have relied on the existing zoning, as well as prospective employers seeking locations in counties that choose to protect the environment.

Surely, given the wealth of space available and already zoned today to accommodate the growth of data centers in Loudoun, it is unnecessary to invade areas planned for less intensive use and scale within other Policy Areas, including the Transition Policy Area.

Thank you for your attention and we respectfully request that your vote to deny this rezoning application.

Sincerely,

Bonnie Mattingly Lori McGuinness
GCA Co-Chair Loudoun County GCA Co-Chair Fauquier County

________________________________
1 The Goose Creek Association (GCA) is charged with monitoring stream water quality, proposed developments, legislation, zoning changes, and other actions that have potential impact on the environment and quality of life in the Goose Creek watershed in Fauquier and Loudoun Counties, VA. We are a nonprofit 501C3 organization with hundreds of members who share a determination to protect and preserve the natural resources, historic heritage and rural quality of life found in this beautiful part of Virginia.

GCA submits comments to the Loudoun County BOS regarding Transition Policy Area

Date: October 25, 2017

Loudoun County Board of Supervisors
1 Harrison Street, S.E., Fifth Floor
P.O. Box 7000
Leesburg, VA 20177-7000

To: The Honorable Members of the Loudoun Board of Supervisors
From: Goose Creek Association
Re: Transition Policy Area

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen of the Board:

On behalf of the Goose Creek Association1 (GCA) whose mission is to protect and preserve the environment and quality of life in the Goose Creek Watershed which includes a large portion of the Transition Policy Area in Loudoun County. We are submitting the following comments regarding the Transition Policy Area.

The GCA applauds your recognition of the citizens’ desire to retain a functional transition area that is true to its original definition stated in the Comprehensive Plan as a “…permanently defined policy area to provide a visual and spatial transition between the suburban development in the eastern part of the County and rural development in the West”. We are very encouraged by several of your recently published comments that denounce the direction the Stakeholder’s Committee has taken with the Transition Policy Area. This area has always been one of our biggest concerns due to its higher population density within the watershed and the current proposals have us extremely alarmed.

The purpose of the Transition Policy Area according to the current Comprehensive Plan established in 2001, is to serve as a buffer between the suburban eastern part of the County, and the rural western part of the County. The Transition Policy Area includes restrictions on housing and development specifically to protect and preserve Loudoun’s rural landscape and its natural resources. Now, after 15 years of unprecedented growth and development, these restrictions have become even more important for the preservation of our endangered countryside.

The proposal that we should remove our development protections because of “projected population growth” is only rational to those who stand to profit from the endeavor. This misguided approach would ultimately lead to losing the Transition Policy Area, and also eventually the Rural Policy Area, while further exacerbating all of our current population and congestion issues. The Stakeholder’s Committee should refocus their energy on solutions that operate within the current policy area boundaries, such as how to promote responsible growth in the Suburban Policy Area and how to manage appropriate growth in the Transition Policy Area.

The citizens of Loudoun County have come forward almost unanimously in the Envision Loudoun meetings with sentiments that mirror our convictions. The citizen comments have been overwhelmingly in favor of limiting future growth and implementing additional protections of our natural resources. Please put your constituents first and reinforce the policy area restrictions that help preserve our quality of life, scenic landscape, and limited resources, in particular water resources, including drinking water, for future generations.

Thank you for your time and attention.

Sincerely,

Bonnie Mattingly Lori McGuinness
GCA Co-Chair Loudoun County GCA Co-Chair Fauquier County

VIA Email:

Phyllis J. Randall (Chair at Large): phyllis.randall@loudoun.gov
Ralph M. Buona, Vice Chairman (Ashburn): ralph.buona@loudoun.gov
Suzanne M. Volpe, (Algonkian): suzanne.volpe@loudoun.gov
Tony R. Buffington Jr., (Blue Ridge): tony.buffington@loudoun.gov
Ron A. Meyer Jr., (Broad Run): ron.meyer@loudoun.gov
Geary M. Higgins (Catoctin): geary.higgins@loudoun.gov
Matthew F. Letourneau (Dulles): matt.letourneau@loudoun.gov
Kristen C. Umstattd (Leesburg): kristin.umstattd@loudoun.gov
Koran T. Saines (Sterling): koran.saines@loudoun.gov

________________________________
1 The Goose Creek Association (GCA) is charged with monitoring stream water quality, proposed developments, legislation, zoning changes, and other actions that have potential impact on the environment and quality of life in the Goose Creek watershed in Fauquier and Loudoun Counties, VA. We are a nonprofit 501C3 organization with hundreds of members who share a determination to protect and preserve the natural resources, historic heritage and rural quality of life found in this beautiful part of Virginia.

