Happy Halloween! I hope all of you came through the storm safely as I know it has not been easy for many of you. Please do not hesitate to contact my office if we can be of assistance.
I would like to clarify a statement from my first newsflash regarding generators and make sure you know it is not safe to have a generator inside of any structure, even a garage with the garage doors open. Information on generator use can be found by clicking here.
November 6 is election day! To find your polling place, click here. The polls are open from 6 am to 7 pm.
Here are a list of the roads that are still closed in Loudoun:
- Rt. 746S (Loudoun County) from Beaverdam Bridge Rd; Turkey Roost Rd; Rt. 733E/W (Loudoun County) to Jeb Stuart Rd; Rt. 630E/W (Loudoun County) Motorists can expect potential delays due to hurricane.
- Rt. 779W (Loudoun County) at Airmont Rd; Rt. 719N/S (Loudoun County) Motorists can expect potential delays due to hurricane.
- Rt. 782N (Loudoun County) from Lickey Mill Rd; Rt. 762E/W (Loudoun County) to W Main St; BUS VA-7E/W, BUS VA-7E (3 Round Hill/Purcellville/Loudoun/Hamilton); BUS VA-7W (3 Round Hill/Purcellville/Loudoun/Hamilton), BUS VA-7E (Loudoun County) Motorists can expect potential delays due to hurricane.
- Rt. 662W (Loudoun County) from Janney St; Rt. 806E/W (Loudoun County) to Loyalty Rd; Rt. 665N/S (Loudoun County) Motorists can expect potential delays due to hurricane.
- Rt. 746N (Loudoun County) from Beaverdam Bridge Rd; Turkey Roost Rd; Rt. 733E/W (Loudoun County) to Jeb Stuart Rd; Rt. 630E/W (Loudoun County) Motorists can expect potential delays due to hurricane.
- Rt. 663W (Loudoun County) from Berlin Tpke; Tollhouse Rd; VA-287N/S to Quarter Branch Rd; Rt. 855E/W (Loudoun County) Motorists can expect potential delays due to hurricane.
- Rt. 779E (Loudoun County) at Airmont Rd; Rt. 719N/S (Loudoun County) Motorists can expect potential delays due to hurricane.
- Rt. 782S (Loudoun County) from Lickey Mill Rd; Rt. 762E/W (Loudoun County) to W Main St; BUS VA-7E/W, BUS VA-7E (3 Round Hill/Purcellville/Loudoun/Hamilton); BUS VA-7W (3 Round Hill/Purcellville/Loudoun/Hamilton), BUS VA-7E (Loudoun County) Motorists can expect potential delays due to hurricane.
- Rt. 662E (Loudoun County) from Janney St; Rt. 806E/W (Loudoun County) to Loyalty Rd; Rt. 665N/S (Loudoun County) Motorists can expect potential delays due to hurricane.
We are also aware that there are still folks without power and are dealing with basement flooding and other damage. Patrick Henry College in Purcellville is opening its on-campus shower facilities for those who lost power during the storm. The use of these showers is offered at no charge between the hours of 7am and 9pm daily. Interested persons must check-in at the information desk located in the main lobby of The Barbara Hodel Center. Please call Campus Safety at 540-441-8888 with any questions. Please bring your own towel and toiletries. Facilities will remain open to area residents until power is restored to the area.
Greene Mill Preserve Community Voice Hub Meeting – I will be joined by Delegate Randy Minchew and Blue Ridge District School Board Representative Jill Turgeon to address community concerns. The meeting will take place Thursday, November 8, 2012, at 7:00 PM in the Greene Mill Preserve Clubhouse, 41080 Solti Way.
Kirkpatrick Farms HOA has invited Supervisor Letourneau and me to speak at the November Kirkpatrick Farms HOA meeting as half of Kirkpatrick Farms is in the Dulles District and half is in the Blue Ridge District. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 14th at 7 pm in the Kirkpatrick Farms Clubhouse, 25520 Summerall Drive in Aldie. We look forward to seeing everyone!
Lyme Disease & Deer Management Update
Lyme disease is a critical issue facing many citizens that live in Loudoun County and I am continuously working to achieve the goals that I laid out in the 10-Point Plan to Mitigate Lyme Disease which Supervisors Reid and Higgins co-sponsored .
In addition to multiple meetings I have had with experts in the area of Lyme disease, I attended a Deer Summit a couple of months ago which included presentations by epidemiologists, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF), and Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority. DGIF made it clear that the most effective method for reducing and preventing tick borne disease, is reducing the deer population by expanding hunting. They cited the effectiveness of the expanded hunting policies of Fairfax County which extend to organized hunts within Fairfax public parks as well as successful reductions of the deer population in other jurisdictions.
