Letter: Tara Parker, Sterling

Editor:   After reading Mr. Craig Bond’s letter of May 14, I had to write my own letter in strong support of the proposed new gas station and country market on Rt. 15 near the Point of Rocks bridge. Mr. Bond’s main complaint seems to be that a new gas station is not necessary at the proposed location. As a Loudoun commuter and resident since high school, I strongly disagree.

The fact is that fuel prices at the few stations north of Leesburg are excessively high – sometimes 20 cents per gallon more than in Leesburg itself – so I’m especially looking forward to the competition created by an additional station to the north.

Mr. Bond also noted the rush-hour traffic congestion this stretch of Rt. 15 is infamous for. There’s no denying that. However, this new station would exist to serve that traffic – it wouldn’t add any more. Plus, we understand the developer is footing the bill for a new dedicated turn lane and rumble strips, so it seems traffic flow will be no worse, and possibly slightly improved.

We found it curious when Mr. Bond stated that this project is “outside the scale of the Rural Policy of the Loudoun County Comprehensive Plan.” Quoting the Land Use Pattern & Design section of the county plan’s Rural Policy Area: “There must be a viable rural economy to preserve the rural landscape” and that includes “ancillary rural business.” Furthermore, “the County will permit development in the Rural Policy Area that promotes opportunities for the expansion of rural economic uses.”

In his letter, Mr. Bond pointed out that Rt. 15 Fuel & Market will have a dog park, a tree conservation area, and a permanent showcase of rural Loudoun businesses. That sounds like this station will promote rural economic opportunities while also preserving our area’s natural character.

Mr. Bond concedes that the Planning Commission’s 8-1 vote in favor of this new station was both “legal and correct,” but he questions whether it is “logical.” Due to all the points above, it seems like Route 15 Fuel & Market is in fact the most logical use for Loudoun. For these reasons we’ll be glad to welcome this new amenity and I encourage other citizens and the Board of Supervisors to support it too.

Tara Parker, Sterling

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