Orange County
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Orange County

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.

  • Our Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign helps people find local food and drink options!The campaign also builds relationships between growers, food artisans, farmers’ markets, retailers, restaurants, and institutions.
  • 1,173 acres of land in Orange County were protected by conservation easements in 2019. This brings the total of protected land in the county to approximately 38,554 acres.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic is upending many things, but our local governments are continuing to function and provide services. Read on for more information on local government decision-making in Orange County.

From the Piedmont View

The following articles appeared in PEC's Membership Newsletter -- The Piedmont View

On the Ground - Summer 2020

Mar 12, 2020
Updates from around the PEC region, organized by county. Albemarle: Comprehensive Plan Updates. Clarke: StoryMap & Upcoming Webinars. Culpeper: Land Use Update, Brandy Station and Cedar Mountain…

President's Letter - Summer 2020

Jun 18, 2020
With so much going on around us that we cannot control, doing what we can to make our part of the world better becomes all the more important. This past spring, our staff made a quick and orderly…

Strengthening Local Food Systems

Jun 18, 2020
Early one May morning, a Maola Dairy delivery truck took an unusual turn through the gates and into the parking lot of the Fauquier Community Food Bank. Nearby, Director Sharon Ames’ excitement was…

From the Blue Ridge to the Bay

Sep 15, 2019
In June, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, working with the Montpelier Foundation, donated three conservation easements to PEC that permanently protected 1,024 acres at James Madison’s…

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

Sep 15, 2019
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…

More Local Issues

  • Jun 25, 2020

    Online Event: Local Update for PEC Supporters in Madison & Orange Counties

    Thank you to those of you who were able to join us for The Piedmont Environmental Council’s Zoom meeting, A Local Update for PEC Supporters in Madison & Orange Counties on Thursday, June 25, 2020! While we certainly miss seeing folks face-to-face, we hope you enjoyed the online presentation and learned a little bit more about the things keeping us busy these days. Read More
  • Apr 17, 2020

    Orange Land Use Update - April 17, 2020

    The April 14 Board of Supervisors meeting was held via virtual public access on YouTube, a format that the county intends on using throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting covered multiple administrative topics, including a public hearing on the adoption of the Continuity of Government Operations ordinance and BOS approval for the inclusion of a dog park at Booster park. Read More
  • Apr 06, 2020

    Orange Land Use Update - April 6, 2020

    The pink and white blooms of the dogwoods bring with them an update for Orange County. Last week, during a special meeting on April 2nd, the Board of Supervisors officially named Theodore “Ted” Voorhees as the new County Administrator. Read More
  • Mar 27, 2020

    Orange Land Use Update - March 27, 2020

    The Orange County Board of Supervisors “passed an emergency ordinance allowing meetings of the Board of Supervisors, the Planning Commission, and other County boards, commissions, authorities, or public bodies to be conducted electronically. This action ensures the continuity of operations for Orange County…” and “guidance on how meetings will be handled will be included as each meeting is announced”, according to Interim County Administrator, Brenda Garton. Read More
  • Nov 20, 2018

    Verling Park Concept Design

    In 2017, PEC was able to retain Land Planning & Design Associates to develop a concept design for a revamped Verling Park. The plan incorporated input from local residents in Gordonsville who want to see a more functional park that serves the whole community. We are currently working to enable the Town to bring the plan to reality. Progress report: we were able to secure funds to help the town purchase 112 Linney Street to expand Verling Park (on Market Street, between Main and Baker) to an entire town block. Read More
  • The Piedmont Environmental Council
    Aug 30, 2016

    Barboursville Village Overlay District Needs More Public Input

    The following email alert was sent out on August 29, 2016 regarding proposed design standards for development in Barboursville: Read More
  • Dec 11, 2014

    Orange Update -- Dec 2014

    Text from our Dec 2014 Member Newsletter: Grymes School is partnering with Chesapeake Natural Heritage, Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisher­ies, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and PEC to design and secure public and private funding for a native meadow planting, approximately 13 acres in size, located on the edge of the Town of Orange. Read More
  • Aug 20, 2013

    Sept 8th: Meet the Farmer Dinner at Historic Annadale Farm

    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
  • Jul 26, 2013

    Orange County Comp Plan Public Hearing Set for August 1, 2013

    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
  • May 03, 2013

    Orange County Planning Commission Hearing Summary, May 2nd

    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
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    May 01, 2013

    Hearing this Thursday: Orange Unveils Sprawling Vision

    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
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    Mar 29, 2013

    Orange County Unveils Sprawling Vision

    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
  • Feb 14, 2013

    Signature Station Rezoning

    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
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    Oct 02, 2012

    County Discusses Ordinance and Comprehensive Plan Overhaul

    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
  • Sep 13, 2012

    A Tactical Training Facility in Orange?

    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
  • Feb 10, 2012

    Subdivision Ordinance Changes Being Considered

    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

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