Citizens for Balanced Growth

Category: County Supervisors’ (and selected candidates’) (Page 2 of 21)

Board of County Supervisors Votes 20 Sep To Consider Beginning Development of Rural Crescent

“Board looks at new ways to preserve Rural Crescent” by Hillary Chester, Prince William Times,  30

Board of County Supervisors remove Bi-County Parkway from county comprehensive plan in 4-3 vote; former supporter Stewart absent; Principi claims ‘dirty politics’; Candland calls vote ‘big win’ for citizens

by Jill Palermo, InsideNOVA.com, 18 March 2016

Bi-County Parkway presser
[Pictured:  “Alan Johnson (left) and Philomena Hefter, both residents on Pageland Road in Gainesville, hold a banner that says ‘Say “No!”  to Tri-County Parkway’ during a 2013 protest. Behind Johnson is state Senator Dick Black (R-13th).”]

 

“The controversial planned Bi-County Parkway was dealt yet another blow this week.

“In a surprise move Tuesday, the Prince William County Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 3 to remove the future 10-mile roadway from the county’s long-range planning blueprint, known as the ‘comprehensive plan.’

“The vote was unexpected because the board verbally agreed March 8 to open a public hearing on matter Tuesday but delay their vote until April 5 because Chairman Corey Stewart, R-At Large, said he would be traveling for business and would not be able to attend the March 15 meeting.

“But those plans apparently changed when the road’s opponents realized they had the votes needed to extract the Bi-County Parkway from the comprehensive plan.

“The vote split mostly along party lines, with Republican Supervisors Ruth Anderson, Occoquan, Maureen Caddigan, Potomac, Pete Candland, Gainesville, and Jeanine Lawson, Brentsville, voting to nix the road, while Supervisor Marty Nohe, R-Coles, joined Democratic Supervisors John Jenkins, Neabsco, and Frank Principi, Woodbridge, in voting against it.

“Candland said Thursday several supervisors believed the parkway had been debated long enough and that many believed their voices  ‘would be diminished’ if the vote were delayed.

“ ‘It was time we addressed it,’ Candland said.  ‘The vote was a big win for the citizens of Prince William County who have been held hostage by this poorly designed Bi-County Parkway routing plan.’

“Principi said he tried to protest the vote by reminding his fellow supervisors of their public statement March 8 promising to move the vote to their first meeting in April.

“But County Attorney Michelle Robl advised that because the board never voted on the delay, the verbal agreement was not binding.

“ ‘That is just dirty politics,’ Principi said Thursday. ‘It’s just not good for our community.’

“The parkway, which has been on state and local long-range transportation plans since the 1980s, would extend Va. 234 north to U.S. 50 in Loudoun County. The road is planned to be a four-lane, limited-access parkway that would ease trips between Prince William and Loudoun counties and open up another access point to Dulles International Airport.

“The road is considered key to accommodate current and future population growth and as well as economic development. For that reason, it is widely supported by business and development groups.

“But the road is also planned to skirt the western edge of the protected Manassas National Battlefield Park and is considered a threat to the county’s rural crescent, where residential development is limited to one home per 10 acres. Both are key points of contention for the road’s many opponents.

“Caddigan has been a vocal critic of the parkway because residents in neighborhoods along Va. 234, including Montclair and Ashland, fear it would draw heavier truck traffic between Dulles and Interstate 95.

“Supervisors were cautioned against removing the parkway from the comprehensive plan, however, by both the Virginia Department of Transportation and their own transportation department, because of the effect to other roads in the county.

“According to VDOT projections, the loss of the parkway would exacerbate congestion on nearly every other main north-south artery in the county, including Va. 234, Prince William Parkway, U.S. 15, Sudley Road and Pageland Lane.

“VDOT also predicts 20 percent increases in traffic on several secondary roads, including Waterway Drive and Joplin, Spriggs, Delaney and Hoadly roads.

“Also, the move could come with a big price tag. VDOT has already purchased right-of-way property along Va. 234 for which it could now ask the county for reimbursement, according to a VDOT staff report.

“It is not immediately clear how much the county might have to pay the state, however, since those details were not included in the report.

“It also remains unclear what effect the supervisors’ vote will have in the long term, considering the parkway remains on state long-range plans as well as those in Loudoun and Fairfax counties.

“Principi said he, too, has ‘issues’ with some aspects of the Bi-County Parkway as planned, but contends that taking it off the county’s transportation blueprint is not the responsible way to deal with those challenges.

