On the Ground — Fall 2017


Route 29 Transportation Improvements & Land Use Planning Update

Hydraulic Road and Route 29 Intersection Improvements

Since March, an advisory panel of local citizens, city and county officials, and VDOT have been developing a land use and transportation plan for the area. That first phase of the study will wrap up this fall, and drafts of the various land use concepts will be presented to city and county for formal review. Then, the panel will use that plan to develop, assess, and ultimately recommend potential transportation improvements.

Rio Road and Route 29 Small Area Plan

With the improvements at this intersection completed, the focus has shifted to the higher-density, more urban-scale development — approximately 1,000 acres — around the intersection. Integrated into this plan will be the framework for a transportation network of smaller streets, bike and pedestrian paths, greenways, and the elements necessary to facilitate current and future transit options. Information about preferred concepts should be available for review this fall.

Relocation of County Courthouse remains a real concern

Within the discussions of the Rio/Route 29 Small Area Plan, advocates for relocating the courthouse and/or the County’s administrative office suggest that locating one or both near the Rio intersection would be a catalyst for additional development. We will continue to oppose the relocation of the courts, a position almost unanimously held by the legal community. By December, the County anticipates a consultant’s report outlining public-private partnership options that might be necessary to facilitate the move.


Quarry Site & Sporting Clays for Conservation

The County is proposing to develop a County-operated citizen convenience center for waste and recycling to be located on the quarry property through a long-term lease. The Planning Commission will forward the application to the Board of Supervisors for a public hearing in September.

If you enjoy shooting and supporting a good cause, join us for this year’s Sporting Clays for Conservation event on Sunday, Oct. 22 at beautiful Prospect Hall Shooting Club. To register, visit pecva.org/events or contact Karissa Epley at kepley@pecva.org.


The Future of Solar Farms

Large-scale solar farms will play a role in the state’s energy matrix. However, in our desire to see greater implementation of renewable energy projects, we should be mindful of the site specific considerations that hold true for any large-scale energy project. In June, we provided Culpeper with a list of siting criteria and recommendations for a public permitting process, including avoidance of prime agricultural soils and historic resources, as well as the removal of the systems at the end of their useful life. We are pleased to see many of these criteria contained within the language advanced to the Planning Commission, including the use of a conditional or special use permit to ensure site specific concerns are addressed.


Water in Marshall & Buckland Bypass

Marshall faces two problems in regards to its water supply, a limitation on the amount of uncontaminated water they’ve been able to access and a lack of information to make informed decisions. Besides having a significant amount of undeveloped land that is zoned and approved for development, there are several rezonings that have been approved that also have no water available.

The WSA is conducting a study of ways to address the Marshall issue that will look at treatment, alternative wells and surface water options.

Another issue that has reemerged is the Buckland Bypass. Prince William County is studying options to relieve traffic through Buckland Battle eld along Rt. 29. At their last meeting they indicated that options for a bypass had been taken off the table. However, in a side meeting, the consultant, Prince William County and various stakeholders met without Fauquier County representatives present and brought a new option of a ‘short bypass’ forward. The newly proposed bypass options would start at Rt. 29 at Vint Hill Rd. (Rt. 215) intersection and go north to connect to Rt. 15 before the railroad track.


Making Main Street More Walkable

The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved almost $400,000 of a Transportation Enhancement Alternatives grant for sidewalk construction on the east end of Main Street in Stanardsville. The Town still needs to raise more than $100,000 in matching funds from the local community to complete the project. This is an important part of the revitalization of Stanardsville, a project we’ve been following and supporting for over a decade.


Transportation Planning & Comprehensive Plan Updates

Planning for Loudoun’s future has gotten a lot of attention through the summer. We continue to track and inform the public about the many critical transportation decisions currently being considered, which could drastically impact the County’s character. Decisions on a potential new Potomac River Bridge crossing and tra c improvements on Route 15 north of Leesburg are in the works (see “Eight Reasons” on page 1). In addition, the new comprehensive plan draft is getting eshed out with new land use designations for the suburban and transition areas, called “Place Types,” and a revision of all policies are in preparation for the next round of public input sessions in January 2018. Please stay tuned as we will be alerting you of important decisions and opportunities for public involvement.


Civil War Battlefield Research

The 1863 battles of Jack’s Shop and James City in Madison County were important engagements in the Civil War. Yet, little is known about how they unfolded or the significance of the battles within the context of the war. We received a grant from the National Park Service’s American Battle eld Protection Program to research and document these two battlefields, and we selected Rivanna Archaeological Services to undertake the research and mapping project to develop a better understanding of these battlefields. To kick o this project, we hosted a community meeting on July 11 in the historic village of Rochelle to explain the project and gather information about the battlefields. Contact Kristie Kendall, our historic preservation manager, at kkendall@pecva.org, if you want to learn more about this effort.


Gordonsville Park Initiative

The Town of Gordonsville is working with PEC to develop a master plan for refurbishing Verling Park, a neighborhood park in the heart of the community. Over the summer, the Town held three community meetings and conducted a survey to gather input for the park master plan, which is scheduled to be completed by fall. It will include a design for refurbishing the park, improving park access from Main Street and Baker Street, and developing sidewalks to connect Verling Park with Firemen’s Fairgrounds. The plan will be used to secure private and public funding for refurbishing the park.


Sprucepine Branch Restored!

This June, three culverts were replaced with a driveway bridge at Sprucepine Branch, near Huntly, Virginia. A special thanks to landowners — the Northup and Griffin families — who made this work possible, and are steadfast stewards for Sprucepine Branch. Many thanks to partners at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Shenandoah Streamworks, Trout Unlimited, and the Krebser Fund for Rappahannock County in supporting this work to improve habitat for Eastern Brook Trout and restore water quality for the Piedmont’s headwater streams. See “Free Flow: Restoring Rivers & Connecting Habitat” on page 1 for more details.

This article was featured in our Fall 2017 member newsletter, The Piedmont View.