In August of 2003, a member of the Citizens for Fauquier County had this to say about the new and unprecedented growth in housing projects here, “The New Baltimore development is one of the most egregious, because it calls for a seven-fold increase in the number of housing units — from 30 allowed ‘by right’ to 208 requested in the rezoning . . . This ‘new town’ is in the New Baltimore Service District, but it is totally out of character with the rest of New Baltimore, which has been developed on one-acre lots. The Board of Supervisors should look around and find that old stamp which says,’Denied.’ ”
Ten years later, the 208 housing units of 2003 have turned into over a thousand. Mega-growth won. Our leaders did not say NO, never found the denied stamp.
New Baltimore now houses the largest development in Fauquier County sustained by one of the largest home builders and land developers in the country. The impact of this development has been tremendous and ongoing. Just as the initial upheaval of an earthquake doesn’t end seismic activity, Brookside tremors are still being felt in New Baltimore. The deep disturbance in the rock crust of New Baltimore grows and spreads.
There are 15 Phases in the Brookside earthquake –it’s now in Phase 8. One thousand new homes on 1000 acres of land is just the first tremor, the first shock. The after effects that remain are:
Essentially, our Board of Supervisors has made it easy for this national developer to succeed and prosper in the county. True master planned communities build their own schools, libraries, and commercial centers so that everything is made available and convenient for their homeowners. They build roads before the houses are built—easy access/egress is assured. The burden does not fall on neighboring homeowners.
Two contributors to the Fauquier Free Citizen in October remarked on the fundamental value of choosing capable and well-intentioned county leaders for the Board of Supervisors. Three people can finalize a decision that serves well or grossly harms.
A reader named “Joe” advised, “When the local citizens hold our elected Supervisors feet to the fire, even local development LLCs funded by National Builders will shape their applications to meet the standards required to Keep Fauquier, Fauquier.”
We the voters of Fauquier County should not let earthquakes happen to us. We should be making earthquakes happen: Use the “denied” stamp when we go to the polls.