“ ‘The vote on the Bi-County Parkway was a vote to stop that other conversation,’ Principi said.  ‘The system is broken if we don’t build this road.’ ”

Planning Commission votes unanimously in support of removing Bi-County Parkway from county’s comprehensive plan

by Jill Palermo, InsideNOVA, 23 February 2016

“For the past 30 years, the controversial Bi-County Parkway has existed only as a line on local and regional transportation planning maps.

“Last week, the Prince William Planning Commission voted unanimously to remove it from the county’s long-range blueprint, formally called the ‘comprehensive plan.’

“The proposed 10-mile roadway would extend Va. 234 north about 10 miles to U.S. 50 in Loudoun County, skirting the western edge of the protected Manassas National Battlefield Park.

“The road has been the subject of hot debate in recent years, as opponents have argued it would spoil the protected battlefield without providing enough relief to Prince William County commuters, who would be better served, they say, by improvements to Interstate 66 and Va. 28.

“Supporters, meanwhile, say the future four-lane road is critical to accommodate population growth and facilitate economic development in both Loudoun and Prince William counties.

“The matter was before the planning commission Wednesday because of concerns among some members of the Prince William Board of Supervisors that the Bi-County Parkway could amount to an ‘outer beltway,’ that would direct heavy truck traffic from Dulles International Airport to Interstate 95 along Va. 234 through Manassas and Dumfries.

“Supervisors voted last year to begin the process of removing the road from the comprehensive plan and undoing plans to widen Va. 234 from the current four lanes to six lanes from Country Club Drive to Bristow Road. The move is considered another means of discouraging the construction of the new parkway.

“On Feb. 17, the eight-member planning commission took the first step toward removing the parkway from the comprehensive plan, but declined to reverse course on Va. 234, citing the need for more study.

“In the same vein, the commission called on supervisors to initiate a study of county’s overall transportation grid to identify alternatives to the Bi-County Parkway.

“ ‘The Bi-County Parkway is hypothetical and has been hypothetical for a very long time,’ said Planning Commissioner At Large Don Taylor.

“ ‘My feeling is, let’s wipe the slate clean and quit arguing about this abstract thing and take a look at what we really need here to solve our transportation challenges.’

“The planning commission vote moves the matter to the board of supervisors, which has the final say on removing the road from the comprehensive plan. The board is expected to take it up in March or April, Taylor said.

“At this point, removing the parkway from the county’s comprehensive plan is largely symbolic. The road remains on the regional long-term planning map as well as state transportation plans for the Northern Virginia corridor.

“Still, opponents of the road consider the step an important acknowledgement that the road was never a good deal for Prince William County, said Page Snyder, an outspoken critic who lives beside the battlefield.

“ ‘It’s gratifying to see our planning commission unanimously recognize the negligible benefits and the great cost of the Bi-County Parkway to our county as opposed to the huge benefits to Loudoun County,’ Snyder said.

Supervisor Nohe’s Overall STRONG Conflicts of Interest 2008-14


BOCS Supervisors

receiving developer $
from and supporting
Stone Haven (their districts)

Political donations to BOCS Supervisors voting on Stone Haven (what PWCBG’s found; see vpap.org)
EV Hunter Trust
Edith Hunter Rameika,
Berryville
(land owner) (705) 750-2611
RK Realty / BruniPeters
(realtor) (703) 656-6162
brunipeters1@aol.com
Brookfield Homes
(likely builder; though others could be
substituted with similar results)
(703) 270-1400,
info.calgary@brookfieldrp.com
Total Developer
$ received
Stewart (at-large)
  $21,500
$6,500
$759,841
Covington (Bristow area)
$1,500
$5,000
  $108,150
Nohe (Coles)
$2,500
  $2,500
$109,984
Jenkins (Neabsco)
$1,000
  $900
$105,181
TOTALS $5,000
$26,500
$9,900
$1,083,246 

No apparent financial, land use, other conflicts of interest revealed by Nohe personal financial disclosure forms:   20122013  |  2014    |    County link to all supervisor financial disclosure forms

Supervisor Jenkins’ Overall MODERATE Financial, Land Use, Other Conflicts of Interest 2008-14

 

BOCS Supervisors
receiving developer $
from and supporting
Stone Haven (their districts)

