Letter: Al Van Huyck, Round Hill

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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 
  3. 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.
  4. 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

12 thoughts on “Letter: Al Van Huyck, Round Hill

  • 2022-06-07 at 5:34 pm

    The BoS will vote in the direction which result in the biggest benefit to themselves or that of their special interests.
    Hamilton doesn’t need stadium lights. Not by a long shot.

  • 2022-06-07 at 8:37 pm

    I tend to agree with Mr. Van Huyck. I thought it was wonderful when I read that Pat Nixon illuminated the exterior of the White House in 1970, so passers-by could see it at night. But why disturb rural Loudoun by lighting Scott Jenkins Memorial Park? After all, the park isn’t the White House. I say leave rural Loudoun in its natural state as much as possible. Happy Pride Month Loudoun!

  • 2022-06-07 at 9:38 pm

    Here we go again with the complaints about lighting on ball fields. This argument always cracks me up and reminds me of the time one gentleman wanted the county to measure the amount of light that would be reflected off the grass at Haske Field in Purcellville.
    Or how about the time that the then HOA President, and future BOE President, Eric Hornberger pulled a fast one on and submarined Dulles Little League, telling them that the lights that THE LEAGUE was willing to pay for at Crittenden Park were a “done deal” and there was no need to bring any supporters to an HOA meeting. He then stacked the meeting with naysayers whose opposition ranged from “I’m tired of hearing run Billy, run! from my house” (which that person purchased knowing there was a ballpark right next door); or “I just know men’s softball leagues will soon be playing there”- never mind that the fields were little league size at 200′, so there was no chance any adult softball would be played there. Another person said “there will be kids running all over the streets at night”- um, no, ma’am, the oldest kids in little league are 12, and their parents frown upon them running all over the streets.
    So, the crybabies won and lights were not installed at Crittenden Park. To appease the Little League, the county BOS, in its infinite wisdom, decided that lights would be installed at the park near Pipeline Plaza and Discovery Elementary school- paid for by the taxpayers at well over $200,000 plus the monthly bill.
    Of course, the fields that they added lights to is in terrible shape, with no irrigation system, no concession stand and not enough parking. Also, the lighting of the elementary school field made ZERO sense considering the field is tiny and nobody uses it at night. WASTE OF MONEY! No wonder Hornberger’s political ambitions went down in flames.

    One part of the argument against lights at Haske, Crittenden, and now, at least according to the letter writer is that the lights would “light up the sky”- well, no, that’s not true and hasn’t been true for a very long time. Sports lighting these days uses cones to push the light onto the field of play only, the light does not light up the sky or the blind the neighbors who live nearby. If you walk 15 feet away from the field, you will be in darkness. The lights are on timers or can be operated remotely, so they can be turned off when not needed.
    During the Fall, little leagues are unable to complete more than a few innings due to darkness and that is the only time the lights are used. Since little league is played during the school year, those kids (12 and under) need to be home early, so the games are over by 8:30 pm, yet people find reasons to complain and I find it appalling. We need more kids playing outside, not sitting in their houses playing on their phones.

    • 2022-06-08 at 12:59 pm

      Clearly, you have never seen the Virginia Revolution Sportsplex or Heritage High School light up the night in Leesburg. I feel sorry for the people in those big Grenata Preserve homes who paid a very dear price for their house and then had the Sportsplex move in and emit an unbearable level of light. Heritage is so bright I can see it easily from my house miles away.

      Further, the original owners of the Sprotsplex (I don’t know who owns it now) would leave the lights on for no real reason. Residents complained to the Board but the Board stated there was nothing they could do to force them to turn off their lights.

      • 2022-06-09 at 10:08 pm

        The lights at Heritage are ancient, along with those at the older schools in LoCo, like Broad Run, Loudoun County, Loudoun Valley, etc. Those lights do not have the cones on them that the newer parks have. Any new lights are directed at the field.
        The Virginia Revolution Sports Complex also has very old lighting and it is privately owned, so if they left the lights on, that is on them and there really was nothing the board could do. Scott Jenkins Park would be run by PRCS, so the lights would be turned off accordingly as PRCS stations a “Facility Supervisor” on site in the evenings.

    • 2022-06-18 at 10:31 pm

      Kids will be running the streets if the Democrats continue running the County and keep trying to emulate big cities where the kids don’t know who thief parents are.

  • 2022-06-08 at 6:00 am

    The BOS previous policy, supported by the author, to cram everything the landed gentry did not want in their viewshed into the western towns did more damage than a lighted ballfield ever will. now that the Towns are crammed full of what the elites did not want to see, the only open space for those dastardly lighted ball fields for the children are in the very areas the elite will have to see. irony.

  • 2022-06-08 at 9:05 am

    One of the many things I love about living in Western Loudoun is the star filled night sky. Keep the lights out and the stars on.

  • 2022-06-08 at 9:23 am

    Field lighting for existing ballfields, the purpose of which is to provide children more access and opportunities to safely participate in youth sports, is part of a nefarious agenda to “destroy” Western Loudoun County. Ummm, ok.

  • 2022-06-08 at 9:54 am

    You are correct, but the Democrats don’t care. In fact, if they can ruin the more Republican western Loudoun, they will delight in the destruction they cause as they have delighted in the destruction they have caused elsewhere.

    • 2022-06-08 at 4:48 pm

      Thank god someone finally has the courage to call out the Deomcrats on their plan to destroy the nation through ball park lights.

  • 2022-06-08 at 1:01 pm

    See the destruction caused by Randall/Briskman and Turner at Bles Park.

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