by Michael Ragland, The Gainesville Times

15 Sep 2006, p. A4

“I recently learned from the Prince William Conservation.Alliance [that] the Board of County Supervisors, within the two months between May 16 and July 17, approved last-minute requests for deferrals submitted by the applicant for [the] Brentswood proposal, Vulcan Quarry and Davis Ford Middle School.

“The Brentswood proposal, led by Compton and Duling, is for 6,800 homes between Linton Hall Road and the Nissan Pavilion.

“The Vulcan quarry is in the Rural Crescent.

“According to the Prince William Conservation Alliance, these proposals have elicited significant community opposition, recommendations of denial from the Planning Commission, and were deferred by the Board of County Supervisors at the last-minute request of the applicants and without a public vote.

“In addition, proposals for Brentswood and the Davis Ford Road school were deferred after the public hearing was advertised. Brentswood was deferred only hours before the advertised public hearing was scheduled to open and the school proposal was deferred one day before the advertised public hearing.

“As the Prince William Conservation Alliance states, ‘As a result, there has been considerable confusion regarding the public hearing process, citizen participation in development proposals and the transparency of government processes.’

“It’s politics as usual. The typical supervisor is beholden more to developers than to his or her actual constituents. There is no recourse to this unethical behavior of the Board of County Supervisors.

“No matter what development proposals are rejected by the Planning Commission, what proposals are deferred at the last minute without a public hearing, etc., they’ll always find a way to appease the developer.

“With the developmental proposals deferred, the developer gets time to make changes or think through plans so that when he resubmits there is greater chance of the proposal being passed by the Board of County Supervisors.

“In addition, it prevents the Board of County Supervisors from looking as bad to the electorate …”