Political donations to BOCS Supervisors voting on Stone Haven (what PWCBG’s found; see vpap.org)
EV Hunter Trust
Edith Hunter Rameika,
Berryville
(land owner) (705) 750-2611
RK Realty / BruniPeters
(realtor) (703) 656-6162
brunipeters1@aol.com
Brookfield Homes
(likely builder; though others could be
substituted with similar results)
(703) 270-1400,  info.calgary@brookfieldrp.com
Total Developer
$ received
Stewart (at-large)
  $21,500
$6,500
$759,841
Covington (Bristow area)
$1,500
$5,000
  $108,150
Nohe (Coles)
$2,500
  $2,500
$109,984
Jenkins (Neabsco)
$1,000
     $900
$105,181
TOTALS $5,000
$26,500
$9,900
$1,083,246

No apparent financial, land use, other conflicts of interest revealed by Jenkins personal financial disclosure forms: 2012-Jenkins | 2013 | 2014 | County link to all supervisor financial disclosure forms

Chairman Stewart’s Overall SEVERE Financial, Land Use, Other Conflicts of Interest 2008-14

 

BOCS Supervisors
receiving developer $
from and supporting
Stone Haven (their districts)

Political donations to BOCS Supervisors voting on Stone Haven (what PWCBG’s found; see vpap.org)
EV Hunter Trust
Edith Hunter Rameika,
Berryville
(land owner)  (705)  750-2611
RK Realty / BruniPeters
(realtor) (703) 656-6162
brunipeters1@aol.com
Brookfield Homes
(likely builder; though others could be substituted
with similar results)
(703) 270-1400  info.calgary@brookfieldrp.com
Total Developer
$ received
Stewart (at-large)
  $21,500
$6,500
$759,841
Covington (Bristow area)
$1,500
$5,000
  $108,150
Nohe (Coles)
$2,500
  $2,500
$109,984
Jenkins (Neabsco)
$1,000
     $900
$105,181
TOTALS $5,000
$26,500
$9,900
$1,083,246

No apparent financial, land use, other conflicts of interest revealed by Stewart personal financial disclosure forms: 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | County link to all supervisor financial disclosure forms

Official county information on “Stone Haven”

 Official county information on “Stone Haven” residential development which reprises unpopular 2006 Brentswood project.

County Planning Staff report on Stone Haven presented at Prince William County Planning Commission hearing on Stone Haven 3 September 2014

Official information on Stone Haven from Prince William County Government website

County’s pending comprehensive plan amendments (CPAs), including “Stone Haven,” “Wheeler Estate Property,” “Bell Property”

Nov 2015 Email To Citizens Re. Stone Haven: More Houses, Ever-Increasing Taxes, Ever-Worsening Services … Had Enough Yet?

