Editor: One of the famous proverbs in literature is about warning how little decisions can in the end bring down great kingdoms, or in this case the loss of western Loudoun as envisioned in the Loudoun 2019 Plan.
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe, the horse was lost.
For want of a horse, the rider was lost.
For want of a rider, the battle was lost.
For want of a battle, the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
This month the Board of Supervisors will have a chance to consider their version of this proverb as they decide whether to install lights at Scott Jenkins Memorial Park outside of Hamilton. It is not an easy decision.
The Loudoun 2019 Plan retains the rural vision of a vibrant rural economy made up of agriculture, horticulture, equine and animal husbandry, and rural tourism with robust environmental protections and limited residential cluster development. Supporting this vision are those residents who are economically involved in implementing the vision and share the lifestyle it creates. The results have been dramatic as the rural economy has doubled over the last decade.
But not all families share this vision and major forces are pressuring to destroy it.
- The rural population is accelerating among families that have no interest in the rural economy but seek the suburban amenities of eastern Loudoun such as lighted ballfields.
- Landowners in the rural area when they wish to sell find the most profitable and convenient market for their acreage from buyers seeking to construct residential clusters
- The land values in rural Loudoun are many times cheaper than in the suburban areas which makes them ripe for alternative uses priced out of eastern Loudoun.
- The Loudoun towns once thought to be the location for public schools and facilities, and non-farm commercial activity are building out and pushing public facilities into the rural areas, such as Scott Jenkins Memorial Park.
This month, it will be the decision on lights for Scott Jenkins Memorial Park. The arguments are clear on one side those who want suburban amenities and lifestyle have marshalled their support for the lights. On the other side we have all the facts on how it will hurt farming, wildlife, birds, and lessen the dark sky many of us value highly.
No matter how our supervisors and the county staff may slice and dice the facts and figures or say this one decision is local, in the end it is a No to Lights if you believe in the vision of a viable robust permanent rural economy or a Yes to Lights if you believe the tide has turned and the non-farm residential demand for amenities will eventually take over the rural area and what was so precious to all at one time is now lost.
If a supervisor shares the vision of the Loudoun 2019 Plan, they will vote no for lighting Scott Jenkins Park as did a past board 10 years ago and the current Planning Commission did just months ago.
Now is their chance to drive back in the loose nail in the horseshoe, and restore faith that the vision of the Loudoun 2019 Plan will continue to be our guide.
Al Van Huyck, Round Hill