Editor: The Loudoun County Planning Commission endorsed a rural gas station just south of the Point of Rocks bridge. Is this another example of developers swaying local government decision makers before adequate infrastructure is in place – leaving commuters to suffer? You only have to travel on Rt. 15 during rush hours to know the road is not adequate.
What logic lead all but one commissioner to endorse the station over the objections of the county planning staff? Was it the need for another gas station? There are three between Lucketts and Point of Rocks, including one across the road from the proposed site. Was it that they are familiar with the extensive back ups that occur every morning, every evening, and many weekends, but believe that another gas station with 20 fueling stations will not create more congestion? Maybe it was the agreement with Visit Loudoun to donate $25,000 to create an app to map out and tie together rural businesses in western Loudoun. Maybe it was the 100 square feet to showcase products from Loudoun County, or the pollinator garden, or the small dog park, or the tree conservation area. I apologize to anyone who might be offended, but where is the logic for another gas station? I am not writing about logic in the strictest sense, simply “Does this make sense to you?”
Another gas station will only add to the increasing congestion on Rt. 15, making this vital and historic path into and out of Loudoun County a path to avoid. Increased congestion will also make it more difficult for emergency responders to reach areas north of Lucketts including Lovettsville and the bridge at Point of Rocks—one of only three bridges between Cabin John and Brunswick. Environmental issues may not fall within the purview of the commissioners, but someone in Maryland or Virginia should be concerned about a gas station with thousands of gallons of gas adjacent to the flood plain of the Potomac River. Furthermore, the application for the gas station is outside the scale of the Rural Policy of the Loudoun County Comprehensive Plan.
In the Loudoun Nowarticle, one of the commissioners said we need to accept the fact that Loudoun is growing and make the change that we need to do for that growth. How can adding another gas station on Rt. 15 help the growth for Loudoun? I believe it could—after the infrastructure is improved. If this station is approved without improvements to the infrastructure the growth will be in the time commuters spend on Rt. 15.
I am not anti-growth. Improvements to Rt. 15 are long overdue. I recognize the right of property owners to develop their property. However, there is no logical justification for the additional congestion that another gas station will bring to a road that is inadequate. The Planning Commission vote to endorse the application may be technically legal and correct , but is it logical? Does this make sense for Loudoun? Whether this issue effects you or not, I ask to you to contact your county supervisor to register your opposition to the application for the proposed 20 pump gas station on Rt. 15. You can also express your opposition by signing the petition at stopmegagas.com.
Craig Bond, Lucketts