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Loudoun County Opens Door to Growth In South

Discussion in 'General Chat Forum' started by Pats_fan, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. Pats_fan

    Pats_fan Former Resident

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    Interesting article in today's Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55336-2004Nov16.html

    The first few paragraphs of the article are duplicated below:

    How about an analysis from our "resident" South Riding member? (Or others...)
  2. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson New Member

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    One house per acres is not so bad. It beats 3 on an acre.
  3. Barbara

    Barbara Member

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    Hey, Pats Fan. This topic is a retread of the one floated in the other thread on the CPAMs. This is a companion piece in the Post to Jim Burton's latest constituent e-mail, both of which tell just enough of the story to open the doors to great speculation of wrongdoing where none exists. This lawsuit is years old, and the county (as well as Burton) are d***ed lucky the Dawsons were willing to settle. Burton's e-mail has a lot of the missing innuendo, which tells a lot of untruths about how his board was so busy trying to get the infrastucture needs of "South Riding, Brambleton, Stone Ridge and Kirkpatrick" met that they simply couldn't approve any more greedy developers like the Dawsons (who have lived here a lot longer than Burton and run a working buffalo ranch--great meat!--AND whose proffers, part of the $52M turned down in the consortium of infill denied on 659, would have filled in some crucial gaps in the network).

    What is wrong with that picture? Well, let's start with the fact that when the 659 developments were denied (even though staff said they met or exceeded the requirements of existing law--gee, they disregarded the recs of the PROFESSIONAL STAFF? Oh, the horror.) nobody lived in Brambleton, Stone Ridge, or Kirkpatrick. None of those communities had even put up posting signs or tree save tape, let alone broken ground. As for attending to the infrastructure needs of South Riding, that is a real hoot. Come on over some time and I'll show you the tent that houses the Hazmat response team. That bond passed in 99, and the board just sat on the land approval to build it, for over three years. That's sure attending to infrastucture, huh?

    Do you know why the firehouse site and the school sites were languishing in zoning limbo for three years of the preceding board's term? Because there weren't enough people to justify expenditures on infrastructure. And no more development could be approved until there was infrastucture, right? Can you say Catch-22? Never mind that there were thousands of people, with 500-700 home sales per year. The PEC still refers to Dulles South as "an area prematurely opened for development." A little late for that, don't you think?

    Back to the lawsuits: this was the one that charged Burton's board with conspiracy, based on the documents that began being published by the PEC and their adherents before the 99 election even occured, which subsequently turned into near-verbatim visioning sections of the Comp Plan they passed. My understanding of the reason the lawsuits were non-suited multiple times is very different from Mr. Burton's. He seems to hold the opinion that it "proves" the suits had no merit. I tend to believe that a deliberate strategy was being followed, which involved allowing the case to proceed to Discovery (at which point the opponents must share what they've got for their respective case positions) and then non-suiting "without prejudice", which means they can refile again. IOW, they went to the point of getting the county's ammo, then backed off and gathered more of their own. This was the case in which the Transition Team was deposed, so since a judge ordered the depositions, you tell me about the potential legal merit. The Transition Team of a paid PEC official with a degree in "Environmental Psychology", a founder of VSS (the PEC's PAC), the then-chair of the Planning Commission (who lost the VSS endorsement to York last time), and the head of the Citizen's Committee for the Historic Cavalry Battles of Aldie Middleburg and Upperville (did you know it is now documented that the route 50 corridor was the biggest battle of the Civil War? Now why didn't they teach that in school when I was a kid?) who is also a bigwig in the route 50 traffic calming. No agendae there, eh? If it had gone to trial where it could very easily have lost (like three out of four enviro overlay districts did in court already), they could have built anyway with NO infrastructure contributions.

    Sorry to go on so long, but if anyone's interested I'll tell all I know in digestible bites if possible. This is no more than a retread of the same old fables of "smart" growth. Remember, 1500 new neighbors each month--how many will believe the partial truth?

