For over five decades they have controlled this county with their “Three Wise Supervisors” approach which has generated over 500 pages of Zoning Ordinances and a Comprehensive Plan that even they now want to ignore.
According to the Comprehensive Plan, which is the PEC plan for so-called “Smart Growth” that they crow about at every opportunity, we have Service Districts where the growth is supposed to occur. However every time the citizens propose an idea for growth in a Service District, the PEC mobilizes the troops to turn out en masse to oppose it and one has to ask why; isn’t this what they want?
We have understood for a long time exactly why they oppose growth in the northern part of the county, but why all this opposition to growth in the Opal Service District, far from the fox chasing fields of Paris and Upperville?
Supervisor Sherbeyn claims he has received “many, many emails the last 3 days, all identical to the one below, with only one exception, the name at the bottom has been different. All names and addresses are from Warrenton and North to Upperville.”
Subject: Don’t Approve the Opal Gateway Proposal
October 7, 2013
Fauquier County Board of Supervisors
Dear Fauquier County Board of Supervisors,
I am writing to you today to ask that you please deny the Opal Gateway development proposal. The minor changes that were made to the proposal since it went before the Planning Commission did not reduce the negative impacts this project would have on Opal. Sprawl along Rt. 29 is the last thing Fauquier needs right now — it comes with infrastructure costs and transportation impacts that are extremely difficult to mitigate.
Even VDOT has said that this development would make traffic worse at the Rt. 17 and Rt. 29 intersection and on nearby secondary roads. We should focus taxpayer investments on the existing Opal Service District (like water and sewer infrastructure) rather than subsidize the development of even more agricultural land.
Sincerely, [name and address]
This form letter contains a number of incorrect statements as Supervisor Sherbeyn points out; “The project is not on Route 29. The Opal Gateway project is not being subsidized by the county or its taxpayers. [The Opal Gateway Project] has offered half a million dollars toward the completion of the Opal public water system that will benefit all citizens. They have also offered $287,000 toward the road infrastructure in Opal, and they have removed the Travel Plaza (truck stop) at the request of Opal residents.”
According to county numbers, the Opal service district is the only service district in Fauquier that is a positive tax generator, and Sherbeyn sites estimates that “[at build out] the Opal Gateway will generate an additional 10 million dollar a year positive tax flow for our county.”
Imagine how far 10 million would go toward funding county services (school programs for example), and without an increase in demand for services that a new housing development brings. The project will generate new business and hundreds of jobs, something our county sorely needs.
This means that all citizens of Fauquier should be interested in this project, but so far the opposition is the loudest voice.
Sherbeyn also points out “It will give all of us in the Heartland a place to spend our money inside of our county not in Culpeper, Prince William and Stafford.”
The PEC will turn out a room full of people well before the beginning of the meeting on Thursday, to oppose the desires of the Citizens of Opal.
If you wish to be heard on this issue (or any other for that matter), you should be there early.
The meeting starts at 6:30 pm in the Warren Green building, 10 Hotel Street in Warrenton.
If you are as tired as we are of certain special interest groups dictating what happens in our county, then please turn out to let our Supervisors hear your thoughts.
If you could care less, then stay home and watch American Idol; but don’t gripe when the Board of Supervisors has to make hard decisions between your child’s favorite school activity and Emergency Services because the opposition killed another revenue enhancing project in our county.