I am putting forth an item at the November 7th meeting to ask the Board to direct staff to issue a request to Loudoun County property owners who are interested in having their property considered for deer hunting (name, address, acreage, hunting parameters). This call out to citizens willing to offer up their land for hunting would be posted on the county website as well as issued in a press release. The landowner’s data would be sent to DGIF where it would be used to create a hunting database that would facilitate hunting opportunities, especially to professional, trained sportsmen. This is a new program being considered by DGIF and is in the formative stage. If you are a landowner in the Blue Ridge District who might be interested in offering your property for hunting, then please send an email to my office at Janet.Clarke@loudoun.gov. If you provide this information, either county or DGIF staff may contact you in the future for more details on whether you qualify for consideration for this possible new program.
Natural Gas Compressor Station Expansion - I had a number of people from the community of Greene Mill Preserve ask for my help because Dominion Cove Point, a natural gas company which operates the Cove Point Pipeline, is planning to increase the compression capacity of either their Loudoun Compressor Station and/or Fairfax’s Pleasant Valley gas compressor station, both operated by Dominion Cove Point, in an effort to transport greater quantities of natural gas to their terminal port on the eastern shore. This increase would take the compression capacity from the present 12,000 horsepower up to a minimum of 29,000 - maximum of 34,000 horsepower.
It is important to note that there is a significant amount of development still taking place within a 1 mile radius of this facility. Currently, there are at least 180 homes within ½ mile from this station and 410 homes within one mile. And the communities of Creighton Farms, The Grant at Willowsford, Greene Mill Preserve, and Red Hill Manor, are still being sold and built out. There is clearly a better location for this expansion, which is the alternate site being considered: the Pleasant Valley Compressor Station in Fairfax County. This station is surrounded by the Elklick Nature Preserve and there are no homes within ½ mile of this compressor station.
For this reason, I brought forth a resolution at the October meeting opposing the expansion of this compressor station recommending that the expansion take place at the Pleasant Valley Station. The motion also included a request for County Staff to review land use policies in regard to hazardous materials facilities. Delegate Randy Minchew also opposes the expansion of this station in Loudoun. The Resolution passed 9-0. To view the legislative item, Click here.
Power Line Maintenance - Thousands of miles of power lines run throughout Western Loudoun and are vulnerable to damage from the trees that blanket the countryside. Obviously, this situation is very difficult for power companies to manage and clearing trees from around all powerlines is not a feasible task as many trees within the fall line of power lines are on private property.
Dominion Power and NOVEC have been extremely helpful in holding community sessions regarding this issue and in working with folks in the community who do want the trees removed from their property in an effort to prevent outages.
Another issue is the long miles of power line circuits between substations and homes. Both Dominion and NOVEC have been working with the community to reduce the number of miles for some of these long circuits. Most recently, I worked with Dominion and Chairman York’s office to reduce the 14 mile circuit in the vicinity of Sam Fred Road in the Middleburg area down to 5 miles! This project was completed the first week of October and should reduce the number of outages in this area. I would appreciate any feedback from those who were affected by these chronic outages. NOVEC is currently working a similar issue in the Hillsboro area that we hope will be resolved soon.
Click here to view Dominion Power’s tree trimming and vegetation management information. Click here to view to view NOVEC’s vegetation management information.
Buffalo Trail Elementary is anticipating adding an additional 200 students in the fall due to the level of development occurring in that area. There are four developments in the process of being built in the Blue Ridge District that are in very close proximity to Buffalo Trail which consist of over 2,000 residential units (Marbury, Seven Hills, Kirkpatrick West, and the Greens at Willowsford). These developments were approved years ago and are now concurrently underway. Because of the increase in housing demand in Loudoun County, Buffalo Trail will be at capacity sooner rather than later. The School Board is very aware of the future school needs in this region and is working with the Board of Supervisors to procure school sites in an effort to get schools built as needed.
Next year, Seven Hills Drive is slated for extension to the section of Braddock Road that lies within the Blue Ridge District. The Seven Hills Development is located next to Buffalo Trail Elementary (both in the Blue Ridge District). The construction of this road will go a long way in improving access, safety and walkability to and from Buffalo Trail Elementary. I am also working with Blue Ridge School Board Representative Jill Turgeon, LCPS staff, and VDOT to ensure road improvements are in place as soon as possible, including the proffered signal at the intersection of Gum Spring Road and Seven Hills Drive. Please contact my office should you have any questions about development and associated road infrastructure in the Blue Ridge District.
