Julie Bolthouse

Julie Bolthouse is The Piedmont Environmental Council's land use field representative for Fauquier County.

Warrenton Residents Deserve Better than “Plan Warrenton 2040”

On March 9, 2021, the Warrenton Town Council will consider whether or not to adopt a new vision as outlined in Plan Warrenton 2040.

Over the last year, PEC has highlighted specific concerns tied to the draft plan’s emphasis on recruiting residential growth (well beyond any projected need), the lack of planning to tackle affordable housing, the inclusion of a new western bypass and missing information on water and wastewater needs, among many others. We believe these concerns need to be addressed and urge the Warrenton Town Council to redraft the plan with these issues in mind. 

Fauquier Land Use Update – June 2, 2020

As we enter the month of June our communities have entered Phase 1 of reopening. Much is still closed but much has also opened up in a limited way. The Town of Warrenton has implemented the “Roll Out Warrenton” initiative which allows for increased outdoor dining space to help restaurants meet safety requirements. While wineries and breweries in the County have pivoted to curbside pick up and delivery.

Fauquier Land Use Update – May 4, 2020

As we enter the month of May our communities remain under orders to maintain social distancing. Fauquier County has adopted a significantly reduced budget and is implementing a new public hearing format which allows for both in person and remote participation (see more detail below). The Town of Warrenton is working on revising their 2021-2026 CIP and FY 2021 Budget with a series of worksessions and public hearings in May and adoption planned for June 9.

Fauquier Land Use Update – April 3, 2020

As I wrote last week, the Covid-19 pandemic is upending a lot, but our local governments are continuing to function and provide the vital services we depend on. One way Fauquier County has stepped up to address this crisis is by working with the PATH Foundation to provide internet hotspots at several locations throughout the County. According to Fauquier Times recent interview with Supervisor Gerhardt four locations are up and running and several more should be active soon.

Fauquier Land Use Update – March 25, 2020

The COVID 19 pandemic and social distancing required may have turned our world upside down, but it has not completely stopped. Here at PEC, we are working remotely and continue to try and provide you with connection to your community during these trying times. This includes connecting you to the important decisions being made at the state and local level. 

A Dirty Secret: How Construction Waste is Making its Way Onto Rural Lands

A Dirty Secret: How Construction Waste is Making its Way Onto Rural Lands

Steve and Jennifer Rainwater’s world was turned upside down in 2017 when an access road was built along their property line and hundreds of dump trucks started arriving to dump dirt, non-stop, on a section of the property, behind their house. The new access road created runoff and flooding problems that damaged their pastures and a small pond that had provided fresh water for the horses. Although silt fences were used in places, they regularly collapsed and were generally ineffective. The view from their second floor has changed from woods to a never-ending construction site.

Fauquier Considers Weakening Language in Rural Lands Plan

Fauquier Considers Weakening Language in Rural Lands Plan

Over the last year, Fauquier has been working on an update to its Rural Lands Plan, a section of the County’s Comprehensive Plan that outlines land use policies in the rural areas. On Thursday, July 11 the Board of Supervisors is holding its second public hearing about the draft plan and will likely vote that night. We are encouraging them to vote to approve Version A.

Two Fauquier County Budget Items to Support

Two Fauquier County Budget Items to Support

There are two issues in particular that we would like to see addressed in the FY 2020 budget that are both long overdue. The first is Rappahannock Station Battlefield Park – Phase I which was not completed in 2018 as proposed in the 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Plan. The second is the creating of a full-time zoning inspector position within the Community Development department.

Fauquier County Updating the Rural Lands Plan

Fauquier County Updating the Rural Lands Plan

The Rural Lands Plan is a section of the Fauquier County Comprehensive Plan, and much as the name implies, it outlines land use policies and the desired future for the rural areas. This chapter is very important because over 90% of the County is planned to remain categorized as rural land. Although the majority of new growth is happening within the growth areas of the County (e.g. Warrenton, Bealeton, New Baltimore, etc.), about half of the nearly 70,000 residents of the county live in these rural areas. In addition, all residents of Fauquier are connected to the rural lands by locally grown goods, through tourism, and by simply driving through them.