Outside the St. Louis public hearing. Credit: Hugh Kenny/PEC
On Wednesday, June 9, the Loudoun Board of Supervisors held two important public hearings. The first was to listen to residents’ thoughts about how the county should address the Middleburg Preserve development and planning and zoning issues in St. Louis. The second was to review multiple offers from prospective buyers of the county-owned Aldie Assemblage property, which consists of three distinct parcels. The board previously decided to abandon plans to build a fire station there in the face of overwhelming public opposition.
St. Louis Public Hearing
After listening to a summary of the issues and county actions regarding the Middleburg Preserve II property and hearing board member comments, 26 community members spent over an hour expressing their concerns and desires for St. Louis. Speakers included those whose ancestors had been enslaved on nearby plantations and helped to found the village of St. Louis after emancipation, as well as newer residents of the village and those from the larger community who were there to speak in support of its residents.
The comments covered a wide range of perspectives and addressed multiple concerns ranging from whether St. Louis has adequate and safe water supplies to preserving the affordability of home ownership to ensuring the history and community are not destroyed. Some speakers pointedly questioned whether the board of supervisors will continue to allow injustice toward this neglected community and let residents suffer more damage at the hands of developers.
Inside the St. Louis public hearing. Credit: Hugh Kenny/PEC
At the conclusion of the meeting, the board indicated that the topic will be taken up at a future meeting, without specific mention of actions or dates.
Loudoun County can take a number of steps in addressing the situation in St. Louis. In partnership with the local community, PEC will encourage the county to implement actions that can reduce harm to neighbors by modifying construction regulations, such as enhanced proximity surveys and technical guidance to minimize impacts to neighboring wells. This can happen at the same time the county moves forward with a planning and rezoning effort for the village that will ensure future growth is sustainable.
Aldie Public Hearing
The public hearing for Aldie was to consider three distinct offers for the purchase of the Aldie Assemblage parcels. Two offers were for all three parcels that make up the Aldie Assemblage, and one was for a single parcel. Public support for the offers weighed heavily toward the Gerachis Construction Company. Mr. Gerachis has worked with the community to ensure that his offer aligns with the community’s interest and the comprehensive plan, and has the least impact on the sensitive environmental conditions of the site.
The board announced that it will have a closed session discussion at its July 6 meeting and then vote on the offers at its July 20 meeting.
If you have questions related to either of these two issues, please don’t hesitate to reach out to PEC Field Representative Gem Bingol at firstname.lastname@example.org.