Fortunately, ES-21, the Grant Perkins Site, will be open in 2014 in the Dulles South area next to Lunsford Middle School and a new middle school site, Dulles South Middle School (MS-7), was just acquired in the Blue Ridge District on the south side of Braddock Road, east of Peach Orchard Lane in Aldie (near the Greens at Willowsford) and is slated to open in the fall of 2019. There is also an elementary school site allocated next to Champe High School - Dulles South Elementary School (ES-28) - which is slated to open in the fall of 2015.
Woodgrove High School/Fields Farm Complex- Since I took office 10 months ago, I have been working with the community, county, and LCPS to find solutions to mitigate recurring issues surrounding the infrastructure at Woodgrove High School. I am particularly focused on the roads at this time, as that is under the county's purview and School Board Representative Jill Turgeon is focused on the school site items, as that is within the school's purview. I am working with county staff, VDOT, and Upper Loudoun Youth Football to construct a second entrance which connects to the back end of the current entrance to the Fields Farm Complex. The new exit would be located on Route 690, on the north side of the bridge which traverses the Route 7 Bypass. I also have gone on record that I believe no more schools should be built with only one entrance and exit. This is not the first time that traffic problems have occured when there is only one entrance to a school site!
Loudoun Valley High School Improvements - This item will be on the ballot on November 6, so support these much needed renovations to this 50 year-old school! Click here to view the proposed renovations. If this measure passes, work is anticipated to begin summer of 2013. Some of the showers haven't been renovated since the1960's and the stadium has no locker rooms or even restrooms for the players! There are makeshift closets with books and other items split up throughout the school because there is not enough consolidated storage space. In addition, there are large cracks in the hallway floors and severely deteriorated restrooms - some with only two stalls each.
Future School Openings
ES-16 Moorefield Station Elementary School (Broadlands/Moorefield area). The School Board sets the boundaries which are not yet determined.
ES-22 Discovery Elementary School (Farmwell/Ashburn area). The School Board sets the boundaries which are not yet determined.
ES-21 Grant Perkins Site (Dulles South area next to Lunsford Middle School). The School Board sets the boundaries which are not yet determined.
MS-6 Trailside Middle School (Ashburn off Gloucester Parkway, next to Newton Lee Elementary School). The School Board sets the boundaries which are not yet determined.
ES-28 - Dulles South Middle School (Near Champe High School). The School Board sets the boundaries which are not yet determined
HS-6 Loudoun Valley Estates II Site (next to Rosa Lee Carter ES). The School Board sets the boundaries which are not yet determined.
HS-8 NCC Site (In Lansdowne next to Belmont Ridge Middle School). The School Board sets the boundaries which are not yet determined.
MS-7 Dulles South Middle School (West of Willowsford Green on Braddock Road. The School Board sets the boundaries which are not yet determined.
As the Blue Ridge District comprises 45% of the total land mass of Loudoun County, it's not surprising that my office is in continuous contact with Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) in order to solve road and traffic issues. Here is a partial list of transportation related issues that are currently affecting area residents:
Crosswalk at Ryan Road and Summerfield Apartments - There are many families trying to cross Ryan road to visit the Brambleton Town Center. I have requested information from VDOT about the possibility of adding a crosswalk and signage to make this a safer crossing for pedestrians.
Williams Gap Road - Both ends of this road present safety hazards that I am working to mitigate. In response to constituent concerns, I have notified the Sheriff's department and they now have a greater presence along William’s Gap Road, especially at the intersection of Williams Gap and Woodgrove Road. On the western end of William’s Gap Road, I am working with our Office of Transportation (OTS) and VDOT to explore the possibility of constructing a right turn lane at the intersection of William’s Gap Road and Route 7 at the base of the Blue Ridge mountains. This is the only road off of westbound Route 7 without a deceleration lane and with a posted speed of 55 mph and not even a road shoulder, it is difficult, as well as dangerous, for people to turn onto, especially for those hauling trailers. There is also very limited line of sight to turn onto Route 7 from Williams Gap Road.
287/7 Purcellville Exit – At the September 25 Purcellville Town Council meeting, VDOT presented the results of a traffic study aimed at identifying solutions to traffic congestion and safety issues at the Route 7/ Route 287 interchange. Geary Higgins and I both attended this presentation. Various near-term and long- term improvements along Route 287 and the Route 7 ramps were presented.
Gum Spring Road South of 50 and Braddock Road - This road is the dividing line between the Dulles and Blue Ridge districts. We have received a number of concerns about safety issues in this area, particularly around Buffalo Trail Elementary School due to the large amount of residential construction, the road realignment, school traffic, and the speed limit of the road. I sent a request to Sheriff Chapman to have a deputy direct traffic during the morning crunch time and now the school traffic is moving much more quickly and safely. I would like to thank Sheriff Chapman, Dulles District Supervisor Matt Letourneau, Blue Ridge District School Board Representative Jill Turgeon and Dulles District School Board Representative Jeff Morse for working together to find short and long-term solutions to this safety issue.
