[21 Mar 2021 PWCBG mass email to county citizens]

Fellow citizens:   Please read the four short e-mails below sent 18-19 March from our three west county supervisors:  Jeanine Lawson (Brentsville), Peter Candland (Gainesville), and Yesli Vega (Coles).  They describe clear, immediate, and ever-growing threats to ordinary Prince William County citizens as the BOCS chair and her four lockstep Dem allies align completely with residential developers and their allies against virtually unanimous citizen opposition — Democrats and Republicans alike — who favor rural and historic preservation, less overcrowding of schools and roads, and no tax increases in the middle of America’s worst economic crisis in almost 100 years.

The emails below, especially the first and fourth, describe two easy ways to make your voice heard on these issues.  The second and third emails describe the problem. 

Remember that once rural and historic areas have been paved over, they’re gone.  Forever.  Let’s not pave paradise and put up a parking lot, especially where no road, school, and other infrastructure currently exists, which dramatically increases taxpayer costs.


Ralph & Kathy Stephenson
Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth
Only in the bright light of public scrutiny can the common good be secured,
while in darkness and obscurity the interests of the powerful and affluent prevail.

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Jeanine Lawson <jlawson@pwcgov.org>
Date: Fri, Mar 19, 2021, 5:40 PM
Subject: Two Easy Ways to Help the Rural Crescent

Brentsville District Supervisor Jeanine M. Lawson Two Easy Ways to Help the Rural Crescent

Here’s how YOU can help the Rural Crescent right now in two easy ways: 

County staff is soliciting citizen feedback about the county’s future as part of Comprehensive Plan, Pathway to 2040. There are two easy ways you can make an impact on these decisions.  

First, please take this short survey on priorities – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PWC_KickOffPoll

Be sure to pay attention to question #1:

Second, the staff is conducting 3 virtual meetings next week focusing on different parts of the county. Please sign up and participate in one of these sessions ASAP:      

Tuesday, March 23, 2021 (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM) – Meeting Focus: Eastern portion of the County. To register for this meeting, click this link:  https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIpce-srT4tHt058N1v76gBm9oabVCVmR6z      

Wednesday, March 24, 2021 (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM) – Meeting Focus: Central portion of the County. To register for this meeting, click this link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIvd-uhrz0vHdPBAZac7QQG6BwHNN1JPs1e      

Thursday, March 25, 2021 (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM) – Meeting Focus: Western portion of the County. To register for this meeting, click this link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJErce-opzwiGdBZeTGbD4tJMS4l940dsbXb                                                                                                            

I know that you must be feeling frustrated and angry with recent votes by the new majority of the Board of County Supervisors, which continue to defy the will of the people. I share those frustrations.

I strongly urge you to take the time to fill out the survey, participate in the meetings, make your voice heard, and share with your friends. 

Don’t let PWC plan YOUR future without you! Regards, Jeanine  

Questions? Contact us today 703-792-6190 or JLawson@pwcgov.org

This message was sent from jlawson@pwcgov.org

Jeanine Lawson
PWC Government
9400 Innovation Drive Suite 130
Manassas, Virginia 20110

——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject:The Rural Crescent Fight Continues
Date:Fri, 19 Mar 2021 16:00:31 -0400
From:Jeanine Lawson <jlawson@pwcgov.org>

Brentsville District Supervisor Jeanine M. Lawson

The Rural Crescent Fight Continues

Friends –

In another late night, 5-3 vote, Chair Ann Wheeler and Supervisors Angry, Bailey, Boddye, and Franklin approved the Independent Hill Small Area Plan that removes land from the Rural Crescent. What is especially troubling is 41 of those acres are planned for intense commercial use, such as a data center complex. Furthermore, this parcel is directly adjacent to Prince William Forest Park (PWFP), a 14,000-acre national park. We are fortunate in our county to house this treasure which is the second-most pristine forest in the United States. Within the park is Quantico Creek which is known to be the cleanest stream in the Chesapeake Bay region. 

