Archive for the ‘prince william county’ Tag

Madera Farm – The Backstory

January 20, 2016 UPDATE:  The Board of County Supervisors approved the addition of Madera to the Agricultural and Forestal District on January 19 in a 7-0 vote, but only after the landowner committed to cancel the request for a Special Use Permit.  

The Gainesville District supervisor negotiated that in advance.  The Prince William Conservation Alliance spoke at the public hearing in support of commercial agriculture, rather than industrial operations, in the Rural Area. 

Normally, adding a farm in western Prince William’s Rural Area to an Agricultural and Forestal District would be a routine event. The county established that land use classification in 1973 to facilitate preservation of farms and forests.

However, Madera “Farm” is not a normal agricultural operation. It resembles more closely an industrial operation, grinding mulch and processing construction and demolition debris.


Adding Madera to an adjacent Agricultural and Forestal District would undercut efforts to maintain commercial agricultural operations in Prince William County. It would reduce the credibility of actual farmers working to preserve farmland, and open the door to increased housing and retail strip shopping districts in the county’s Rural Area. Continue reading


You can’t win if you don’t play

paddler2County officials are gathering public input now for revisions to the Park Authority’s Strategic Plan.

At the public meeting on May 18 2009, about a dozen people highlighted the need for a network of trails, more neighborhood parks close to where people live, and action on protecting green open space before it’s all developed.

This feedback to the Park Authority matched the findings of the Park Authority’s 2008 Needs Assessment, which verified that people are willing to invest in the future.

After a frustrating year of trying to establish “aim high” goals for the Parks and Open Space Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan, many people might be feeling cynical about the value of participating in another planning effort. But if you don’t play, you can’ win. Continue reading

Landscaping Not Included

scalesThe recent widening of Minnievillie Road between Smoketown and Old Bridge Roads, and expansion of the commuter lot near the intersection with Old Bridge Road has helped commuter travel times but it’s also changed the appearance of the area.

Many trees were lost to new road lanes, parking spaces and a now vacated construction staging area near Colby Drive, which left the area looking dreary and gray. Over the past couple weeks I’ve heard several people comment that they are really glad the County is finally planting some trees along Minnieville Road.

However, what most people don’t know is that the County budget did not allocate any funding for the new landscaping, which will soften the appearance of this otherwise bleak street scene. So who is paying for the green? Continue reading


Is the county running out of space to accomodate population growth?  Do we need to rezone property to permit more housing units?

No.  The official Prince William County 2007 Residential Build Out Analysis shows developers can build 34% more dwelling units, absorbing 134,000 more people.  (That’s based on the average of 2.9 people/unit, which is lower than the average in 1990.) Continue reading

Better Together: Land Use & Transportation Planning

The connections between land use and transportation are getting a lot of attention in Virginia’s smart growth forums. Sounds like good news, but is it just more chatter or could it signal a step in the right direction?

In 2006 the General Assembly took action and unanimously approved VDOT’s Traffic Impact Analysis Regulations, which say that traffic impacts should be assessed before new residential densities are added to Comprehensive Plans or approved through zoning changes. Continue reading