URGENT UPDATE from the Campaign for Loudoun's Future

50,000 Houses all the way to the Blue Ridge?
"If you've ever thought about actively joining the fight for our quality of life, now is the time."

In this alert:
1. Today @ 1:00 PM on WAMU 88.5
2. Time is short - Please act!
3. Ways You Can Take Action
4. Background
5. Thanks for Coming
6. Message from Supervisor Burton

1. Today on WAMU 88.5
Listen to the transcript of Friday's Metro Connection, on WAMU 88.5, for a special focus on Loudoun and what has happened this week.
Listen in Real Audio

2. Time is short - Please act!
50,000 more houses could be a reality by Monday. After three years of open public debate, the previous Board of Supervisors put zoning in place in 2003 to moderate growth in our county -- the fastest growing in the nation. They did this to give us taxpayers and commuters a break from the impacts of rampant development. However, the majority of our current Board of Supervisors appears to be supporting a huge increase in the number of houses in Loudoun.

If you've ever thought about actively joining the fight for our quality of life, now is the time.

3. Ways To Take Action
Because you entrusted us with your email address, you are the only citizens that we can contact in time to make a difference. Please consider taking the following actions and sending this message on to six of your friends and neighbors:

1) Please write the Board of Supervisors today :

2) Write the Board and ask them to restore the agenda-setting duty to the County Chairman, who was elected at-large and represents all of us. Read the recent Washington Post article that discusses this issue.

3) Attend and speak at the next Board of Supervisors business meeting: 9:30 AM, County Government Center in Leesburg [directions].



What You Can Do
It's critical that you speak up now on what has happened.

1. Email the Supervisors TODAY.
Ask the Board to direct the county attorney to ask the Virginia Supreme Court to rehear arguments on the zoning ordinance case. This petition for rehearing must be filed by Monday, 3/14.

2. Speak directly to the Supervisors!
9:30 am on Tuesday, March 15, at the County Government Center in Leesburg. [directions] If you would like to speak, or submit a statement for someone to read on your behalf, please contact us at [email protected].

3. Write a Letter to the Editor.
  • At the Washington Post and the
    Post's Loudoun Extra
At the local Loudoun Papers

4. Ask Questions, Share Your Ideas.
or e-mail Andrea McGimsey at [email protected]

In the News:

Loudoun Slow Growth
WAMU 88.5 FM, 3/11/2005

Listen online!

VA Supreme Court Ruling Surprise
The Connection, 3/10/2005

Washington Post, 3/10/2005

No Vote Set On Ousted Zoning
Washington Post, 3/10/2005

Loudoun Growth Forces Skirmish
Washington Post, 3/9/2005




4. Background

The VA Supreme Court has thrown out a large part of the regulations put in place by the last Board of Supervisors to somewhat moderate the amount of housing growth in Loudoun.  [Read the Press Release from the Campaign]

This decision -- based on a technicality relating to the wording of the newspaper notice in 2002 -- has huge implications. Though the ruling pertains to western Loudoun, by adding 50,000 more houses (County Revised General Pan, chapter 7, "The Rural Policy Area")-- all buildable "by right" with no developer proffers allowed -- it would affect all of us. The area would require enormous (unfunded) infrastructure (at least $2 billion) not including roads, thus:

• Driving up our taxes;
• Greatly increasing commuter traffic; and
• Causing increased competition for funds for our schools and other vital services.

5. Thanks for coming!

Over 200 of us gathered in response to the VA Supreme Court decision this past Tuesday. What a great night! We had over a dozen citizens speak to the Board of Supervisors, as well as a vocal rally complete with a rousing speech and a second performance of "Stand by Our Plan." Please check our news page to see media coverage of the event.

Andrea McGimsey
Campaign for Loudoun's Future

mail to [email protected]


6. Message from Supervisor Jim Burton

Dear Neighbors,

Since we first heard the news of the Virginia Supreme Court's decision, our situation has been fast-moving and dynamic, changing daily, if not hourly. But to the best of my current knowledge, this is the state of affairs as I understand it.

Yesterday afternoon, Vice Chairman Tulloch informed Chairman York, Supervisor Kurtz and me that he would not place our proposed motion to Re-advertise and Re-enact on the agenda this Tuesday.

I am extremely disappointed and extremely concerned with his decision and have asked him to reconsider it and add our proposal to the agenda.

Just after receiving Vice Chairman Tulloch's decision, I received a telephone call from a reporter. This reporter had heard from the opposition attorneys that this Monday was the deadline for filing a Notice of Intent to Appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court. This was the first that I had heard about such a deadline.

After speaking with the County Attorney it is my understanding that unless we file this Notice, the County cannot appeal the Supreme Court's ruling. I immediately asked the County Attorney to poll by telephone the rest of the Board as to whether they wished to file this Notice. The answer I received back was that a majority of the Board did not care to file such an appeal.

I am extremely disappointed that a majority of the Board would preemptively cut off any and all opportunity to appeal the Court's decision before we even meet in Executive Session to discuss the ramifications of the Court's decisions and the County's alternatives. This meeting of the Board will not occur until next Tuesday (although it was originally scheduled for yesterday afternoon). My understanding is that if we file the Notice, we do not have to actually file an appeal in thirty days if a majority of the Board decides against appealing -- but if we do not file the Notice on Monday, all opportunity of appeal is lost.

My current understanding is that the reversion to A-3 does not occur until after the County receives judgement from the Circuit Court. As I understand the process, the Supreme Court will send a written judgment to the Circuit Court within 30 days after the deadline for filing a Notice of Intent to Appeal provided the County does not file such a Notice. At that time, Judge Horne (the Circuit Court judge assigned to the lawsuits) will either write an Order to Implement the Supreme Court's judgment or invite each side to submit draft judgments from which he can choose or combine. Once Judge Horne's Order to Implement is issued, land zoned AR-1 and AR-2 reverts to A-3.

Filing a Notice of Intent to Appeal delays that reversion during the thirty days between its filing and the deadline for actually filing an Appeal. Filing an Appeal further delays that reversion while the Court decides whether or not to hear the appeal. If the Court does decide to consider the appeal, the reversion to A-3 might take months. Thus, by deciding not to file the Notice of Intent to Appeal, the Republican Majority would ensure the reversion to A-3 next month.

I queried Vice Chairman Tulloch today and explained my rationale that filing the Notice of Intent to Appeal keeps the Board's options open. Based upon my argument, he agreed to query the Majority once again. As of this writing, I have not heard their decision, but I am cautiously optimistic.

I leave any interpretation of these events to each of you individually. The entire situation troubles me and I am grateful to the reporter who brought this issue to my attention.

Best regards,

Jim Burton


Please Act
"If you've ever thought about actively joining the fight for our quality of life, now is the time."

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Together, We Are Fighting to Protect the Quality of Life in Loudoun

Andrea McGimsey
Campaign for Loudoun's Future

mail to [email protected]

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