Citizens for Balanced Growth

Category: Positions on balanced growth (Page 2 of 3)

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,, 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.’ ”

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

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 <> To: Stephenson, Ralph & Kathy <> [+ BCC addressees] CC: Stewart, Corey <>, Caddigan, Maureen <>, Candland, Peter <>, Jenkins, John <>, May, Mike <>, Nohe, Marty <>, Principi, Frank <>, Lawson, Jeanine <>, <>, Ruth Anderson <> 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: Stewart begins to seek statewide political office, becomes strongly pro-residential development, and consequently raises over $1M from developers 2008-present. See: Ralph & Kathy Stephenson Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth 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: ) 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: and .) 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 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: 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: 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 ( 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)

Views of 2014 candidates for Brentsville District BOCS seat

Jeanine Lawson-R

22 March 2014 statement by Jeanine Lawson, candidate for Brentsville Supervisor, to PWCBG on why she should succeed current Brentsville Supervisor Wally Covington, when he resigns in 2014

Lawson expresses support for balanced growth principles to reduce school overcrowding, foster growth of professional jobs, improve ratio of commercial-to-residential tax revenue, reduce traffic congestion, and preserve Rural Crescent.  Notes her record of “standing up to the pressures of over-development” and years of service “as a trusted advocate for the community.”  Campaign contributions show broad distribution of donors; minimal reliance on developers.

Scott Jacobs-I

12 March 2014 statement by Scott Jacobs, candidate for Brentsville Supervisor, to PWCBG on why he should succeed current Brentsville Supervisor Wally Covington, when he resigns in 2014

Jacobs seeks “to bring more smart commercial development which will create high-paying jobs right here at home to lessen the burden of congestion on our roadways.”  Describes, if elected, “how” he’d perform his duties as supervisor, seeking public input and supporting “common-sense projects”; but otherwise fails to specify “what” land use policies he’d pursue and whether he supports PWCBG’s strategy — as described at Why balanced growth is important  — to balance residential growth with trafffic, school, tax, economic, and quality-of-life issues.  Campaign contributions show almost exclusive reliance (63%) on developers.

Eric Young-D

1-4 November 2014 e-mail exchange between PWCBG and Eric Young, candidate for Brentsville Supervisor

PWCBG questions Young’s late-entry into the Brentsville District Supervisor race (mid-Oct) and failure to “ever publicly speak out and fight for what he now says he believes in.”  Young says he supports  PWCBG’s balanced growth principles, wants “more frequent discussion of proffers requirements” to ensure they’re “adequate” for community needs, and pledges to “never accept developer money.”  Young believes that “the biggest stakeholder in land development is always the developer” who takes “the biggest financial risk,” but says he would “like to see that balance tip a bit more toward our community to alleviate the impact that development has on the people.” Article: “[9 December 2014] Brentsville Supervisor Debate Highlights Distinctions between Candidates [for Brentsville Supervisor]” by Val Wallace, Bristow Beat

“Stone Haven vote waiting on new Brentsville supervisor”

by Rose Murphy, Bull Run Observer

17 Oct 2014, pp. 10, 28

“Saying they needed more information on school projections and a representative of Brentsville District elected, Prince William Board of County Supervisors unanimously deferred to Jan. 30 a vote on the controversial 864-acre Stone Haven subdivision near Jiffy Lube Live.  The action came at the board’s Oct. 7 public hearing.

“A new supervisor to replace Brentsville supervisor Wally Covington will be chosen at a special election Dec 23.  Covington recently was named a county judge and had to give up his supervisor’s post.  The Stone Haven project is in Brentsville District. Continue reading

“UPDATED: Prince William supervisors defer vote on Stone Haven”

by Jill Palermo,

7-8 Oct 2014

“For months, opponents of Stone Haven have complained about the additional traffic and school overcrowding they’re convinced will occur if Prince William County officials approve another 1,650 new homes in Brentsville.

“But the recent resignation of former Supervisor Wally Covington offered another reason to object Tuesday when the project was up for a final review before the county Board of Supervisors.

