The beauty of the Route 50 corridor is not an accident. It has taken multi-generational involvement in local decision-making to plan for and preserve this historic east-west passage. PEC has played a part in that by working with communities and partner organizations to identify threats and opportunities that could impact the corridor’s scenic character and its function as a powerful economic engine for tourism revenue.
For some time, The Aldie Assemblage property has been under threat of development or uses inconsistent with preserving the historic character and integrity of the surrounding village. In December 2021, recognizing the need for a conservation solution, PEC submitted an offer to Loudoun County to purchase the property.
Over the last year, the future of two of Loudoun’s historic villages, Aldie and St. Louis, have been linked in uncertainty. In an attempt to protect St. Louis’ fragile water sources and remaining historic features from an impending development, the Loudoun Board of Supervisors proposed a multi-faceted real estate transaction that would, essentially, move the developer from St. Louis to county-owned land in Aldie that the developer wanted to build upon. The result was upheaval in both places as residents objected to the Aldie development and the linkage that threatened each community’s unique qualities.
A series of short updates from around the PEC region – Albemarle & Charlottesville, Clarke, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Loudoun, Madison, Orange & Rappahannock.
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.
When a developer, Mojax LLC, bought the Howards’ ancestral land in 2017 and proposed a development of 27 homes with individual wells, the community was understandably concerned. “As a widow and a senior citizen on a budget, the development could drive up the taxes and force me to dig a new well, which I can’t afford,” said Peterson. Besides the water issues and property values, residents worried about losing the historic cemetery, undiscovered graves of enslaved people, and the cultural history of the place.