Yup, the Camel Will Try to Stick Its Nose Into the Tent on March 6, 2018

a1For the third time, for the third time, yes for the third time a developer is asking the supervisors to initiate the Mid-County Park & Estate Homes Comprehensive Plan Amendment.

That would allow building 118 houses.  Since 32-33 houses have been authorized there since 1998, the developer is asking for a massive increase in density.

Busting the Rural Area boundary would ignore the county’s long-term growth strategy in the Strategic Plan and the Comprehensive Plan.  It’s an outdated, dumb growth, get-rich-at-the-expense-of-the-taxpayer proposal.

County supervisors determined in 1998 that the suburban sprawl which started after World War II was no longer acceptable.  Taxes were climbing too high, traffic congestion was increasing, and something had to be done.

The “something” was a long-term solution to a long-term problem.  The 1998 Comprehensive Plan established a long-term urban growth boundary.

It defined a Rural Area for low-density development, and a Development Area where it would be cost-effective to provide public services for new houses.  As the county’s population increased, supervisors would need to fund new infrastructure – but concentrating it in the Development Area would minimize the need to raise property taxes.

In 2008, the last update of the Comprehensive Plan re-affirmed the benefits of maintaining the urban growth boundary.

Shaping growth is a long-term game.  County supervisors use Comprehensive Plans to shape how the county should evolve in the next 20 years.  The plans get technical updates regularly, and a thorough review every ten years.

Next update, due to be completed in 2019, will require another defense of the urban growth boundary.

Obviously, some land speculators hope to re-start sprawl on March 6, without even waiting for the discussion that’s scheduled for the Comprehensive Plan update next year. Does anyone think the Mid-County Park & Estate Homes proposal will be the only request to add more houses in the Rural Area, and abandon the Strategic Plan?

If we start scattered residential development now, we will add traffic on our rural roads.  Funding to widen local roads will never get ranked high enough to qualify for state and Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) funding, so sprawl will force the county to issue road bonds again and pay extra taxes again.  It will be 1998, all over again.

Sprawl raises taxes – so if you want to protect the Rural Area and your wallet, tell your supervisors how you feel.

Supervisors are scheduled to decide on this Comprehensive Plan Amendment at the 2:00pm meeting on March 6.

If you want to share your perspective in advance, you can contact Corey Stewart, Frank Principi, Ruth Anderson, John Jenkins, Pete Candland, Maureen Caddigan,  Jeanine Lawson, and Marty Nohe at
cstewart@pwcgov.org, fprincipi@pwcgov.org, randerson@pwcgov.org, jjenkins@pwcgov.org, gainesville@pwcgov.org, mcaddigan@pwcgov.org, jlawson@pwcgov.org, mnohe@pwcgov.org


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