Letter: Forest Hayes, Waterford

Editor: I have been talking to my friends and neighbors around Catoctin for the past 18 months and many of them want me to tell you that Catoctin is fullwe can’t support another household anywhere near Rt. 15 or Evergreen Mills. The proposed Comprehensive Plan is not an example of smart growth. We see the plan as the first step towards density in the west. There is no balance.

The comp plan calls for a significant increase in the county’s population—some 70,000 homes—with no consideration for the corresponding services and costs that it will require. Where is the money for the additional schools, teachers, fire trucks, firefighters, libraries, hospitals, road improvements, and so on? Where is the money coming from? Our teachers, firefighters, and law enforcement officers are already stretched thin and underpaid. Our residents are already paying too many taxes.

I am not a “no growther,” but we must be assured that there is a balanceand that the additional residents will not compromise the quality of life of the existing residents of Catoctin.

I want to see greater density around the silver line Metro stations that were meant for that purpose, rather than encroaching upon residents that have chosen a rural existence. Why are we spreading outwards, when we can be spreading upwards? I want to see Transfer of Development Rights enacted and Conservation Easements fully funded for those who need it.

Land is our most valuable and limited resource. We must protect it at any cost and preserve our farms, wineries, horse country, and other agri-businesses. We must preserve all the things that make Loudoun unique.

Forest Hayes, Waterford

Note: The writer is the Democratic nominee for supervisor in the Catoctin District.]

5 thoughts on “Letter: Forest Hayes, Waterford

  • 2019-04-26 at 6:46 pm

    Your words should be a comfort to everyone who doesn’t want to see western Loudoun look like eastern Loudoun. It reminds me of the phrase I heard when moving here in 1994 “don’t Fairfax Loudoun”. Well guess what. THE DEVELOPERS ARE WINNING. The transition area was created as one more step to the west Virginia border. Did you see the high density project being proposed in Lovettsville? By giving developers their desired profits by going along with densities like the most recent 23 residences per acre in Ashburn it just builds the developer war chest to donate to politicians (like both my party sponsored opponents). Do you really think once Eastern Loudoun and the transition area are fully built out the developers will just leave? The unelected planning commission did not position this comprehensive plan in a vacuum. They are serving the Supervisors who put them into their positions. I am glad you are speaking up but from my experience after 8 years on the school board the density approvals have to be stopped EVERYWHERE in Loudoun in order to honestly protect the west and get our property tax rate closer to the state average of 79 cents.

  • 2019-04-29 at 10:26 am

    Mr. Ohneiser, I believe that the high density project in Lovettsville is a great example of what is coming soon if we do nothing in the TPA to increase density. The west faces almost 12,000 by right lots that will see increased pressure to provide homes to persons wanting to live in Loudoun. The other fact that is missed by those who want no increased density in the TPA is that the few lots remaining are also by right. This means that there are no proffers to help defray capital costs of the county. The new comprehensive plan provides the ability to request proffers for those areas for which zoning applications are submitted. Seems to me that by trying to shut down the TPA, property values will increase in the west enticing owners (who might otherwise have been on the fence) to sell to a developer. Few choices are simple anymore. I believe, however, that the 2019 Comprehensive Plan offers a way to keep growth where it is appropriate and not let it spring up like mushrooms in areas where we don’t want it.

  • 2019-04-29 at 10:36 am

    Forrest- Did you read the whole plan? The money will come from the Light Industrial/Data Center development proposed along Sycolin Road. You know, the data centers that provide all the money to subsidize the TPA and RPA. Only the SPA pays for itself.

  • 2019-04-30 at 4:34 pm

    Galluponover, You make interesting points which completely debunks the formula that has been promised by the last few sets of Supervisors. “If you let us pack the east we will protect the west.”
    Yes – they misled everyone to drive profits to developers and provide income tax growth to the state.
    Have the Supervisors used some of that date center money to buy up land about to go on sale or be developed. NOPE – they spent 26 cents of it and gave taxpayers a 4 cent cut in property taxes while still holding on to an inspection sticker fee tax (without the sticker), a 4.2% tax on personal vehicles and now a license plate tax. Next will be bumper tax, tire tax and maybe even a mileage tax. Both my party sponsored opponents gladly accept developer donations to their campaigns but I as an independent chose not to take any donations from anyone. Being Chair of the Loudoun Board of Supervisors is a full time job of SERVICE not a part time bank teller job to return invested developer money by claiming high density residential development is good for us. (traffic, congested schools, higher property taxes, lower home values as builders flood the housing market with 3-5 bedroom residences none of which are intended to serve our young professionals.
    The comprehensive plan should be a wake up call for all those couch sitters who don’t vote in local elections. Vote on November 5th for someone who will fix this or stop complaining as Loudoun starts to look like Arlington all the way to the West Virginia border.

  • 2019-05-01 at 6:39 pm

    The worst is when you have guys like Higgins using $42,000 of our tax dollars to pay Loudoun Mutual Insurance Company’s re-zoning fee to re-zone their property commercial (even though they have bad title). They have over 44 million in assets. My bet is that after it is re-zoned, increasing the value, then, they will sell and move as they have been “threatening” to do for years. Please, go ahead and move and leave the historic street and alley in tact, as well as the original zoning designation. How does that make any sense? It does not make sense. Higgins is Minchew’s puppet doing the real dirty work all while Higgins pretends to be a preservationist.

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