Never before have I seen such a diverse coalition of bipartisan elected officials at every level of government and nonpartisan organizations unite to protect our greatest natural resource. Advocates to stop this destructive development plan include: 

— Hundreds of citizens
— Congressman Rob Wittman (R)
— Virginia State Senator John Bell (D)
— Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy (D)
— National Parks Conservation Association
— Sierra Club
— Prince William Conservation Alliance
— Coalition to Protect Prince William County
— Piedmont Environmental Council
— Mid-County Civic Association
— Lake Ridge Occoquan Coles Civic Association
— Virginia Native Plants Society
— Audubon Society

This strong coalition wrote letters, hundreds of emails and/or spoke at the hearing, including a letter from Congressman Wittman. Repeatedly, people expressed environmental concerns of expanding intense commercial development into our rural area, and especially next to PWFP. Although the National Park Service cannot give an official position, through a letter and in person testimony, the park superintendent conveyed concerns that the stormwater runoff will damage Quantico Creek. He also said a development of this size will introduce invasive plant species due to the clearing and grading so close to the park. These long- lasting effects will inevitably complicate the park’s ecosystem and cause habitat loss. Understandably, the Park Service fears the diminishing appeal Prince William Forest Park will have on its annual 400,000 local and national visitors, not to mention the economic loss. I think the most compelling statement in the park superintendent’s letter was “While the County’s Staff Report indicates that ‘A minor adjustment to the rural boundary is being made,’ the precedent of opening the Rural Area to more intense development could affect the park for decades.” Sadly, all of these concerns fell on deaf ears. 

Also nearby is Quantico Marine Base. During the public hearing, the base commander phoned in and made his concerns very clear. He warned us any development encroaching near Quantico Marine Corps Base could impact his ability to conduct large training exercises crucial to our national security. Concerns here were dismissed as well.

Chair Wheeler and Supervisors Angry, Bailey, Boddye and Franklin remained unmoved, disregarding the numerous red flags. This irresponsible vote not only chiseled away at the Rural Crescent, but it also opened the door to more commercial and industrial development in this protected area. To take it a step further, Supervisors Angry and Bailey intend to completely transform the rural area with data centers and high-density housing. 

My colleagues are attempting to justify their vote under a false premise. Their justification that the approved plan will permanently preserve 120 acres is flawed. The county cannot force parcel owners to preserve land, therefore their vote does not guarantee a certain amount of preserved land. As a matter of fact, when I met with the landowners last week, they clearly stated their plan is to develop the majority of the 160 acres for data centers. 

No surprise, there is already another proposal to put 800 acres of data centers directly adjacent to the Manassas National Battlefield, and I anticipate proposals for data centers along Vint Hill Road. I cannot emphasize enough the devastating effects these absurd development plans would have on our landscape, tourism, environment, and housing values in the rural area.   

The Prince William County Board of Supervisors has a responsibility to protect the environmentally rich, aesthetically beautiful, and historical portions of the county; as well as encourage economic development in areas already planned and equipped with infrastructure for such use. Prince William does not need to convert rural areas into industrial and commercial land use. We can have strong commercial economic development in the properly designated areas, as I have proven with the $4.5 billion dollars of investment that I have welcomed into the Brentsville District over the past 6 years. All of this was done without developing the rural area. I am once again disappointed in my colleagues who voted in favor of this plan, against the recommendations of nationwide and local environmental experts.


Link to Congressman Wittman’s Letter: https://supervisorjeaninelawson.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Wittman-letter-on-Prince-William-Forest-Park.pdf

Link to Prince William Forest Park Superintendent’s Letter: https://supervisorjeaninelawson.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Prince-William-Forest-Park-Letter.pdf  

Questions? Contact us today 703-792-6190 or JLawson@pwcgov.org

This message was sent  from jlawson@pwcgov.org

Jeanine Lawson
PWC Government
9400 Innovation Drive Suite 130
Manassas, Virginia 20110

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Supervisor Pete Candland <gainesville@pwcgov.org>
Date: Fri, Mar 19, 2021, 2:22 PM
Subject: Destroying Our Rural and Historic Areas

Dear Friends,

Once again, despite overwhelming opposition and the hundreds of emails from Prince William County residents, the Democratic majority on the Board of County Supervisors voted to strip out a portion of our rural area, this time, to pave the way to allow a new data center.

