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 full—we 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.]