The matter of the Catesby Farm minor special exception for an events and banquet facility has generated a substantial public response over the course of the application, now for more than one year. I offer this summary, below, to provide clarity on the position of the community:
In March 2016, the community of residents and neighboring landowners presented a petition signed by 90 persons all standing in opposition to the application and requesting their elected representatives, the Board of Supervisors, to deny the request based on the inappropriateness of the proposed commercial use—a use totally unrelated to any agricultural, historical, traditional or residential use that is the generations old pattern in this most conserved area of our county.
After additional months of scrutiny of the evolving application, timely relevant, responses expressing opposition were submitted by numerous individuals.
Two community meetings were held, one in March, on site at Catesby and attended by county staff and neighbors, and one eight months later in September with Supervisor Tony Buffington and staff and attended by more than 60 near neighbors, at the home of an adjacent landowner and resident. At both meetings, the community expressed, unanimously, its opposition to the proposed use.
At the public hearing on October 12, thirty-five persons spoke in opposition to the proposal, nearly twice that number rose to express their opposition.
As of November 30, six local and regional organizations, The Land Trust of Virginia, The Goose Creek Association, The Mosby Heritage Area Association, The Unison Preservation Association, The Piedmont Environmental Council, The Loudoun Coalition for Preservation and Conservation (comprised of 24 independent organizations) have made written statements to the Board of Supervisors and/or their membership, describing in detail the reasons for request of denial of the application. These organizations are representative of their memberships with thousands of active members who support and expect vigorous action be taken on their behalf to protect the integrity and resources of the Piedmont, including rural western Loudoun County.
The above, described “Body of the Community” has, for generations, invested life, passion, and personal wealth whether abundant or scarce, in this mission. As a result, they have created and preserved an authentic landscape and vibrant traditional environment that is a haven for wildlife, a harbor for residents, and a magnet for visitors. Members of this body have, over time, served in state legislatures and on past boards of supervisors, commissions, or councils and shaped, together with the support of the community, the laws, regulations, and ordinances that have provided the conditions under which this unique resource can exist and thrive. There is a wealth of wisdom and experience in this community that understands and cherishes so rare a place.
We beseech members of the Board of Supervisors to recognize the impending magnitude of their decision on December 6 and vote to deny SPMI 2015-0018, Catesby Farm. Join with us, your constituents, to preserve rural Loudoun for all and for the future.
Bonnie L. Mattingly
Catesby Neighbors Against SPMI-2015-0018
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