fwd_-8-dec-stone-haven_-marching-to-4000-more-houses-ever-increasing-taxes-ever-worsening-services2
Text Excerpts
——– Forwarded Message ——– Subject: 8 Dec Stone Haven: Marching to 4,000 More Houses, Ever-Increasing Taxes, Ever-Worsening Services? Date: Sat, 21 Nov 2015 12:04:24 -0500 From: Stephenson, Ralph & Kathy <stephenrk1@verizon.net> To: Stephenson, Ralph & Kathy <stephenrk1@verizon.net> [+ BCC addressees] CC: Stewart, Corey <cstewart@pwcgov.org>, Caddigan, Maureen <mcaddigan@pwcgov.org>, Candland, Peter <gainesville@pwcgov.org>, Jenkins, John <jjenkins@pwcgov.org>, May, Mike <mcmay@pwcgov.org>, Nohe, Marty <mnohe@pwcgov.org>, Principi, Frank <fprincipi@pwcgov.org>, Lawson, Jeanine <jlawson@pwcgov.org>, Ruth4Supervisor@gmail.com <Ruth4Supervisor@gmail.com>, Ruth Anderson <rmva@comcast.net> Had Enough Yet? PW Roads Now (already VA’s most crowded; 70-mile roundtrip commute to Fairfax Co. = 3-4 hrs/day) Future PW Roads (After Corey Stewart, developers, and their allies build over 4,000 more houses in Linton Hall corridor) 1 2 3 4 PW Schools Now (already VA’s most crowded) Future PW Schools 5 6 Property taxes 2007 Property taxes 2015 (up 26.5%) Our home in Braemar along Linton Hall Rd. was valued @ $120K more in 2007 than it is now in 2015, yet our real estate taxes were only $3,669 in 2007. Nov 2007 Corey Stewart-R elected Chairman of PW Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) on the strength of promises to be fiscally conservative, reduce taxes, and control residential growth, noting that “when we approve large developments, we are essentially approving a tax increase.” See: http://pwcbg.org/Stewart_ProposedTaxIncreases_PoliticalWhiplash.html Stewart begins to seek statewide political office, becomes strongly pro-residential development, and consequently raises over $1M from developers 2008-present. See: http://www.vpap.org/candidates/61061/donors_sector_totals/ Ralph & Kathy Stephenson Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth http://pwcbg.org In 2015, our real estate taxes are $4,642, up 26.5% despite low inflation since 2007. The quality of county services continues to decline (increasingly overcrowded schools, roads, etc) while taxes go up. Why? Because large residential developments are almost always tax-negative. Incompetence and misuse of funds is the only other logical explanation for dysfunctional county services despite large tax increases. In either case, Chairman Stewart is ultimately responsible. Stone Haven Returns 8 Dec, Just as Bad as Before County public notice signs — the little white signs that are too small to read as you drive by — went up around the Stone Haven property 20 November afternoon. The signs announce that the Stone Haven vote by the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) will be held 8 December 7:30 pm at the county’s McCoart Building in mid-county off the Prince William Parkway @ 1 County Complex Ct, Woodbridge, VA As you all may recall, on 13 January 2015 a final vote on the big Stone Haven residential development project just south of Jiffy Lube Live was “deferred to date uncertain” as at least 4 of 8 supervisors (Maureen Caddigan, Mike May, Peter Candland, and Jeanine Lawson) expressed their intent to vote against the project, with Frank Principi a possible swing vote against as well. (5 of 8 BOCS votes are needed to approve a proposal.) Deferring the vote was Prince William Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) Chairman Corey Stewart’s way of avoiding imminent defeat and buying some time so he and his developer allies could twist one or two more supervisors’ arms enough to get them to vote in favor of Stone Haven after the 3 Nov 2015 elections. PWCBG remains opposed to Stone Haven; nothing of significance has changed in the “new” proposal. The changes that we know of are merely cosmetic: holding back 150 acres (4 homes per acre) from this 1,000-house proposal that could and will be submitted later as a second proposal that will bring the total number of houses — 1,600 — right back up to virtually the same level as in 2014. (Click here for more info on Stone Haven: http://pwcbg.org/Stonehaven_Brentswood2.html ) Watch the Dominoes Fall — At Least 4,000 More Houses Even worse, if Stone Haven succeeds, Prince William (PW) Station, whose owners are closely watching the Stone Haven fight, is next and will likely bring another 2,000 houses. (PW Station is just north of Stone Haven.) Pioneer Assemblage to the south would add another ~450 houses. So watch the dominoes fall if Stone Haven wins. This is really not only about 1,000 or 1,600 houses on the Stone Haven property. It’s about 4,000 more houses within a couple miles of each other, tax negative, putting about 8,000 more cars on I-66 and other local roads, and probably 2,000-4,000 more schoolchildren in local schools (figure 0.5-1 school child per average 3-person household), where PW already has the worst traffic and the most crowded classes (in terms of teacher: student ratio) in the state. BOCS’ Responsibility for the Current Mess + Corey Stewart, the Million-Dollar Man The Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) should change the entire county Comp Plan (they created it in the first place several years ago) to be more in line with current zoning — if they’re worried that it’s drifted too far away from zoning realities and thus their activities regarding it may be open to legal challenge. They should also slow down residential development overall to improve the roughly 85:15 residential: commercial tax ratio (note your ever-rising real estate property taxes), and stop dumping so much of the county’s residential development on the Linton Hall corridor. We’re sick of it and disgusted by some of the BOCS members’ corrupt and inexcusable behavior on this issue, the worst of all being Sellout-Chairman Corey Stewart, the county’s million-dollar man (over $1M in developer campaign contributions and counting.) Good News: Two More Victories for Citizens; You Can Make a Difference At the last BOCS meeting on 17 Nov, the BOCS announced that it has withdrawn the Blackburn residential development proposal from consideration. That would have put 415 more high-density residential units along Balls Ford Rd. The one potentially good thing about this proposal — the carrot of some commercial development being included to help improve the county’s tax situation — was phony because the commercial development was not “phased,” meaning it didn’t have to be built until after the residential housing was almost entirely completed, and thus the commercial would almost certainly have never been built. Also, Pioneer Assemblage, aka Strathmore, has reduced its housing request from the maximum allowed in this case, 800, to 465 which, though still high-density, is half as high-density as it would’ve been. The BOCS and developers are beginning to hear you. We particularly appreciate the sensitivity of BOCs members Maureen Caddigan (Dumfries), Mike May (and soon Ruth Anderson, Occoquan), Pete Candland (Gainesville), and Jeanine Lawson (Brentsville) to ordinary citizens’ concerns about residential development and bad land use policy, as well as the potential of a growing partnership with Frank Principi (Woodbridge). You can make a difference. Make sure the entire BOCS continues to hear your voice, loud and clear. What Can You Do To Help? If we can get to and finish it well before 8 Dec, we’ll send you an updated Stone Haven flier that continues to tell an ongoing Prince William County story: residential developers have no truly compelling public reasons for high-density housing projects. In fact, these unnecessary tax-negative residential developments overcrowd our roads and schools, corrupt our politics, and needlessly damage the environment. So the residential developers must rely on lies, hoping that those who are gullible, uninformed, and/or have a vested interest in residential development will be able to shout down everyone else. Here are links to the last flier we did on the lies being told to sell Stone Haven: http://pwcbg.org/StoneHavenFlier_BACK1.docx and http://pwcbg.org/StoneHavenFlier_FRONT1.docx .) It’s important for local citizens to hold their ground on Stone Haven and pressure their local representatives to do likewise. We’ll get from the county the kind of government we’ve worked for and earned through either our vigilance or neglect. If we don’t hold our ground, after this comes the deluge: 4,000 more homes, 8000 more cars added to the most crowded roads in the state, thousands more schoolchildren added to the most crowded schools in the state, higher taxes for everyone, and very possibly ultimately lower property values as PW County’s livability continues to decline. Specifically, what can you do to help? E-mail the BOCS at BOCS@pwcgov.org and tell them what you think. Feel free to use info from this message in contacting them and getting this info circulating on social media sites and elsewhere online. If you know of others who are willing, ask them to help as well. If you feel comfortable doing so, also please lobby in person any of the BOCS members that you can. Here’s their contact info: http://www.pwcgov.org/government/bocs/Pages/BOCS-Landing-Page.aspx And come to the 8 December 2015 vote by the BOCS on Stone Haven and sign up to speak against it. We promise you that the residential developers and their allies will be there in force, trying to drown out your voice. If you let us know, we’ll sign you up early to speak. BOCS members judge public opinion on a given issue on this: turnout at the public decision meeting, particularly those speaking for or against the given proposal, as well as ordinary citizens contacting them before the vote. Let us know if you have questions. We’ll be in touch. PWCBG Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth (PWCBG) stands for the following principles: http://pwcbg.org/WhyBalancedGrowthIsImportant.html PWCBG periodically sends out alerts warning citizens of major land use issues affecting them that will be coming before the Board of County Supervisors for decision. We do not use your e-mail for any purpose other than that, and we hide your e-mail address from other recipients (bcc:). If you do not wish to be contacted, please respond to this address (ralph@pwcbg.org) asking that your e-mail be removed. Remember that the kind of county government we get will be what we’ve worked for and earned through either our vigilance or neglect. It’s up to us to either take back our government, or stand idly by and watch while well-heeled residential developers and their political allies, including some BOCS members, continue to destroy our quality of life through harmful land use policies that negatively impact our roads, schools, taxes, property values, and quality of life. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” — Margaret Mead Ralph & Kathy Stephenson Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth (PWCBG) http://pwcbg.org