The vote last Tuesday, was the second vote this year to dismantle the long-standing policy in Prince William to protect our rural and historic areas. During that Board meeting, Supervisor Angry (D-Neabsco) even stated that the Rural Crescent had “expired”.

I want to thank Supervisors Lawson (R-Brentsville) and Vega (R-Coles), for standing with me and standing with the residents of our County. 

Below is a video clip from our last Board meeting where I reiterated my support for the Rural Crescent despite the recent personal attacks waged upon me. It is my sincere hope we will turn the tide of these recent setbacks and preserve our rural and historic areas for generations to come.

The policy positions taken by party line votes have disappointed many of us who have fought so hard to preserve our rural areas and to protect our natural resources. This should not be a partisan issue…in fact, on Tuesday, we were joined by residents of both political parties in opposing this project.

But it appears that despite the many campaign promises of other Board members that they would actually listen to the citizens of our County; they are intent on paving over much of our rural areas.

Make no mistake, this is coming to the Gainesville District. In fact, there is already a proposal to add almost 800 acres of data centers adjacent to the Manassas National Battlefield Park.

It saddens me to tell you that right now, those of us who enjoy the natural beauty of our County’s undeveloped areas are losing to politicians and developers who only care about increased contributions and cashing in on our area’s land. 

But as long as I’m still a Supervisor, the battle isn’t over. Giving up in this fight is not in my nature.

I will continue to represent the majority of our County who do not want to see overdevelopment and who don’t want to sell out our protected areas in pursuit of additional tax dollars to fund an ever-growing county budget.

Our natural and historic resources should not pay the price for Prince William County government’s spending addiction.

Chasing data center dollars while paving over our environmental and historical treasures is bad public policy. And while it may be easy to pursue the big money today, I believe that the Board would be selling out future generations in Prince William County.

Please know that I will not back down or rest until this fight is over.

Click here to view my comments:


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

——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject:Opportunities to Make Your Voice Heard on Land Use, Housing, and Mobility
Date:Thu, 18 Mar 2021 21:16:28 -0400 (EDT)
From:Supervisor Yesli Vega <colesdistrict@pwcgov.org>

Dear Neighbor,

Prince William County government says they want to hear from you.

As part of the County’s Comprehensive Plan Update, Pathway to 2040, they have started the process of planning your future as a resident for the next 20 years in the areas of land use, housing, and mobility.   First, you’re invited to take a short survey on these issues by clicking here – https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PWC_KickOffPoll.  

Second, there will be three virtual meetings next week focusing on the Central, Western, and Eastern parts of the county.  

·      Tuesday, March 23, 2021 (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM) – Meeting Focus: Eastern portion of the County 
·      To register for this meeting, click this link:  https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIpce-srT4tHt058N1v76gBm9oabVCVmR6z   

·      Wednesday, March 24, 2021 (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM) – Meeting Focus: Central portion of the County  
·      To register for this meeting, click this link: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIvd-uhrz0vHdPBAZac7QQG6BwHNN1JPs1e   

·      Thursday, March 25, 2021 (6:00 PM – 8:00 PM) – Meeting Focus: Western portion of the County 
·      To register for this meeting, click this link:  https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJErce-opzwiGdBZeTGbD4tJMS4l940dsbXb 

While recent decisions by your government and Board of Supervisors have made many of our residents question how much value their input truly has, we must not give up!   These issues will play a major role in the future of your quality of life here in Prince William County so I hope you’ll take the opportunity to fill out the survey, participate in the meetings, and make your voice heard.

For Prince William,
Yesli Vega yvega@pwcgov.org (703) 792-4620