Purcellville Council Continues New Town Plan Discussions

The Purcellville Town Council will continue discussing the proposed new comprehensive plan in four more special meetings.

The council will meet twice next week and twice the week after, Jan. 22, 23, 27 and 30. All meetings will be held at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall.

On Dec. 5, the Planning Commission recommended the council vote to adopt the new town plan, which restricts growth in town by planning for no future annexations and limiting development by changing the land use designations for multiple properties.

During the Town Council’s first special meeting last week, resident Patricia DiPalma-Kipfer, the owner of one of those properties, told council members she was upset the commission had proposed to change the land use designation of her 3-acre property, which abuts the Catoctin Corner commercial center, from Mixed Use Commercial to Agricultural.

DiPalma-Kipfer noted that she has never indicated a desire to develop her property when commenting on the plan in the last four years and requested a switch to either Commercial Medium Scale or Mixed Use Medium Scale.

“Applying an [agricultural] land use to my property is a contrived and blatant attempt to create open space for the town without the town having to purchase my property art a fair market commercial value,” she said.

The Town Council this week agreed to change that Agricultural land use designation to Agricultural-Tourism-Commercial, allowing for more uses but still prohibiting residential housing developments.

According to Town Attorney Sally Hankins, the Town Council has until March 5 to take action on the plan.

During Jan. 16 discussions on the plan update, Mayor Kwasi Fraser asked Town Manager David Mekarski why he added a note in the acknowledgement section to not include the name of Alex Vanegas—the former interim town manager who fired after initiating in August 2017 the now discredited—and costly—investigation into claims of misconduct against the police chief that resulted in the initiation of multiple other investigations totaling $901,000 in paid expenses by the town, not including payouts for settled lawsuits filed against the town, one of which is still outstanding.

“I thought your acknowledgement meant everyone that contributed to this,” Fraser said.

Mekarski said he recommended Vanegas’ name not be included because “the operative word there was professional.”

“Please do not add [Vanegas’ name],” Mekarski said. “I think it’s irresponsible.”

For more information on the draft town plan update, go to planpurcellville.com.

The Town of Purcellville’s proposed future land use designations.
The Town of Purcellville’s existing land use designations.

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