“Prince William considers Nokesville Mosque”

by Michelle Baker, Fauquier.com

20 August 2015

Rural Crescent graphic courtesy of Prince William Conservation Alliance

Rural Crescent graphic courtesy of Prince William Conservation Alliance

“As the afternoon sun shone on the barn rooftops and the storm clouds gathered on the horizon, community members gathered together to discuss plans for a mosque in Nokesville on Aug. 12.

“The site, which is likely to continue to generate controversy over the next few months, is a 14-acre tract of land at 12655 Vint Hill Road.

“The All Dulles Area Muslim Society, known as ADAMS, met with neighbors at the Nokesville Volunteer Fire Department last week to discuss plans to build the 22,000-square foot ADAMS Greater Gainesville Masjid and Islamic Community Center on the site.

“The Prince William Board of County Supervisors, including Supervisor Wally Covington who was present at the meeting, will have final say on whether the use fits the property.

” ‘It is pretty early in the process,” said Covington. ‘I told them early on, you are not picking the best location.’

“Covington stressed transportation is the largest issue facing the project. While repairs will be coming to Vint Hill Road in the next few years, Covington said he didn’t see anything on Schafer Lane in terms of funding.

“Prince William County has denied permission to exit onto Vint Hill Road so the mosque would front to 2125 Schafer Lane.

