PEC's Orange County office supports our land use and land conservation activities in the County. PEC is dedicated to promoting healthy communities and the preservation of Orange's rural character, environment and historic resources.
What's Happening In and Around Orange
Landowners Protect Over 1,450 Acres in Orange in 2013
PEC Press Release -- Jan 22, 2014
Over 1,450 acres in Orange County were protected by conservation easements in 2013. This brings the total of protected land to over 34,075 acres in the county. Five of the eight properties conserved this year are located along the Rapidan River, including a scenic property on Clark Mountain, an expansive 625-acre farm and the historic Fort Germanna. Together these five properties conserve over two miles of frontage and more than 1,000 acres along the Rapidan River.
The Piedmont Environmental Council's Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign helps consumers find local products while building relationships between growers, food artisans, farmers’ markets retailers, restaurants, and institutions.
Use our Buy Fresh Buy Local website to find farms, grocers, caterers, restaurants, CSAs, and farmers markets.
Update: Unfortunately, on Dec 17th, 2013 the Orange County BOS voted to approve the proposed Orange County Comprehensive Plan revisions. It is unfortunate the Supervisors failed to consider the testimony from the hearing and make any substantial changes to the draft. We now focus on the discussions surrounding the Route 3 Strategic Visioning Initiative. These discussions will have a major influence on the future development and character of the corridor. We will keep you posted on any opportunities to get involved.
The Comprehensive Plan revisions that the board approved call for major development along Routes 20, 15, and 3 and increased residential and commercial development on agriculturally zoned land by 2025.
For those of you who have met me, you know I want to share everything I can about what PEC has beenup to... and that can make it difficult to write a letter like this one because I have a limited word count! However, as I think about some of our recent successes and upcoming challenges, one consistent theme keeps coming to mind—resilience. Read More
While Don Loock, PEC’s new Agriculture and Rural Economy Program Manager, may be a new face to some, many of PEC’s friends and partners will recognize him from his eight years as the Land Conservation Officer for Clarke and Rappahannock Counties where he worked with landowners to help them conserve and steward their land. Read More
From the coast to the mountains, many landowners have been tending to their properties in Virginia for generations, carefully sustaining its resources and passing them on. In an effort to honor and highlight conservation efforts in our state, PEC has released For the Love of the Land: 100 Conservation Stories from Across Virginia. Read More
There are always a ton of great conservation-themed events happening throughout the Piedmont. Whatever your interests -- local food, nature, history, getting outdoors or learning something new -- there is sure to be an interesting event on the horizon!
As part of our Meet the Farmer dinner series, I'd like to invite you attend a wonderful event at Annadale Farm in Orange, Virginia on September 8th, 2013. Join us in celebrating locally grown food and wine in a beautiful outdoor setting. Proceeds will go to benefit PEC's Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign. This text was taken from an email sent out on August 20, 2013. Read More
Update 8/1: Roughly 50 people attended the Planning Commission public hearing on the comprehensive plan. 20 of the 24 citizens who spoke at the hearing were advocating to retain our rural character, speaking to issues ranging from the over-sized Route 3 growth area to allowing for incompatible development in agricultural areas. Despite numerous suggestions that the plan failed to represent the citizens vision and was not ready, the Planning Commission voted to forward the plan to the Board of Supervisors. Only one member (Andy Hutchison - District One) voted nay. The Board will now take up the plan and will likely set a hearing date for September, if they feel comfortable with the draft. Attend the Hearing and Add Your Voice What: Public Hearing on the Comprehensive Plan - Planning Commission When: Thursday, August 1st at 7:15pm Where: 235 Warren St., Town Of Orange, Community Meeting Room, Orange Read More
Last night, the Orange County Planning Commission voted unanimously to table the Comprehensive Plan in order to address some of the comments they had received from the public. Over thirty people spoke with the vast majority calling for a plan that recognized the agricultural nature and beauty of the County. Concerns raised included, the lack of public input, methodology used to create the future land use map, designation of Route 20 and 15 as Potential Economic Development, an agricultural designation (A-2) geared for residential development, and a vision statement that allows for development to trump agriculture. Read More
As I mentioned last month, the Planning Commission has released a draft plan for the future of Orange County that takes a startling turn from the plan previously approved by residents of Orange. It includes a map that lays out what the county would look like in 2035 -- including major development along Route 20 and increased residential and commercial development on agriculturally zoned land, among other things. Making matters worse, they scheduled the public information session (where people are supposed to learn about the proposal) on the same night as the public hearing (where people are supposed to weigh in on the proposal). This text was taken from an email alert we sent out on April 30th, 2013. Read More
Just last week, the County Planning Commission put out a pretty shocking map. The maps and accompanying lays out what Orange would look like in 2025 -- including major development along Route 20 and increased residential and commercial development in agriculturally zoned land, among other things. This text is from an email alert sent out on March 29th, 2013. Read More
Taxpayers asked to subsidize developer profits for speculative rezoning - 230 townhomes and 220,000ft2 of commercial retail - In 2006, Signature Series LLC proposed to rezone 75.8 acres from Agricultural (A) to multifamily residential (R-4) and general commercial (C-2), allowing for 230 townhomes and some 240,000 ft2 of commercial retail. The proffers associated with that proposal were $7,000 less than what our proffer policy calls for. Proffers are offered by a developer to a county to offset the costs for infrastructure (schools, fire, police, etc.). Now, some 6-1/2 years after being denied that request, they are proposing roughly the same speculative rezoning request. Only this time, they are asking the citizens to pony up and subsidize their potential profits at even a greater rate. Read More
The Orange County Circuit Court ruled that the County does not have the authority to enact a subdivision ordinance with time-phased divisions of land. This invalidates the current ordinance and allows for the immediate division of all agricultural lands into 2 acre lots unless the Board takes action immediately to establish protections of the rural area. Please speak at the Oct. 4th public comment period on proposed changes and send your concerns to the Planning Commission and your representative on the Board of Supervisors. Read More
A proposal is before the Planning Commission for a tactical training facility along with new zoning language that will allow such uses in agricultural and industrial zoning districts. The Commission is holding a public hearing on Sept. 20 at 7:15pm to discuss the change to the zoning language. In the name of economic development, this complex amendment is being fast-tracked through the process to pave the path for the Global Dynamics Security application. Fortunately the Global Dynamics Security applicant has asked for an extension to the Oct. 18th Planning Commission meeting. The specific application will not be considered at the Sept. 20th meeting.Update: Residents showed up in droves protesting the zoning text amendment on September 20th. After residents had expressed their concern about the proposed change, the Planning Commission voted to recommend denial. On September 25th the Board of Supervisors voted to deny the zoning amendment. At this time, we believe there will be no further consideration of the Global Security Applicaiton or related changes to the ordinance. Read More
On June 7th the Orange County Planning Commission voted unanimously to retain the time-phased component of the subdivision ordinance until an alternative is in place. We will keep you informed as this issue progresses. Read More