    The main fact of the matter is that Dulles district was not supposed to exist outside the control of the power base of the old Mercer district--Burton's old district. Since redistricting separated South Riding from Middleburg, it was politically imperative for the old power structure to get a western advocate elected in this district. Didn't happen, did it? Ergo, attack Snow, attack Dawsons and so on. Much more to the whole truth than anyone will ever get out of Burton or the Post.

    Barbara Munsey, from South Riding.
  4. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    see.. this is why politics is stupid. 90% of barbara's post is about politician vs politician, instead of results and how to achieve them.

    and people wonder why 'politics' is a bad word

    -Steve
  5. Barbara

    Barbara Member

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    Precisely my point, Flynnibus: it is ALL politics and hence no merit and little truth in the article or the private article (Burton's e-mail). But by George, it sure makes Burton's look like the inside skinny when the Washington Post "proves" it the very next morning!

    Barbara Munsey, from South Riding.
  6. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    In order to avoid any sense of impropriety, Snow should have recused himself. From the looks of it, the only reason he didn't was because the vote would have lost on a 4-4-1 tie !!

    Politics be damned, it just looks wrong, and I wonder what an ethicist would have to say in the matter.



    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
  7. Barbara

    Barbara Member

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    Neilz: Issue of Roma Dawson as volunteer on his campaign addressed on defunct CPAM thread. Lawsuit predates passage of Comp Plan, because BoS denied the application for not conforming to a plan that was supposedly still in the process of being formulated, even though documentation suggests otherwise. Identical verbiage in both Post article and Burton e-mail that even if "there is no legal conflict" but a moral and ethical one won't wash either, because Burton voted as his campaign contributors wished regardless of how his constituents lobbied him more often than not. As well as appointed them to county positions. Read this week's Easterner: county atty was consulted on the issue, and advised that the settlement was pretty routine. Of course it looks wrong: that's the whole point! Tell just enough pieces of truth to those who haven't the time or the inclination to dig through the labyrinth, and ooh evil naughty. If you looked through the campaign contributions in the 99 elections, and compared them to the voting records (and how those votes have been holding up in court), it would curl your hair.

    Barbara Munsey, from South Riding.
  8. marielaveau

    marielaveau Voodoo Queen

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    One would need a very large flow chart, complete with diagrams, a key, breakout charts and an instructional booklet in order to keep up with all this stuff!
  9. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    No.. you missed the point. I don't care about the article or its role in 'manipulating' or whatever.. its the fact your 'history lesson' on the topic just discusses and shows that government is all about insiders vs each other verse doing a job.

    -Steve
  10. Barbara

    Barbara Member

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    MarieLaveau: right you are. I know several people around the county who do that very thing when trying to see a project come to fruition! Another object lesson in picking one's battles.

    Flynnibus: You think so? Certainly your right to feel that way. Tell me, how is a uniform "NO" a good answer to any policy decision? That is the answer that has gotten us all where we are today, and there seems to be fairly uniform agreement that it isn't working. Roads aren't the only answer, but we do need some improvements. Schools and firehouses need to be built and maintained. Attrition is not the answer, and getting mired in the politics of "waaa, I'm not calling the shots anymore" does as little as the buffer-zone response of "NO". The point you may be missing is that the old insiders created the mess through "NO", and the new power bloc is going to be smeared every step of the way for trying to deal with the very real and deliberate mess they were handed (reluctantly--it wasn't truly messy enough, because we still have an economy).

    It can sound peurile (and it is), but it can be a take-no-prisoners game and that's how some play it.

    Ergo, don't believe everything you read in the funny papers. Or from me, if it makes you feel better. But it isn't bad advice to say make sure you (not you specifically) have all your facts/history/connections straight before you jump into any major issues. Just my opinion and experience.