” ‘That’s the bigger issue,’ said the supervisor. ‘The Comprehensive Plan allows religious places of worship in the Rural Crescent.’

“The property, which at once time was assessed at $522,900, has a currently assessed market value of $232,100 according to the Prince William County real estate assessment.

“Because the property is zoned for agricultural use, owners would need an obtain a special use permit for a building of this size in the Rural Crescent. The project has been reviewed once.

“Peter Dolan, a land use and zoning lawyer, knew the issues his client were up against and came prepared. Dolan and Jonelle Sanders Walker, attorneys for Walsh Colucci Lubeley and Walsh, opened the meeting with a brief Power Point about the proposed building.

” ‘The county gave comments,’ said Sanders Walker, adding that the proposal is being revised in light of county planners’ feedback. ‘Access to Vint Hill is not going to be a possibility.’

“The property currently owned by the New Hope Christian Church of Manassas is under contract to ADAMS with a continuance clause for the special use permit. Prior to New Hope Christian Church obtaining the land in 2012, the property belonged to Antioch Church of Christ trustees.

“ADAMS board member Rizwan Jaka who serves on the board of Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, introduced audience members and shared the group’s plans before opening the floor to questions.  He and other ADAMS representatives were peppered with questions from how many women are key members to what is the religious holiday Eid.

“In the end, the meeting was primarily about homeowners’ concerns regarding property values and traffic.

” ‘It’s too small a space and we have too much traffic.’

” ‘I can’t get out of my driveway anymore,’ said a woman who lives directly across from the proposed mosque on the tiny lane that was flooded that day from the rains.

” ‘All the locals will be hosed’ announced Michael Ochs who lives on Schafer.

” ‘Why did you focus on Vint Hill and Schafer Lane,’ asked an elderly woman.

” ‘Why did you pick Nokesville?’

“Stepping up, Walker said the reason Nokesville was picked is because the land was available.

“Some 80 people, most of whom live in the immediate vicinity, engaged in a hour-long discussion over lighting, parking, traffic patterns, noise and wildlife.

“Was all of the talk really covering for the elephant in the room?

“One local woman felt so and said it.

” ‘I’m from Gainesville … Muslims are your neighbors,’ she said. ‘We live up and down Vint Hill and 29. We’re part of your community. Treat us like you would any other church … Treat us the same way.’

” ‘Treat us with less suspicion…it’s really bothering me,’ said the woman who wished to remain anonymous when asked her name later.

“The woman said while it was not said in the general meeting, she had overheard anti-Muslim remarks around her so she felt she had to speak up. ‘I didn’t say, I didn’t hear anyone say anything about Muslims,’ answered one man in the audience.

“While some of the discourse was loud with people talking over others to make their point, no one was openly disparaging about Muslims. Behind the scenes however, the woman was not alone in her assessment.

“Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the day after the meeting that he’d gotten reports that attendees had been ‘a bit biased’ and that people could be heard ‘criticizing the faith of Islam.’

“The meeting was held the same day in which a Manassas mosque was found vandalized with spray paint and a broken window.

“Police are investigating that as a possible hate crime but have no conclusive evidence that hate was a motive or that the Nokesville mosque is related.

“At the meeting itself, traffic was the primary issue for most residents.

“One woman said she didn’t need any more traffic coming through Nokesville. ‘I think it is too small a space … I hope they turn it down,’ she said.

” ‘We are at the beginning stages,’ said Sanders Walker, adding they would listen to questions and concerns and have a follow-up.

” ‘Some good questions came out of the meeting,’ said Covington referring to the timing of the schools. ‘That’s a big issue and something we need to talk a little big more about.’

“Several residents said they were already bombarded with after school traffic on Schafer Lane and they don’t like the possibility of adding hundreds of cars. The facility seats 500.

“According to information distributed to the meeting attendees, ADAMS provides religious services, education, and social activities to several thousand people a week throughout the region. The Power Point presentation described a variety of civic activities including one of the largest Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Girl Scout programs in the metro area.

” ‘We have 300-400 families living in the area including Gainesville, Bristow, Nokesville, and Haymarket,’ stated the handouts.

“When asked about a construction timeline, the ADAMS representatives said they do not currently have the funding to build but have started fundraising. They did not give an anticipated time of occupancy. However, Covington later said the county looks at the project as if it is shovel-ready. ‘We have to make that assumption,’ he said. ‘We have to think like it’s happening virtually tomorrow.’

“Tara Slate Donaldson contributed to this report.”

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