Supervisors OK Marshall “Form-Based” Code

Laying to rest one of Fauquier’s more divisive land-use debates in years, the board of supervisors Thursday approved zoning regulations designed to ensure that Marshall develops like a traditional town.

The board voted, 3-1, to approve the “Marshall Code” — a 31-page document that includes new requirements related to building height and stories, lot size and width, setbacks, building footprints, parking, screening and landscaping. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE: MARSHALL FORM-BASED CODE

Goose Creek Association recently submitted comments to approve the “Form-Based” code and not approve an amendment to allow a Car Dealership. See comments below:

October 11, 2017

Fauquier County Board of Supervisors
Warren Green Building
10 Hotel Street, Suite 208
Warrenton, Virginia 20186

RE: Comments on Marshall’s Form Based Code

Dear Supervisors:

The Goose Creek Association (GCA) appreciates the opportunity to comment on the above project proposal. Our organization is charged with monitoring stream water quality, proposed developments, legislation, zoning changes, and other actions that have potential impact on the environment and quality of life in the Goose Creek watershed in Fauquier and Loudoun Counties, VA. We are a nonprofit 501C3 organization with hundreds of members who share a determination to protect and preserve the natural resources, historic heritage and rural quality of life found in this beautiful part of Virginia. The GCA is pleased to provide you with the following comments related to the proposed Marshall Code:

• GCA supports the form-based Marshall Code as proposed without an amendment that would permit auto sales and services in the Gateway area.

• GCA concludes that the form-based Marshall Code would best ensure that the historic, small-town character of Marshall is protected and preserved, while allowing for appropriate growth and development in the Marshall Service District.

• GCA believes that the water resources in Marshall should be better understood, monitored, and protected than they have been in the past. Zoning and enforcement in Marshall should ensure that industrial and other pollutants and run-off not be allowed to encroach upon the springs, aquifers and their replenishment areas, that provide water to Marshall’s businesses and residents. Inclusion of auto sales and services in the gateway entrance to Marshall, or any area of Marshall susceptible to industrial pollution, could jeopardize sources of fresh water in Marshall and should not be permitted.

For these reasons, we urge the Board of Supervisors to vote in favor of the form-based Code for Marshall without an amendment permitting auto sales and services in the Gateway area.

Sincerely yours,

Lori Keenan McGuinness
Chair for Fauquier County

VIA EMAIL:

Richard Gerhardt, Chairman – Cedar Run District – rick.gerhardt@fauquiercounty.gov
Christoper Butler – Vice Chairman – Lee District – chris.butler@fauquiercounty.gov
Mary Leigh McDaniel – Marshall District – maryleigh.mcdaniel@fauquiercounty.gov
Christopher Granger – Center District – chris.granger@fauquiercounty.gov
Holder Trumbo, Jr. – Scott District – holder.trumbo@fauquiercounty.gov

Loudoun County could see 18,000 new homes in transition area under revised plan.

Loudoun Aerial Beaverdam Resevoir area credit NAIP

Loudoun Times, September 29, 2017 by Sidney Kashiwagi

Members of Loudoun County’s Comprehensive Plan Stakeholders Committee do not support the current version of the county’s Transition Policy Area (TPA), which limits development in the area of the county that serves as a buffer between development in the eastern part of the county and the more rural western areas of Loudoun.

County staff briefed the committee on future development projections in the TPA as stakeholders made their positions more clear this week.

Earlier this month, county staff presented the stakeholder team with two “scenarios” — keeping the county’s current Transition Policy Area land-use plan in the proposed new Comprehensive Plan, which includes limits on retail and single-family homes. The current plan allows a maximum of just 11,306 units. The second scenario, supported by committee members, broke away from the current plan and supported a different scenario, which committee members said would expand employment, increase density in some areas and develop more walkable neighborhood centers.