“The Brentsville supervisor’s seat on the dais is currently empty, meaning the vote was poised to occur without formal representation of those who live closest to the proposed development.

“During a two-hour public hearing on the matter that included more than 60 speakers, Patty McKay, president of the Nokesville Civic Association, was among many who declared the situation unacceptable to Brentsville residents.

” ‘I believe it’s unprecedented that such an important vote take place when we have no representative for our citizens,’ McKay said. ‘Whether that’s legal or not, it is right that this vote be deferred until we have a representative.’

‘That sentiment – as well as some confusion about whether Stone Haven would relieve or exacerbate high-school overcrowding – prompted Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart to call for the vote to be deferred until Jan. 20, about a month after a Dec. 23 special election to fill the Brentsville seat.

“The motion, approved unanimously, came after Stewart called on school staff to explain student projections for west-end county high schools, which are already overcapacity by hundreds of students.

“The issue is particularly important to Stone Haven because the project’s major selling point is the donation of an 85-acre site for the county’s 13th high school, which landowner E.V. Hunter Trust is offering in lieu of cash proffers for schools.

“In total, E.V. Hunter Trust is offering more than $91.2 million in land donations for schools, parks and playing fields as well as three miles of road improvements that would extend University Boulevard and Rollins Ford Road though the proposed subdivision, which would be located just south of Jiffy Lube Live near the intersections of Linton Hall, Wellington and Devlin Roads.  [For more info on this, see the following link:   You’ve Been Lied To Again And Again]

“The project’s many perks – as well as the landowner’s efforts over the past two years to consult area residents in a series of community meetings – won praise from about half of those who spoke during the meeting Tuesday.

“Brentsville resident Bob Talbert said he liked the idea of having another well-planned neighborhood on the now vacant land instead of an industrial complex, shopping mall or office building, which is what county zoning rules would currently allow.

” ‘This piece of land is the last piece of the puzzle and you have an opportunity to get it just right,’ Talbert said. ‘And I think this site plan does that.’

“Although some supervisors agreed that Stone Haven’s plan for a mix of homes, townhomes, parks and commercial space looked appealing, their questions about the project focused on school overcrowding and whether the development would improve or worsen conditions for county high school students.

“Early in the meeting, School Board Chairman Milt Johns gave a lengthy statement in which he told supervisors the school division does not have another site under consideration for the 13th high school and is counting on the land donation to open the new school as scheduled in the fall of 2019.

“When supervisors asked Johns if the school division needs the site with or without Stone Haven, Johns’ response was emphatic.

” ‘Yes, we need it yesterday,’ he said. ‘I’m trying to be flip, but Patriot is full. Battlefield is filling up again… all of the schools on the west end are full.’

“After the public hearing, Stewart, R-At Large, and Supervisor Frank Principi, D-Woodbridge, pressed school planning supervisor Dave Beavers about whether Stone Haven’s new residents would result in the new high school being immediately overcrowded.

“Beavers said the school division expects existing west-end high schools to be at least 1,600 students overcapacity by the 2018-19 school year even without the addition of new residents. Add Stone Haven into the mix, and that number would likely rise to 1,800, Beavers said.

” ‘So, effectively, on day one of the 13th high school, we will be at or over capacity?’ Principi asked.

” ‘That would be a reasonable statement,’ Beavers answered.

“Stewart said the board would have to have ‘some better numbers’ from the school division before its final vote.

” ‘Because one way or another, the Board of Supervisors can’t just look at the school system and say, [school overcrowding is] your problem,’ Stewart added. ‘Ultimately, it’s all our problem.’

“Both Jeanine Lawson and Scott Jacobs, the only two candidates vying to fill Covington’s seat in the Dec. 23 election, attended the meeting. But only Lawson spoke from the podium to urge a delay in the vote.

“In an interview after the meeting, Lawson said she remains undecided about the project and needs more information about whether the school division is prepared to purchase a school site if Stone Haven is not approved.

