Introducing PEC’s New Culpeper Land Use Field Representative & Invitation to Town Hall

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aerial image of a road through a rural area
Historic Stevensburg in rural Culpeper. Photo by Hugh Kenny/PEC

Dear Supporter,

I’m excited to introduce myself as PEC’s new Culpeper Land Use Field Representative and to invite you to an upcoming event, on Sept. 7, about some of the major land use issues in the County right now.

Prior to joining PEC, I spent over six years at the Virginia Department of Forestry and had the opportunity to work with landowners in the region to conserve and manage their land. As a Culpeper resident, I am looking forward to continuing to work locally, with all of you, on behalf of this place we call home.

Industrial development in rural Culpeper

Culpeper County is a beautiful and unique place to live, but it isn’t that way by chance. County residents have worked hard to ensure desired growth does not diminish Culpeper’s natural, cultural or historic resources. 

Unfortunately, there is now increasing pressure from developers to expand industrial development, like data centers and utility-scale solar, into rural areas of the County that aren’t planned for growth. If not done in a thoughtful, comprehensive, and transparent way, we risk losing some of the things that are most special about this place.

Just this spring, the Culpeper Board of Supervisors approved a 230-acre rezoning of agricultural land to accommodate a 427,000-square-foot Amazon data center. This project and the new transmission lines that must be built to serve its energy needs will have devastating long-term impacts on a uniquely historic and scenic area of the County. The Board made this decision despite there being more appropriate land available for data center development, which is an incompatible use in an agricultural area.

Since that project was approved, PEC has seen similar large-scale rezoning proposals start to pop up throughout Culpeper. Many residents are becoming increasingly concerned at what this means for the County’s future. If you’re interested in learning more about these issues, I encourage you to attend our community town hall on September 7. The details are below.

Town Hall: A Discussion on the Future of Culpeper

Wednesday, Sept. 7 @ 6 – 8 p.m.
Kildee Farms
19295 Batna Rd., Culpeper, VA 22701

Join the Culpeper Alliance for Balanced Growth, PEC, and other community partners to learn more about the major land use issues facing the County and how you can get involved. This event is free, although registration is required.

Please RSVP by Sept. 2 to Katie Smolar, Journey Through Hallowed Ground Education Director, at

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I am still settling into my new role, which began on Monday, but please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

I hope you can make it out to the town hall next week and I look forward to meeting many of you there!


Sarah Parmelee
Land Use Field Representative – Culpeper County

headshot of woman in blue shirt

P.S. I know many of you had a chance to work with my predecessor, Adam Gillenwater. PEC was sad to see him go, but we’re really excited that he was able to take the next step in his career by attending law school!