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    Opinions
    Editorial | Wednesday, Feb. 25
    EDITORIAL: The perfect flip-flop
    Borrowing an 18th century aphorism from a French philosopher – don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good – Loudoun County supervisors have made a bad decision about a 21st century problem.

    By approving the latest iteration of the Tuscarora Crossing development, they flipped-flopped their way to justifying policy that can only be characterized as haphazard.

    For a few years now, supervisors have been of one mind: reject residential rezonings that cost more to support than the tax revenue that most residential developments generate. While some suggest the position is closing the barn door after the horse has bolted, supervisors have nonetheless favored commercial developments that pay the bills for an expanding county infrastructure.

    Tuscarora Crossing, 250 acres of strategically situated property between the Village at Leesburg and Kincaid Forest southeast of Leesburg, has tested the resolve of supervisors.

    Since 2012, the project has changed with the winds of growth – from all residential to less residential to mixed-use, roughly half of which is commercial or industrial.

    Developer Hunter Lee never embraced the industrial direction, starting with a residential project of 800 homes. County planners had other ideas. They contended that the county’s Comprehensive Plan calls for primarily business uses and a smattering of houses on the industrially zoned site, which includes a utility plant, sewer plant and quarry.

    Last week the project morphed back to residential with the developer reducing residential units to fewer than 500. As part of a $40 million proffer package, the developers also agreed to extend Crosstrail Boulevard through the property, dedicate 15 acres for a school or other county uses and to contribute $100,000 to two area playgrounds.

    That was enough to flip Shawn Williams, the vice chair of the Board of Supervisors and the swing vote. Williams was joined by Supervisor Gerry Higgins (R-Catoctin), whose district covers the Tuscarora Crossing property, Chairman Scott York (R-At Large), Suzanne Volpe (R-Algonkian) and Janet Clarke (R-Blue Ridge).

    A perfect decision? Depends on whom you ask.

    “At the end of the day, they didn’t let the perfect be the enemy of the amazing,” said an attorney for the developer.

    “While nothing is perfect, it’s a much better application that it started out,” said Higgins.

    But opponents contend the 5-4 decision to turn revenue-positive commercially zoned land to revenue-negative residential development will cost the county millions.

    “I hear my colleagues all the time, all the time – ‘We have to increase the commercial tax base so we can hold the tax rate low,’” Ralph Buona (R-Ashburn) said, “and then some of you [supervisors] are going to turn around and vote for this application.

    Buona said he couldn’t justify converting the best industrial plot of land in the county to a project to build 500 homes.

    That’s just one of our concerns. For decades now, county leaders have flip-flopped over the best ways to stimulate and manage growth. That’s brought problems such as overcrowded schools, congested roads and a tax structure that’s insufficient to meet needed costs and services.

    Loudoun needs a new Comprehensive Plan, a road map for decision-making about growth into the future. Until then, it excuses flip-flop decisions that exacerbate our current problems.

    Editorial | Wednesday, Feb. 18
    EDITORIAL: The reporter and the chicken thief
    Editorial | Wednesday, Mar. 25
    The women in the room
    Editorial | Wednesday, Mar. 18 1 comment
    EDITORIAL: The tragic flaw
    Editorial | Wednesday, Mar. 11 1 comment
    EDITORIAL: Conduct the public’s business in public
    Editorial | Wednesday, Mar. 4 2 comments
    EDITORIAL: Diversity must come out from the shadows
    Editorial | Wednesday, Feb. 4 5 comments
    EDITORIAL: How would you spend $2 billion
    Editorial | Wednesday, Jan. 28 3 comments
    EDITORIAL: State song is off-key
    Editorial | Wednesday, Jan. 21
    EDITORIAL: The bellwether and the bubble
    Editorial | Wednesday, Jan. 14
    EDITORIAL: Extracting signals from noise
    Editorial | Wednesday, Jan. 7 1 comment
    EDITORIAL: New year requires new approach to region’s economy
    Submit a Letter
    COMMUNITY VIEW: In praise of Loudoun’s dirt roads
    Wed., Mar. 25 | 05:39 PM
    COMMUNITY VIEW: The “Clueless” scenario
    Wed., Mar. 25 | 05:14 PM
    1 comment
    Prejudice is byproduct of nation’s melting pot
    Wed., Mar. 25 | 05:01 PM
    1 comment
    A “perfect” look? Or unhealthy example?
    Wed., Mar. 25 | 04:59 PM
    County misses the links in its transportation plan
    Wed., Mar. 18 | 01:45 PM
    1 comment
    Underlying factors lead to crime
    Wed., Mar. 18 | 01:43 PM
    1 comment
    The perceptions of Muslims in community must change
    Wed., Mar. 11 | 10:00 AM
    1 comment
    Effects of vaccines require study
    Wed., Mar. 11 | 09:45 AM
    2 comments
    COMMUNITY VIEW: Holding tax rate is responsible position
    Wed., Mar. 11 | 09:30 AM
    Diversity decisions
    Wed., Mar. 11 | 09:00 AM
    A richness of culture emerges
    Wed., Mar. 11 | 08:29 AM
    Out from the shadows
    Wed., Mar. 11 | 08:00 AM
    COMMUNITY VIEW: Political ethics, public service are compatible
    Wed., Mar. 4 | 09:30 AM
    A good choice for circuit judge
    Wed., Mar. 4 | 09:00 AM
    Tax rate obscures underfunding schools
    Wed., Mar. 4 | 09:00 AM
    COMMUNITY VIEW: Tuscarora Crossing rezoning defended
    Wed., Mar. 4 | 08:30 AM
    1 comment
    Community has made strides, but discrimination, racism linger
    Wed., Mar. 4 | 08:00 AM
    3 comments
    COMMUNITY VIEW: Protect waters while we can
    Wed., Feb. 25 | 10:00 AM
    What’s in a name? A trademark fight
    Wed., Feb. 25 | 09:45 AM
    Residents willing to pay for quality education
    Wed., Feb. 25 | 09:30 AM
    4 comments
    Politics, indiscretions and the context of a tweet
    Wed., Feb. 25 | 09:00 AM
    The way of water: It flows with tenacity to just resolution
    Wed., Feb. 25 | 08:30 AM
    Middleburg Charter School directors challenge report of teacher exodus
    Wed., Feb. 25 | 08:00 AM
    COMMUNITY VIEW: Human trafficking is problem in NOVA
    Wed., Feb. 18 | 09:45 AM
    2 comments
    COMMUNITY VIEW: Legislation helps utilities, not ratepayers
    Wed., Feb. 18 | 09:30 AM
    1 comment
    COMMUNITY VIEW: Helicopters add third dimension to property rights
    Wed., Feb. 18 | 09:00 AM
    Dear Loudoun family: find a good tax accountant
    Wed., Feb. 18 | 08:30 AM
    For retirees, problem is worse
    Wed., Feb. 18 | 08:00 AM
    1 comment
    OpEd: Budget season madness
    Wed., Feb. 11 | 10:00 AM
    3 comments
    A favorite place changes
    Wed., Feb. 11 | 09:45 AM
    5 comments
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