” ‘It sounds like [school officials] need to come back with more answers,’ Lawson added. ‘Clearly a lot of people in the Brentsville District are tired of having their kids in trailers and oversized classrooms.’ “

“Packed house as Lawson gets GOP nod for Brentsville seat”

by Jill Palermo,

2 Oct 2014

“The outcome had already been decided, but that didn’t keep 641 voters from attending a Republican mass meeting Wednesday to formally nominate Jeanine Lawson their party’s candidate in the upcoming special election to fill the Brentsville seat on the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

“Lawson, 45, was the only candidate declared eligible to seek the nomination after Scott Jacobs, who’d also sought the Republican nod, was disqualified from the contest Sunday for not properly filing his candidate paperwork.

“Still, Lawson’s supporters nearly filled the Patriot High School auditorium to hear former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli make the motion to nominate Lawson by acclamation.

“Cuccinelli, who lives in the Brentsville District, said he met Lawson when she helped him campaign for his state senate seat about 10 years ago. He praised her as ‘a great listener, a hard-worker and an intelligent woman who we will be very proud… to have as our supervisor.’

“The crowd responded to Cuccinelli’s motion with loud applause. Prince William County Republican Committee Chairman Bill Card then called for a voice vote, which was unanimous.

“Afterward, Lawson said she was ‘thrilled’ by the turnout.

” ‘I’m touched by it,’ Lawson said after shaking hands and snapping pictures with several voters after the meeting. ‘I’m very pleased. I think it speaks to the energy on the ground, the energy in the Brentsville District.’

“The Prince William County Republican Committee decided in June to hold a mass meeting to pick their candidate for the special election they were expecting to be called when the Virginia General Assembly appointed Supervisor Wally Covington, R-Brentsville, to a vacant judgeship on the Prince William County District Court.

“Covington had been nominated by the Prince William County Bar Association late last year, and his appointment was initially expected in the spring or early summer. But a protracted battle over the state budget delayed the judicial appointments to the General Assembly’s extended special session, which took place last month.

“Lawson thanked her supporters for sticking with her throughout the extended campaign and said she is ‘happy, energized and confident’ looking forward to the Dec. 23 special election. She will likely face Jacobs, who declared his intent to run as an independent shortly after he was disqualified from the Republican contest. So far, no other candidates have signaled their intent to join the race.

“Lawson promised the crowd a ‘transparent and interactive’ governing style and said she would support job-friendly policies and only ‘tax-positive’ residential development.

“ ‘We need to stop the failed formula that has resulted in the unacceptable overcrowding of our schools,’ she said.

“In an interview after the meeting, Lawson said she planned to attend Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting when the board will vote on whether to approve Stone Haven, a residential development of 1,650 homes in the Brentsville District near Jiffy Lube Live. The planning commission has already given its blessing to the project, which members praised for its generous proffers, including a site for the county’s 13th high school.

“Lawson said she won’t support the project if the maximum number of homes remains at 1,650 and called it another example of the county’s ‘failed formula’ for new housing developments.

“ ‘When [developers] proffer land for schools, with the proposals come all these homes that quickly fill up the schools,’ Lawson said. ‘That’s why it’s a failed formula. We’ve relied on these developers and it’s not enough.’

“The winner of the Dec. 23 contest will serve as supervisor for the Brentsville District until January 2016. The entire Board of Supervisors will be up for re-election in November 2015.”


“Public hearing set tonight on Stone Haven project in Bristow”

by Jill Palermo,

3 September 2014

“After about two years of discussion and debate, the Prince William County Planning Commission will hold its first public hearing tonight on the controversial large-scale residential development known as Stone Haven.

“The planned neighborhood, which would span more than 860 acres in an area just south of Jiffy Lube Live, could bring as many as 1,650 new single-family and townhomes to the already crowded Linton Hall corridor.

“But the developer has also promised to reserve more than 300 acres of property for public use – including about 90 acres for the county’s13th county high school, 30 acres for a new middle school and nine neighborhood parks featuring rectangular playing fields and walking trails.

