The following text was sent out via email on June 13, 2022. Sign up for PEC email alerts →
I am reaching back out with an update on Loudoun County’s proposal to install athletic field lighting at Scott Jenkins Memorial Park in Hamilton off of East Colonial Highway. On April 6, the Planning Commission voted to recommend denial of the project because:
- The proposed special exception for field lighting is incompatible with the rural character of the area.
- The proposed special exception is unable to ensure minimal impact from light pollution on surrounding properties.
(If you’d like to watch the Planning Commission’s discussion, the recording is available online.)
PEC agrees with and supports the Planning Commission’s reasoning. In January, we submitted comments to the Planning Commission detailing similar reservations.
Residents now have an opportunity to support the Planning Commission’s recommendation. This Wednesday, June 15 at 6 p.m., the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing for residents to share their comments and concerns about the proposal.
- Sign up in advance to speak in person or online on Item #6, SPEX-2021-0025, Scott Jenkins Memorial Park by calling (703) 777-0200 before noon on Wednesday.
- You can also sign up to speak in person at the time of the meeting on a first-come, first-served basis.
The public hearing will take take place in the Board Room of the Government Center at 1 Harrison St., SE in Leesburg, and be livestreamed at loudoun.gov/meetings. If you’re unable to attend, you can also email the Board of Supervisors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many nearby residents, business owners, and environmental groups have expressed concerns about the impacts that lights would have on dark skies, wildlife habitat, and nearby agricultural operations because of the park’s rural location. Having access to public parks is an important part of any community, but location and design matters.
Hamilton is situated in the County’s rural area, which is the subject of many protective policies and ought to be carefully planned for. As mentioned in Loudoun’s comprehensive plan, “action steps call for preserving the natural beauty of the night sky, and minimize impacts on people, plants, and wildlife.” It’s also worth noting that the approved 2009 special exception application for the park prohibited lighted ballfields based on community concerns about the impacts of light pollution.
This Wednesday is an opportunity to take action and encourage the Board of Supervisors to deny the application. You can learn more about the project at https://www.loudoun.gov/scottjenkinsparkphase3.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or need additional information.
Loudoun County Field Representative
(540) 347-2334 ext. 7044