Happenings Around the Mountain September 9, 2021
BOS Public Hearing on AT&T Tower
On Tuesday September 14th the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors (BOS) will hear public comments on the proposed AT&T Tower at Short Hill. We urge all readers to write to their County Commissioner in opposition to the Tower and to attend the meeting in person if possible.
At its June 22, 2021, meeting the Loudoun County Planning Commission denied AT&T’s request for a special exception zoning to build a telecommunications tower on the ridge of Short Hill Mountain.
Round Hill Appalachian Trail Festival — September 11 and 12Following 2,100 miles of mountain ridge lines, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) crosses 14 states, from Maine to Georgia. It’s the longest and oldest marked footpath in the country.
In the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the town of Round Hill, VA, sits between two A.T. centers, Bears Den to the south and Blackburn to the north.
The Town is inviting everyone to join it for the 2021 trail festival, to celebrate the natural beauty of the A.T. and learn about protecting it. Round Hill’s partner organizations — Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy, Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia Master Naturalists, Piedmont Environmental Council – will have displays about hiking, trail conservancy and more.
You can listen to hiking experts and enjoy live music—plus kids’ activities, food, and beverages. On Sunday (9/12/2021) you can go on a “hands on” hike, brush up on your trail cooking, test out a camping hammock and backpacking tents, learn to dehydrate your own food, listen to tales from the trail….and much, much more. Please come visit our booth.
Bluemont Fair – September 18 and 19
Bring your family and friends to the 51st annual Bluemont Fair and take a day to wander through the 200-year-old village nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Browse the artisan crafts and enjoy local wine, beer, and music all while steeped in the history and traditions of our area. Grab a bite to eat or attend the archeological demonstration while the children play free games in the children’s fair or visit the petting zoo. Breath in some mountain air, have fun, learn something new and start checking off that holiday gift list all for less than the price of a movie – kids 9 and under get in free.
Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains is a sponsor of the Bluemont Fair – Please come visit our booth.
Goose Creek Family Festival – September 19th Celebrate 50+ years as the Goose Creek Association on September 19, 2021, at the Historic Aldie Mill — Noon to 4:00 PM. The festival will include a local artists’ art show and sale, wildlife and environmental exhibits, children’s games, pumpkins, vendors, food trucks and music. Admission is Free!
Piedmont Environmental Council Webinar – September 23rd The webinar — 6:30PM to 7:30 PM – is the third in PEC’s Quarterly Keynote series. It will feature a conversation between PEC president Chris Miller and Campaign Legal Center founder and president Trevor Potter, a nationally recognized expert on campaign and election law.
Together, Miller and Potter will explore how current developments in election law and process could impact the Piedmont region and discuss ways all can be better-informed and effective advocates.
For information about joining the webinar call James Bussells, Development & Events Assistant at email@example.com or (540) 347-2334 ext. 7007
This event is free for PEC members. Suggested donation of $10 for non-members.
Caring for Community through Crisis: Latinx communities’ responses to climate change, covid, and more — October 14th Join Audubon Naturalists Society for a candid conversation that explores how Latinx communities nationwide and in the Washington, DC region are responding to environmental, health, and economic crises while looking ahead to the future. Live interpretation to Spanish available. This virtual event from 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm is free with registration. Register: https://anshome.org/events/nlc-hhm-2021/
Conservation Easement along Snickersville Turnpike According to an August 30th article in Inside Nova the Land Trust of Virginia recently announced that a 78-acre property known as “Airmont Meadows Court” along Snickersville Turnpike in Bluemont, has been placed into permanent conservation easement. The easement is possible “due to the generosity of property owner, Chuck Kuhn,” the trust said in a news release. The Kuhn family owns JK Moving.
Originally subdivided into 24 lots with plans for a public road, the property will now be erased from the plans before Loudoun County and never see more than one primary and one secondary residence, the release said.
“Placing Airmont Meadows Court under easement furthers our interest in protecting open spaces throughout western Loudoun County. We are thrilled to add this property to our portfolio with the Land Trust of Virginia and conserve this unique part of the world,” said Chuck Kuhn.
Airmont Meadows Court is the 207th conservation easement recorded by the Land Trust of Virginia.
In a somewhat related note, Snickersville Turnpike has recently been declared officially eligible for listing on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. Thus, Snickersville Turnpike joins the network of unpaved roads in Loudoun County in this precedent setting designation for roads. This designation is typically reserved for buildings or specific sites the designation of both the turnpike and the network of unpaved roads is a tribute to both the unique historic nature of the area and to the effort and creativity of all involved in securing such a designation.
$60 million budget short fall – The budget staff July report to the Loudoun County Board Supervisor’s Finance Committee contained some surprising and alarming news. Data center FY2022 revenue will fall an estimated $60 million short of projections. This reduces data center revenue to a level below downside scenario projections of October 2020. The budget staff recommended increasing the County debt to fill this ‘one time’ gap. However, this recommendation was not accepted by the Finance Committee.
The budget staff also indicated a possible deficit of $85 – $150 million in the preliminary FY2023 budget, even if the County maintains the current real property tax rate. The budget staff indicated that the County may need to take a more conservative approach to budgeting revenue and to increase reliance on real property taxes.
The Budget and Finance Committee of the Loudoun County Preservation and Conservation Coalition (LCPCC) has long cautioned that the County budget is overly dependent upon data center revenue and that should that revenue decline, it will put tremendous pressure on property tax revenue which would in turn but pressure on the County to increase development in the west.
LCPCC’s Budget and Finance Committee has issued a note to Couty Board with four recommendations on managing the ‘digital resource curse,’ upgrading the budget review process, adopting guidelines for data center development, and reinforcing fiscal risk management.
Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains
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