Parks and Recreation
Hal & Bernie Hanson Park Master Plan – The Board approved the Hal and Berni Hanson Regional Park Master Plan at their October 3, 2012 business meeting. This park is located in the Blue Ridge District off of Evergreen Mill Road next to Brambleton, near the Willowsford and Green Mill Preserve communities. Click here to view the Master Plan. This fantastic park includes soccer and baseball fields, a cricket field, fishing pond, nature center, riding area, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) playground, and so much more! The approved master plan layout will assist in the development of the special exception application, which is required to allow the park use and athletic field lighting on the property. The special exception application, which requires the approval of the Board of Supervisors, will also be reviewed by the county's Planning Commission. The special exception process will require two public hearings to be conducted, where additional public input regarding the park will be gathered prior to special exception approval and the development of the site plan for the park. I will let you know the dates of the scheduled Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors' meetings regarding review of the Hanson Park Special Exception will be.
There are three Loudoun County Adult Day Care Centers that are open weekdays from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm in Purcellville, Ashburn, and Leesburg. They provide a safe, social environment with therapeutic activities for the elderly and offer much-needed respite for caregivers. To find out more information, click here.
Auxiliary Unit Program - The Sheriff's Department is looking for citizens 21 years and older for their Auxiliary Unit program. Auxiliary personnel provide assistance during public service events and assist law enforcement personnel with duties such as foot and vehicle patrols, traffic control, driver’s license and sobriety check points, child ID events, and other public or ceremonial events at festivals, shopping centers, parades, safety fairs, and community events.
To find out more information and to complete an application, click here.
Fire and Rescue - There are 18 total Fire and Rescue Stations in the County with seven in the Blue Ridge District. There is another station planned for the Blue Ridge District in Kirkpatrick Farms, Station 26, which will be built in the next few years and nine if you count the Mt. Weather Fire and Rescue Station. Mt. Weather Fire and Rescue, Company 21, is maintained by all-career staff, this company watches over the Mt. Weather area in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center. Company 21 is a Loudoun County Fire and Rescue Company simply for operational sake, as the staffing is maintained by FEMA, and to respond to mutual aide calls, the units must be released by FEMA prior to response. Their staff fills in when needed in the western end of the county for the Purcellville, Round Hill, and Philomont stations.
The Arcola Fire and Rescue Station, Company 9, will soon be moving from their current location to their new building (both in the Blue Ridge District) just off Belmont Ridge Road: the Brambleton Public Safety Center. Next summer the Neersville Fire and Rescue company is slated to move from their current location in the Catoctin District to a new building under construction in the Blue Ridge District.
We are still working to find a new location for the Aldie Fire and Rescue Station. Two qualified parcels of land were presented to the Finance, Government Services, and Operations Committee who gave direction to staff to continue looking for more optimal land parcel options. The Fire Chief stated that they could make either of those parcels work if necessary.
It is important to note that these stations are run by career and volunteer staff and are always looking for more volunteers. Many people do not realize that volunteers work hard to raise money to run their operations for our safety so support your local station’s events such as BBQ and pancake breakfast fundraisers!
There are so many amazing experiences our diverse county has to offer. From concerts to baseball tournaments, from pick your own farms to farmers markets, from quaint, historic towns and villages to vibrant town centers and biking on the W&OD, there is so much to do in Loudoun County. For an extensive list of what's happening in Loudoun, go to Visit Loudoun, a wonderful resource for residents and visitors alike.
Check the towns and villages websites for the great events happening in Western Loudoun!
Brambleton's Small Business Saturday
Saturday, November 24
Town Center Retailers
Ringing in Hope Walk, Run and Fun
Monday, December 31, 12:30pm
Brambleton Town Center Plaza
Register today: www.ringinginhope.com
Town Center Holiday Shopping Spree
November 15 - December 7
Town Center Retailers
Enter to win a $1,000 shopping spree at Brambleton Merchants and a $1,000 donation to a local school!
Winner will be announced December 8
There are many farmers markets in the Blue Ridge District, including the Brambleton Farmers Market, which is every Sunday in October, located in the parking lot behind Fox Cinema. Go to www.loudounfarms.org for more information on farmers markets in Loudoun.
Post Hurricane Sandy Update: I sent a couple newsflashes during the storm which provide links and contact information for you to check on outages and report problems. Once again, please contact me if you need further assistance.
And finally, don't forget to turn your clocks back by one hour on Sunday!
In the Spirit of Service,
Vice Chairman of the Board
Blue Ridge District Supervisor
Loudoun County Board of Supervisors