“The commission meets tonight at 6:45 p.m. in the Board of Supervisors chambers at the county’s McCoart Administration Building.

“Stone Haven initially came before the board back in March 2012, when the developer first asked for change in the county’s long-range plan to accommodate the mixed-use residential development.

“Supervisors voted down the request but directed county planning staff to meet with area residents and study the comprehensive plan amendment required for the new neighborhood, which would change the area’s designated use from agriculture and industrial business to residential and office use.

“County Planning Director Chris Price said his staff held several meetings with area residents and homeowner associations since 2012 and is recommending approval.

” ‘We think the plan is better for having the community input and we think the applicant has addressed the desires of the community,’ Price said, which include donating sites for schools, saving trees for a buffer along major roadways and providing open space for parks and environmental assets.

“Traffic concerns were also addressed, Price said. The developer agreed to connect University Boulevard and Rollins Ford Road through the new neighborhood and will limit access to congested Linton Hall Road.

” ‘They’ll have to build that infrastructure before they build those homes,’ Price added.

“But proposed plan is likely to attract its share of detractors. Members of Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth were circulating emails in recent days encouraging like-minded residents to speak out against the development, which they say will increase traffic and crowding in local schools and drain county resources.

“Jeanine Lawson, a Republican candidate running to represent the Brentsville Magisterial District on the County Board of Supervisors — either in 2015 or before if current Brentsville Supervisor Wally Covington (R) is appointed to a district judgeship – used her Facebook page to argue that a decision should be deferred because of bad timing. Because the hearing comes during a holiday week and the first week back to school, many residents might not have had time to read the 120-plus page proposal, she wrote.

“Beyond that, Lawson said she has questions about school projections and land set aside for parks.

” ‘The majority of parkland dedicated to the county appears to be land which is not usable for development – wetlands, streams and adjacent to high-voltage power lines,’ she wrote.

“Supervisor Pete Candland, R-Gainesville, also weighed in with his doubts this week.

“Candland said he doesn’t like that the plan was drawn with the old, lower proffer guidelines — permissible because it was submitted before the new, more expensive proffer rules took effect July 1 – and doesn’t think existing roadways can handle the extra traffic generated by thousands of new residents.

“Candland said he understands the school division needs the promised site for the 13th middle school but questions whether a new school would relieve overcrowding at nearby west-end high schools or just provide enough space to accommodate new students living in Stone Haven.

” ‘We keep getting ourselves behind the eight-ball. I mean, yes, we’re getting a site for the high school but we’re also adding all of those new kids,’ Candland said.

“The Board of Supervisors will have the final say on the Stone Haven comprehensive plan amendment and rezoning. The Planning Commission, which is appointed by the board, serves only an advisory role.”


Jeanine Lawson, candidate for Brentsville Supervisor, on why she should succeed current Brentsville Supervisor Wally Covington

by Jeanine Lawson to PWCBG

22 March 2014

My vision for Prince William County and more specifically the Brentsville District includes the following:

I remain committed to the principles of balanced and responsible growth in Prince William County.  This issue was a major component of my campaign for Brentsville Supervisor in 2011.    We learned from the 2010 census that the Brentsville District grew in population by a staggering 102%, however our infrastructure needs have lagged behind.  As a result, residents endure the daily challenges of congested roads, crowded schools, and insufficient parks and recreation.  All of these impact our community’s quality of life.   In recent years I have become a leader in working for equitable solutions to improve our growing community’s needs.  Both residential and commercial development impacts the community.  For the last 2 decades, residential development has far outpaced commercial development.  We still have thousands of [residential] units approved and in line to be built.  I believe it’s prudent to let our infrastructure needs catch up instead of continuing down the path of over-development.  I’ve worked with other concerned citizens in the community standing up to the pressures of over-development and will continue to do so.

* School Capacity and Class Size Reduction: We simply cannot build public schools fast enough to keep up with the growth.  Currently, there are tens of thousands of additional homes approved to be built countywide.  And to make matters worse, our class sizes are at the highest state-allowed numbers.  I am committed to working with  Mr. Gil Trenum, (and honored to have his endorsement), Brentsville’s representative to the PWC School Board, and his colleagues to bring resolution to this problem.  Our kids and teachers deserve better!

