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Citizen Comments on Greater South Market in Prince William County

Linda Budrieka
Prince William finally said no. It happened once and it can happen again.

Jacob Frank, Haymarket:
The public policy concerns arising out of KSI’s Greater South Market development proposal were the straws that broke the camels back. This has aroused citizens throughout Prince William County to take a stand against irresponsible development and to demand to be counted (by the Board of Supervisors) in future decisions. Citizens want to ensure that all new developments are models for growth that will benefit the county and its' citizens as a whole. Environmental issues, water and air pollution issues, high-density housing, traffic issues, and maintaining the attractive landscape of PWC, are all concerns expected to play a major role in scrutinizing any new development proposals.

Gary Friedman, Catharpin:
The Greater South Market Comp Plan Amendment and Rezoning was a litmus test for where Supervisors and candidates really stand on growth issues. There were never any questions about where Prince William citizens stood on this issue. The question was, would our political leaders listen to the people. This time they did. We have an opportunity to have a good development there. I hope KSI will work with citizens to come forward with something we all support.
Greg Gorham, Sudley Springs:
The vote to reject the South Market proposal was a great win, but our job is not completed until the root problem is fixed. This win is an example of how to keep pressing ahead, even when you think you will lose.

The real challenge here is to take advantage of the opportunity won by defeating a proposal that would have overwhelmed the community: without the vote to reject we would have less of a chance to correct this and even more challenges to just keep even. We need to finish the job by helping to fix these problems, including working with local and state leaders that put us in that position.

If we sit back and think it is over, if we don't now finish the job, then we should expect to fight these things more frequently. The good news, we are better at it now and success breeds success

John Gray
During the meeting, it was stated that "citizens attending the meeting did NOT represent the vast majority of PWC citizens, but rather they were a very vocal minority". Citizen activism is not simply a vocal minority. The lack of citizen involvement does not mean that citizens are happy with the status quo. I think it represents the fact the most citizens believe that development proposals are already done deals by the time it gets to a public hearing, so why bother to express an opinion?


Tim Horn, Nokesville:
The citizens who spoke against Greater South Market are not against growth. On the contrary, well-planned growth contributes to the long-term health of the very citizens who spoke last Tuesday. We hope that KSI and other Prince William developers will begin to communicate with the citizens before committing economic and intellectual capital to development plans that fail to serve the common good.

Robert McBride, Occoquan:
One of the striking things about the debate surrounding this proposal was the lack of substantive discussion on the specific merits of the actual proposal. It was another example of how much the Prince William Conservation Alliance does in support of the community. During this debate, the PWCA helped provide residents with comprehensive and objective information about what it was KSI came close to building. Another striking feature about that debate was the degree to which concerned county residents now take this lack of substance for granted. Have we reached the point where we just assume that these issues will be driven by political calculations rather than proposal merits (or lack thereof)? If so, we - all of us - need to fix that. The land was not spared from development. These acres will be discussed again, and hopefully by officials who won't view the next proposal through a prism of campaign calculations.

Robert Moler, Catharpin:
The use of Rural Crescent land in the Greater South Market Proposal was completely unnecessary. Even the Prince William Staff agreed. No only did the proposal appropriate Rural Crescent land, it failed to be as environmentally responsible as it should have been. Building a golf course on wetlands and then designating it as open space was, from the community's point of view, a cynical misrepresentation of the idea of open space and environmental responsibility.

Ray Roberson, Gainesville:
The Board of Supervisors did the right thing in denying Greater South Market. Finally, they listened to we citizens who are so deeply invested in the quality of life in our region.

There is opportunity at hand to change things for the better. Government, developers and citizens must engage each other early and often in planning decisions. Citizens mistrust a process that takes place off the table. Decisions need to be participative and transparent so that the final vote is a win for all.

There is no way to sustain the current direction and pace of development. We must bring the critical components of growth -- development, infrastructure and natural resources -- into balance . BALANCE needs to become the cornerstone of our public land use policy.

Let's begin with this simple policy: We will build no houses or shopping centers without road capacity for their cars.

Ron Robinson
This is another pebble dropped in the pond that ripples all the way from Haymarket to Woodbridge in the form of higher taxes.

Cynthia Royal, SAFARI Farm:
The July 1, 2003 rejection of the Greater South Market golf course community was the result of a proclamation by the citizens of Western Prince County that we will no longer tolerate decisions to be made that have a direct, negative impact on our daily lives. We will not tolerate additional development of the Rural Crescent (which is why we moved here in the first place), nor the traffic jams and pollution that development brings.

Land Use Planning
Prince William Conservation Alliance