by Jeremy Borden, The Washington Post

14 Nov 2011

“Prince William County Supervisor-elect Peter Candland (R-Gainesville) says he wants to improve county schools and successfully touted conservative principles on his way to victory last week.

“But it’s his stance on rural area growth that may get the most scrutiny when Candland takes office. Following the county’s explosive growth, many Gainesville residents are keen on maintaining a rural area in the county’s western end, saying that the rural beauty beyond the Beltway is what has attracted many newcomers to Prince William.

“Candland says that he will protect the area, known as the Rural Crescent.

“The new supervisor might be tested on his philosophy on managing growth in the near future. Board Chairman Corey A. Stewart (R-At Large) said in an interview with The Washington Post that he plans to introduce a policy next year on the concept of ‘clustering,’ a new approach to managing the county’s rural area.

“As it stands, the area can be carved up into 10-acre lots and developed.

” ‘That, I believe, succeeds at nothing,’ Stewart said. ‘I think that we need to look at better ways of preserving very large areas of rural ground as well as promoting more commercial office space and high-end retail. We have to take the emotion out of this debate and give it a cold, hard, objective look.’

“Stewart said having a hodgepodge of 10-acre lots doesn’t make sense. Better, he said, to have a development on 100 acres, and ‘cluster’ 30 acres of development together while preserving the other 70 acres as open space.

Read more about Stewart’s plan and Candland’s philosophy here.


See earlier iteration of Chairman Stewart’s “cluster” development idea: Supervisor Covington’s 2006 cluster housing proposal