A majority of stakeholders argued that developing the area would help Loudoun meet future growth demands, particularly for housing diversity and affordability.

Over the last two weeks, staff put together a compilation of feedback they received from stakeholders on their views on residential density, where future development should be concentrated within the TPA, and what types of open space requirements should be adopted.

Staff presented a new draft development estimate based on feedback from stakeholders.

Under the new staff projections, the TPA area could hold 12,076 residential units in the lower Foley area east of Northstar Boulevard and along the Braddock Road corridor.

The committee’s recommendations would increase the total number of single-family homes in the transition area to 18,323 units concentrated in several different areas including upper Foley and upper Broad Run.

John Merrithew, a program manager with the Department of Planning and Zoning, explained the differences between the current plan and the plan developed by the stakeholder’s committee. “Scenario two had greater impacts in terms of transportation and capital costs, but it does meet the residential demand question,” he said. “It does give us a potential for greater affordability in terms of housing, and it does retain and protect the environmental and open space areas.”

The committee’s recommendations also projected additional industrial development south of the Greenway in lower Sycolin, in addition to 30.8 million square feet of industrial space and about 1.12 million square feet of retail use.

In addition, the committee’s feedback would result in 36.72 million more square feet of industrial space in the TPA area.

Both proposals recommended retaining 50 to 70 percent of open space in development projects.

Some stakeholders expressed concern over the projections. Gem Bingol, a stakeholder representing the Piedmont Environmental Council, said that more focus was needed to address concerns around housing in the suburban policy area before the committee set their sights on the TPA.

Directing her comments at staff, Bingol noted that stakeholders were not considering current density projections in the TPA. “I thought that that all of the information and analysis that you provided for us for the transition policy area is great. I would say that it really makes it clear that we are sort of jumping over my opinion. So much of our discussion has been ‘we need to put affordable housing here and we need to grow there,’ as opposed to understanding how much growth we’re already sort of planning for in the suburban area,” Bingol said.

In addition, Bingol said the projections for the area presented by staff appeared to be a “direct contradiction” to what the public envisioned for the TPA.

The committee also cast votes Monday night on a number of questions staff compiled based on feedback from stakeholders provided at the group’s previous meeting.

When asked if stakeholders would support a “wider range of housing types” in the TPA, including encouraging smaller units to help meet the county’s affordable housing needs, a majority of the stakeholders said they would. Only one member said no.

A majority of stakeholders also supported designating the lower Bull Run and upper Foley and upper Broad Run areas as areas to place small units, single family homes and townhomes, with a limit of four units per acre with a minimum of 50 percent of open space in each development.

The stakeholders also overwhelmingly said they would support taking an area along Evergreen Mills Road designated as a rural policy area to become part of the TPA and have land in that area designated for small lot, clustered single-family homes with limited retail to provide employment opportunities in the area.

The stakeholders committee will meet again Oct 16 to discuss a new draft map for the TPA and suburban policy area.

Article and Comments: Click Here

September Canoe Cleanup a Success!!

September 2017 Canoe Cleanup had wonderful participation. It was a beautiful day to float down a portion of the Goose Creek in Loudoun County just north of Middleburg. Participants enjoyed beautiful scenery which included the Middleburg Hunt riding along side the shoreline as well as spotting eagles. The group collected:

2 full bags of trash
1 bag of recyclables
22 Tires and 1 wheel
2 Outdoor chairs
Window A/C Unit
radiator
stroller
large plastic tub
10′ of aluminum wire

Thanks to all who participated!

Riparian Buffer Management – Control Invasives, Encourage Natives

August 23, 2017 by Bobby Whitescarver

As summer moves closer to autumn it seems there are more native plants in the various riparian buffers we have around the farm. Butterfly weed, jewelweed, wingstem, purpletop, and many other plants are in bloom now. However; there are many invasive, non-native plants in bloom as well.

See Complete Blog at:

http://www.gettingmoreontheground.com/2017/08/23/riparian-buffer-management-control-invasives-encourage-natives/

Goose Creek Canoe and Clean Up Day – Sat., September 23, 2017

CLICK LINK BELOW FOR FLYER!

Canoe Clean Up sept. 23rd

 
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