    Barbara Munsey, from South Riding.
  11. flynnibus

    flynnibus Well-Known Member Staff Member

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    honestly.. the issue and problems seemed got lost in all the turf battles. 'yes' or 'no' aren't even the options.. it seems like no one can address the issue without crawling through all the politics.

    Not singling out this issue.. just commenting on how the information you posted highlights how broke our political system is. We should have a bunch of robots running the place ;)

    -Steve
  12. neilz

    neilz New Member

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    Frankly, if it came to a petition on Chairman York's idea of doing away with 'all at once' BOS elections, I'd put my name down. Just to eliminate the radical swings every 4 years would be a relief.

    This would actually allow people to concentrate on their own area rather than have to listen to a cacaphony as 16 different people try to get out their opinions. Half the time people aren't sure who's running in their own district. I didn't include the chairman, as that position would still be an 'at large' type of seat.



    Neil Z.
    Resident since 1999
  13. FL Native

    FL Native New Member

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    Can anyone identify what "CPAM" is? Is it another site, forum, or thread? As a relatively new resident, I'm still trying to educate myself on the development issue, and would like to read some old posts on the topic.
  14. Barbara

    Barbara Member

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    Flynnibus, I don't know if the system's broke. As long as the system consists of citizen participation in government by elected reps, we're going to have people voting and raising cain based on a wide variety of (mis)information. They have the right to vote whether they know what they're voting on or not. They have the right to raise cain whether they know what they're talking about or not. Anyone has the freedom to go on feeling or fact (or propaganda). Certain things could probably be done fine by robots. But any community/county/etc issue is going to have input or lack thereof--look at the hospital, or Clyde's. Or whether we get road improvements, or schools, or parks or...

    NeilZ, something I find funny (not ha ha, but I wish) about the current manufactured controversy is the fact that the activists in Blue Ridge want to control the other districts, but expect total hands off on their own territory. Can't have it both ways, and this isn't Blue Ridge county. Neither is our area any longer the Mercer district, and it's killing them. I agree that many people know nothing about who's running, who they line up with etc.

    That is why I get so exercised by the propaganda from the "waaa" people. You've been here long enough to remember that the previous BoS negotiated the purchase of the Shellhorn and Fields properties (source of any number of current controversies) in multiple closed sessions throughout their first few months in office, with the former BR supervisor as real estate broker, and spent more than a million over list price to do that in secret. I wish they'd republish the county appointments lists from early 2000, and the PDR lists so people who are getting bombarded with all this **** could see that the people screaming about closed sessions and cronyism and paybacks right out of the gate in 2000 appointed campaign contributors to county boards and commissions, and awarded millions in PDRs to campaign contributors.

    I think staggered terms are worth discussing, as well as another idea he (York) finally discussed which was adopting a new form of county government more suited to today's reality than the 19th century Reconstruction Constitution issue form we currently have. All it has done is perpetuate the fiefdom mentality and good ole boy net that has landed us where we're at. We most certainly need to change forms before the concept of a police department is discussed any further--it used to (and still does) scare the heck out of me when the old BoS would say "we need a police department with a chief we can appoint who is directly responsible to us". Ever hear of the sheriff before Simpson, who borrowed the assault vehicle from the Greenway-builder's son (who also had his own private SWAT force, supposedly to make it available to the county govt in time of need--this was back in the Larouche days), and kept it parked up at the govt center? Yeah, we sure do need whoever is currently holding the reins to have their own private police chief! Yikes.

    Barbara Munsey, from South Riding.
  15. Barbara

    Barbara Member

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    FL native: CPAM is the abbreviation for "C"omprehensive "P"lan "AM"endment. There was a thread (whose name I don't remember) back before the topics categories got divided, which began with a news article on the CPAMs proposed, and also referenced the Dawsons. I'd like to read it again, because the new article hoopla is a retread of that whole thing, and is being recycled because a vote took place. I don't know how to search this site for old topics, but if somebody can post a link you could read the discussion there.

    Barbara Munsey, from South Riding.

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