———- Forwarded message ———
From: Supervisor Pete Candland <gainesville@pwcgov.org>
Date: Fri, Jan 22, 2021, 11:34 AM
Subject: Historic Vote Leads to Decline of the Rural Crescent

View this email in your browser View this email in your browser Dear Friends:
I last emailed everyone to let you know about the proposed development (Preserve at Long Branch) that was coming before the Board and express the immense adverse impacts that the approval of this project would have on the rural areas of the County due to the precedent it would set. I’m incredibly grateful that so many of you reached out to the Board and expressed your opposition to this project. 

However, five of the eight members of the Board chose not to listen to the voice of the residents and, led by the Board Chair, dismissed the concerns and efforts of so many in opposition, and approved the project. 
These five members, who together make up the Democrat majority on the Board, may portray the approval as just another nice residential community that, although in the Rural Crescent, will have a park that will allow people to walk around. However, the truth is that the precedent has now been set to allow other developers to bring water and sewer out to our rural areas and will set the stage for more massive proposed housing developments in our previously protected areas.

Make no mistake, this will be the first step toward approving more housing and even data centers in our rural areas.

Hundreds of Prince William County residents shared their opposition to this project, but unfortunately, these citizens were ignored, their concerns were discounted and mocked, and the developers across the area now know there are five Board members who they know will help them bring the end to the Rural Crescent. 

Click here to listen to Chair Wheeler dismiss citizen input and my response:
As a reminder, these are the same members of the Board that, earlier in 2020, opposed my resolution to defer residential development in the County while we update our planning documents to better protect the environment, clearly define affordable housing, and to enact a more balanced approach to our land use. 
I’d like to thank Supervisor Jeanine Lawson and Supervisor Yesli Vega for standing with me and the vast majority of citizens who wanted the Board to protect our rural areas.
For those of you who may not know, the Rural Crescent has become the “overdevelopment firewall” in Prince William County. It has helped protect our community from the out-of-control development that we all witnessed in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Many Prince William County citizens moved here because they didn’t want to be in an area with the same traffic as Fairfax, but now the majority of the Board has dismissed those concerns. 
The Rural Crescent is not just about preserving the beauty of our area or taking steps to protect our environment or about smart planning that builds communities around public transportation centers – even though it is about all those things. The Rural Crescent helps protect our community from more overcrowding in our classrooms, more traffic on our roads, and helps control the annual increase in our tax bill. 
Unfortunately, we witnessed certain Democrats on the Board of County Supervisors who had expressed their support for the Rural Crescent in the past while running for office, have now flipped – much to the delight of home builders across the Commonwealth.
This comes as a surprise to many voters in the County because when Chair Wheeler first ran for the Board she signed the Rural Crescent pledge – promising to protect the Rural Crescent from this very type of development. Even Supervisor Boddye, again while a candidate not that long ago, professed his support for the Rural Crescent at a Board of County Supervisors stating, “I fully support preserving the Rural Crescent as it currently stands.” 
Unfortunately for the citizens of Prince William County, their dedication to our rural preservation had an expiration date.
But I promise you, this is not the end of the fight to protect all the citizens of this County from the impacts of overdevelopment. You’ve got my commitment that I will continue to do everything I can to protect our rural areas.
I gave you my word nine years ago and my promise is just as good now as it was then. 

Pete Candland, Supervisor
Gainesville Magisterial District

                 7001 Heritage Village Plaza, Suite 210 | Gainesville, VA 20155
(703) 792-6195 | Gainesville@pwcgov.org