On May 24, 2023, the American Battlefield Trust, Central Virginia Battlefields Trust, Inc., Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, Inc., and a number of Orange County and Spotsylvania County residents filed a legal challenge to the recent approval by the Orange County Board of Supervisors of the rezoning of 2,600 acres in the county, known as Wilderness Crossing, at the gateway to the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park. The lawsuit cites several violations of state constitutional and statutory law and county zoning ordinance, including procedural errors, lack of required submittals and findings, and failure to comply with the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, among other errors.
PEC believes that the work of protecting natural resources and the work of building better communities are integral to each other.
Fifth Street Trail Hub Update
The 5th Street Trail and Hub project will create a shared-use path connecting the 5th Street Starbucks, Fifth Street Station Parkway, and a trailhead at Fifth Street Station near Wegmans.
PEC Brings Home the Platinum
We are honored that our work highlighting climate change and impacts in Albemarle County has been recognized by the 17th Annual Hermes Creative Awards. The Hermes Creative Awards, one of the oldest and largest creative competitions in the world, honor creative professionals who are the messengers and creators of the information revolution.
Gilberts Corner Regional Park: A Conservation Success Story
Over 300 acres of land is conserved around Gilberts Corner, where Rt. 15 and Rt. 50 meet. The Piedmont Environmental Council has been working with NOVA Parks for over a decade to permanently protect the land there through conservation easements, while also opening significant parts of it up for the public to use. The results of this work are evident to anyone driving by and will be for generations to come.
Decision Time Nears for Wilderness Crossing Rezoning
On April 6, the Planning Commission voted 3-2 to recommend approval of the project. The decision now rests with the Board of Supervisors, which will hold its own public hearing on the proposed Wilderness Crossing rezoning on April 25.
Resources from Our Creating Walkable Piedmont Communities Workshop
Thank you to everyone who participated in our Creating Walkable Piedmont Communities workshop on March 31! This half-day workshop focused on giving your town or village the tools, resources, and contacts you need to implement pedestrian, streetscape, trail and traffic calming projects. It was also an opportunity to network with other local leaders interested in making their Piedmont communities more vibrant and walkable.
PEC Presentation on Data Centers & Potential Reliance on Backup Diesel Generators
On March 28, 2023, The Piedmont Environmental Council hosted a local information session in Loudoun County about a variance being proposed by The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality to allow Loudoun data centers to use their backup diesel generators more frequently during the coming summer.
The Sperryville Trail Network: Uniting a Community and Creating a Sense of Place
You may have driven through Sperryville on your way to the Thornton Gap entrance to Shenandoah National Park. But this historic village is much more than just a place to pass through, and I found the Sperryville Trail Network to be the perfect tour guide
Planning Commission Public Hearing on Wilderness Crossing Set for March 23
Even after 18 months, it is still unclear what the applicant has planned for the 2,618 acres of land included in the Wilderness Crossing rezoning proposal — still unremediated of toxic hazards from historic gold mining activities. The details have continued to change, and most recently, the number of homes has been reduced from 6,500 to 5,000 while the industrial square footage has increased by almost five times. Additionally, a variety of industrial uses, including data centers and warehouse/distribution centers, would now be allowed by-right.
The Planning Commission recently held its fifth and final work session for Wilderness Crossing on March 2, which means the application is now headed to a public hearing on Thursday, March 23, 2023.
Third Annual Mobility Summit Celebrates Success, Launches Collective Work Plans
For the third February in a row, the Piedmont Mobility Alliance came together in Charlottesville to celebrate progress, discuss ways to broaden participation, and lay out some specific work plans for 2023.