Letter: Al Van Huyck, Round Hill

Editor:  The Board of Supervisors overruled the Planning Commission on the AT&T application for a Commission Permit to build their proposed huge facility on Short Hill Mountain. The basis for the overrule was that AT&T, to their credit, had withdrawn their application.

Nonetheless, it is important to recognize and thank the several hundred citizens who mobilized to oppose the application and demonstrated their love of the mountains, the rural quality of life, and the rural economy. A special thanks to Sam Kroiz, who played a key role in this effort.

As citizens, we also should recognize and appreciate that our Board of Supervisors, especially Supervisors Higgins and Buffington and Chair Randall, provided the time and space to listen to the people.

I also wish to thank my colleagues on our Short Hill Committee of the Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition for their carefully researched position that there was a strong case for overruling the Planning Commission’s approval of the AT&T Commission Permit as not “being in substantial accord with the Comprehensive Plan,” which is the only technical grounds to overrule. While the report was not issued it remains available if needed in the future.

Several professionals with specific expertise volunteered long hours and whose efforts should be noted. Volunteers from the Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lindsay Jefferies Mohler, Attorney at Law, Atwill, Troxell & Leigh P.C. provided extraordinary assistance on researching key questions of fact and  Norman Myers, Myers Appraisal Service, provided extensive documentation support, and Mike Alter et al analyzed the hydrogeology issues.

Separately Mark Foster and the Communications Commission at the request of Supervisor Higgins provided a critical review demonstrating that the proposed AT&T facility would provide no additional telecommunication services to Loudoun County.

For all of us involved it’s exciting and reassuring that the residents of Loudoun County both deeply care about our future as a special place and can mobilize a vast array of professional expertise in a wide range of subject areas to back up our love of the county with hard research and facts in the public interest.

Al Van Huyck, Round Hill

Chairman, Short Hill Committee of the Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition

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