* Attracting Business Growth: Commercial development needs attention and I will work aggressively to bring professional jobs to PWC.    Virginia is a very business-friendly state; we must take advantage of that.  Right now we have a significant amount of unused commercial property.    We need to aggressively bring more professional jobs to western PWC and fill these offices.  This will help our local economy, help balance our tax base, and reduces the work commute for some of our residents.

Right now, less than 20% of the county’s property tax revenue is from commercial and/or industrial property.  It is the BOCS who is responsible for voting to rezone business property to residential property, and frequently does so.  This trend needs to stop.  We need to do a better job of marketing our County’s assets to the business community.  We must take advantage of that, our proximity to our nation’s capital, and the high quality of our skilled work force.  This is a trio of rare assets, compared to many localities across the nation.  We can do better because of these!

* Conservative Fiscal Policy: PWC has the highest tax rate in Virginia when you include the real estate tax rate and other levies.  I expect all levels of government to be wise stewards of the people’s money.  Property owners have watched their tax bills climb and the County’s five year plan calls for tax increases for each of the next five years.  We can do better!

* Meaningful Transportation  Solutions:  Sitting in Northern Virginia traffic has sadly become a way of life.  One great way to fix this is to shorten workers’ commutes.  This is all the more reason to prioritize business growth and keep more PWC residents in the county during the work week.  Obviously, another great way to reduce traffic is to build meaningful roads that truly alleviate congestion.

I am committed to continuing the fight against the infamous Bi-County Parkway (BCP).  Property rights are under attack from VDOT’s over-reaching power grab, the historic Manassas Battlefield will forever be changed, local road closures will wreak havoc on our secondary roads, the Rural Crescent character and policy will be compromised, and hundreds of millions in tax dollars will be wasted to serve one special interest group. The proposed BCP does nothing more than take citizens’ land to build a road that does not connect to Dulles.  I’m proud of the work I’ve done with state and local elected officials and hundreds of local residents opposing the BCP.    We need meaningful transportation solutions and road projects that do not serve just special interest groups.  We can do better!

* Preserving the Rural Crescent:  Ultimately, a balanced growth policy protects the taxpayers, students, property owners, commuters. I am proud to support Prince William County’s rural community and remain committed to my pledge of protecting the Rural Crescent (RC).   One way we can achieve balanced growth is by keeping the RC policy in place, which prevents our rural community from falling prey to over-development.  I also support the need for more parks and recreational open space.  Our community needs it.   I am currently working with local neighborhood citizens on various development projects that would affect not just open spaces and recreation, but also home values.   We can do better!

People know they can count on me as a trusted advocate for the community.  I am committed to a balanced approach to growth and equitable solutions that will improve our quality of life.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject:     Brentsville Supervisor Race
Date:     Thu, 13 Mar 2014 21:30:55 -0400
From:     Ralph Stephenson <>
To:     Lawson, Jeanine <>, Jeanine Lawson <>

Hi, Jeanine.  I understand you’ll be a Republican candidate to replace Wally Covington as Brentsville District Supervisor on the PW Board of County Supervisors.

Please advise whether you support the balanced growth principles espoused by Prince William Citizens for Balanced Growth (PWCBG) at the following weblink:Why balanced growth is important

Understand that the only known Democratic candidate Don Shaw has already given a response as has the only other known Republican candidate Scott Jacob.  Your response or failure to respond will be noted on the website, along with their responses.  Thank you.

Ralph D. Stephenson, PWCBG

Apr 2011-Jun 2014 Lawson for Prince William County Board of Supervisors campaigns raise $84,947,  including $8,324 (10%) from developers

Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), Virginia’s authoritative source on the role of money in state politics.

Lawson for Supervisor Total Campaign Contributions and Expenses 2011-2014

Lawson for Supervisor Campaign Contributions 2011-2014 by Industry Sector

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