Nokesville Citizens Pull Together

Guest Column by Tim Horn

Sometimes you feel as if you are alone when you decide on supporting a cause. In May of this year, I was informed that the Park Authority was investigating whether to put additional lights into Valley View Park. We had all fought the initial lights before the park was built and have sat as they lit our neighborhood like an out of place spaceship landing.

My Brentsville Planning Commissioner Ron Burgess sent out a postcard notifying homeowners on  Memory Lane and Bluegrass Court that there would be a public hearing about the proposal. I knew that I would be going to speak, but after many years of “fighting the good fight” and frequently losing, I believed I would be one of only a few there.

On Saturday, a week before the hearing, my wife Janet came home from the small Nokesville Farmer’s Market at the end of Fitzwater Street. We try to support the local merchants being from such a small community. What she told me really surprised me, there was a petition going around through the market asking people to either the petition or e-mail the Planning Commissioners. There was even a push to have other people speak at the hearing. Janet also told me that they were looking for me to ensure I would speak.

It was a great wake up call to me to see so many of my neighbors becoming involved in area issues. They just needed to be notified. One of my neighbors Tom McGlinn took the time to create a website to inform anyone who would look about the issues that our neighborhoods have had with the Valley View Park.

At the Planning Commission meeting, people I had rarely seen before spoke eloquently about how their quality of life had been changed by the Valley View Park’s lights and the occasional intrusion of over zealous players and fans. As a group, we agreed that field availability was important, but had to be balanced against the rights of citizens who had moved to Nokesville for the promise of Rural Crescent and the lifestyle that affords.

I think I am a good speaker, but of the many people who spoke that night, I was not even in the top 80% for effectiveness. Somehow this topic had awoken the inner-activists within my neighbors.

The Planning Commissions agreed with their passion and the facts that were presented for which my neighbors are very grateful. I have to tell you though; it is just nice to see citizen voices heard.


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