Letter: Charles Houston, Paeonian Springs

Editor: The Board of Supervisors spoke loudly for Loudoun’s residents in rebuking the sham Stakeholders Committee for its proposal to rape the Transition Area with 18,000 new homes and millions and millions of square feet of commercial space. A moment to remember was Supervisor Letourneau’s statement, “The Stakeholders Group is on a completely different planet.” Supervisors Higgins, Buffington and others rightly said that the Stakeholders’ plan was the direct opposite of what we citizens want, and Chair Phyllis Randall concluded with a similar coup de grace.

Thank you, thank you, Board.

All of this raises a basic question: Just why did the Stakeholders Committee promote a plan this bad? Simple: Greedy self-interest. There is a small handful of stakeholders who fight for slower growth, but the vast majority of the stakeholders are primarily from real estate and developer interests. All they want is money, and they do not care if their lust for lucre ruins Loudoun County.

Charles Houston, Paeonian Springs

3 thoughts on “Letter: Charles Houston, Paeonian Springs

  • 2017-10-09 at 5:30 pm
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    I’m having a hard time understanding how the “stakeholders committee” got to be so lopsided. Committees like that should be broadly representative of the range of interests within our community. How did we let this happen? We need to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

  • 2017-10-10 at 3:11 pm
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    It intrigues me that folks think the Comp Plan Committee is unbalanced. Maybe they are, in fact, reflecting the needs of the County. Two recent studies showed that the County will be woefully deficient in dwelling units in just a few years. Where are these new homes going to be built? If the Transition Policy Area is not modified to allow more units to be built there, the next obvious place is in the west, where there are over 25,000 by-right lots on the books. What is to prevent developers from jumping over the TPA and renewing development of the west? The County needs planning now to accommodate the burgeoning demand for new housing. Rejecting out-of-hand the recommendations of the Comp Plan Committee now is to invite more growth without proper positioning of budgets for transportation and other infrastructure. Commercial construction is not the answer for everything. Businesses need patrons and employees. Patrons and employees need housing. Putting off the hard decisions will not make them go away. As they say, “unlike fine wine, bad news does not get better with time.”

    • 2017-10-15 at 4:00 pm
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      Well-reasoned, but I think you’re overlooking a key point: Many residents (especially in the West) want to slow commercial growth, too. That would skew projected housing demand. They don’t care if any planned commerce doesn’t thrive; they never wanted it added. And the TPA is seen as a battleground of two warring parties. Giving up the territory doesn’t guarantee protection for the West; it only moves the dividing line until developers inevitably decide they want more. Ironically, one of the main reasons people want to move here is because of overcrowding in neighboring areas. If we allow building accordingly, we create the very problem they’re trying to escape. Schools and roadways are already congested from past lack of inhibition.

      We elect officials as stewards for our quality of life. Any judgement that preserves it will be seen as a victory, even if it means renewing the fight over zoning codes in the future, or resurging support for secession. The “needs” of the county should not be confused with the wants of those who stand to profit.

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