Happenings Around the Blue Ridge August 11, 2022
Update – MDOD Zoning Regulations
The public comment period for Loudoun County’s new Zoning Ordinance – including section 4.04—The Mountain Development Overlay District (MDOD) — ended July 18th. The County received more than 3,000 public comments.
As of this morning (Thursday 8/11/2022) the County planning staff has made available to the public a “clean” version of the proposed text of the zoning ordinance incorporating all of the changes the staff has made on the basis of the public comments. In addition, the staff has made available a “redline” version so that the reader can track the specific changes from the draft distributed in April.
These are the direct links
- Proposed draft rewritten Zoning Ordinance text (clean version) (PDF).
- Redline version changes between the April 2022 draft and the August 2022 draft (PDF).
Reviewing these documents will enable our readers to compare their input comments to the proposed draft text, determine what was addressed versus not addressed, and prepare public hearing comments.
As the next step in the process, the Loudoun County Planning Commission will conduct two public hearings on the draft ordinance. The first will be on Tuesday August 30th beginning at 6:00 PM. The second is not yet scheduled but will probably be in December 2022.
Although the final agenda for the hearings is not yet set. It is probable that both will address issues directly relevant to FBRM’s concerns with the MDOD. As of mid-August, the August 30th hearing will address procedures including enforcement, development standards and definitions. The second public hearing will directly address the MDOD regulations.
Peter Weeks, President of Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and representatives of other conservation organizations will be speaking at the August hearing in support of Friends efforts to strengthen the zoning protections against overdevelopment in the mountains. It is probable he will also speak at the second hearing.
According to Maura Walsh – Copeland, member of the Zoning Ordinance Committee (ZOC), the Committee’s final formal meeting on the draft zoning ordinance was held July 20th. A final report with ZOC’s recommendations on the draft ordinance will be delivered to the Planning Commission and available to the public in the agenda packet to be sent approximately 5 days before the August 30th public hearing. ZOC will continue to operate indefinitely as the public advisory board to the Planning Commission on all matters relating to zoning.
Currently the County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to review and adopt the proposed zoning ordinance sometime in late winter, early spring 2023
August 14 — Conversations in History: “Cornwallis’s Sarpints”: The Journey of British Prisoners of War through Revolutionary Piedmont — 3:00 PM 4:00 PM
From as early as the summer of 1776 to the fallout of the Siege of Yorktown in 1781, British, German, and American Loyalist prisoners of war were held in counties of the Piedmont and Shenandoah Valley. Join VPHA Public Programs Coordinator Ian MacDougall as we discuss the experiences of those captured in the hands of the American army.
Suggested donation $10 per person. No reservations required.
This program in the 2022 Conversations in History series is co-sponsored by NOVA Parks and the Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area.
Mt. Zion Historical Park40309 John Mosby Highway Aldie, VA.
August 28 — Discover Creek Critters in the Catoctin – 1:00 to 4:00 PM
Join the Purcellville Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, the Purcellville Tree and Environment Sustainability Committee, and the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s Stream Team on Sunday, August 28, 2022, from 1 to 4 p.m. to observe creek critters up close at the Chapman DeMary Trail in Purcellville.
The South Fork Catoctin Creek, part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, runs along the Chapman DeMary Trail. Creek critters that live in this stream include water penny larva, dragonfly nymphs, mayfly nymphs, crayfish, hellgrammites, and clams. Learn about the natural history of these and other creek critters, how to identify them, and how they can help us determine the health of a stream. Register online to attend this free event.
The entrance and parking for the Chapman DeMary Trail is behind the building at 205 East Hirst Road in Purcellville.
August 31 — Land Conservation and Management Workshop — 6:00 pm
The Lucketts Ruritan Club invites you to attend a land conservation and management workshop. The program will review conservation easement basics, available agricultural cost-share programs, and habitat restoration efforts within Loudoun County.
You will also have the opportunity to mix and mingle with area landowners. For more information or to reserve your space, please RSVP with Jay Frankenfield at firstname.lastname@example.org or (571) 918-4530 x 106.
43271 Spinks Ferry Road
Leesburg, VA 20176
September 7 — Generation NEXT Legacy Planning Workshop
Virtual– 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
If you have woodland, you have a legacy worth passing on. Passing your land and your stewardship values from one generation to the next takes work, planning, and education. Generation NEXT is an award-winning educational program that will get you started on the right path. This workshop provides free legal guidance and landowner stories about successful estate planning steps and strategies they have used.
Speakers include legal and financial experts experienced in estate planning as well as natural resource professionals and landowners. There is a fee of $25/individual; $40/family.
Alternative dates for the workshop are September 8, 14 and 15. All workshops are from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Register online at https://forestupdate.frec.vt.edu/onlineregistration.html or by mail to: Kathie Hollandsworth, 228 Cheatham Hall 0324, Blacksburg, VA 24061 with a check payable to “Treasurer – Virginia Tech”.
September 17 — Hawk Watch at Snickers Gap — 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Each autumn, hawks migrate south along the Blue Ridge. Join Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy at the Snickers Gap Hawkwatch, one of the best hawk-watching sites in our area. If the weather cooperates, we should see a wide diversity of birds of prey. Bring a chair if you plan to stay a while. Limit 20. Registration required. Contact Joe Coleman at email@example.com
Loudoun and Clarke Counties Cooperating to Address Problems at Routes 7 and 601
According to a recent article in the Winchester Star by Mickey Powell, Loudoun and Clarke Counties are working together to address the serious traffic problems at the intersection of Routes 7 and 601. There is often considerable traffic at that intersection, particularly on nice weather weekends as people are drawn to the Bear Chase brewery located just 500 yards south of the intersection on Rote 601.
A report put forth by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) in mid-June recommends: 1) Improving the westbound left turn lane on Va. 7, plus installing a right turn lane along Route 601 at the northbound approach to the intersection; 2) Installing “downstream crossovers” along Va. 7 west and east of the intersection and 3) improving the median and installing crossover pavement markings designed to make voluntary U-turns safer and more desirable for drivers.
According to the article the Clarke County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution to seek state funds to improve traffic flow and expressing support for the VDOT proposal. the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors is considering adopting a resolution supporting Clarke County’s efforts plus a resolution committing $500,000 of county funds toward the project.
Introducing FBRM Board Member Sarah Huntington
SARAH HUNTINGTON is a portrait photographer in the Northern Virginia/Washington DC area. Her studio is in Paris Virginia, an hour west of Washington DC. Sarah has been voted “Favorite Photographer in Loudoun County” for more than a decade in a readers’ poll in Leesburg Today. Sarah is a native of South Carolina and a graduate of the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC. With a strong background in fine art, she also shoots documentary and fine art photography. She shows and sells her work in her studio and at various galleries in the metropolitan area.
Sarah joined the Board of Directors of Friends of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the fall of 2020.