Save the Rural Crescent to promote attractive, sustainable communities near public services, including transit.
Currently, Supervisors are slated to vote on the Preserve at Long Forest (formerly Mid-County Estates) on January 19, with the Independent Hill SAP said to be close behind. The Preserve at Long Forest proposes to triple residential densities, gain access to public sewer in the Rural Crescent, and set a precedent for future applications waiting in the wings.
PWCA continues to actively support smart growth opportunities. Protecting the Rural Crescent allows the investment of taxpayer dollars in areas near existing services, including transit.
Join our programs, above, to expand your horizons. Also join us on January 19 to speak at the public hearing, register here. And please click here to share your views with Supervisors in advance.
In the News: Why the ‘rural crescent’ is still relevant
by Nokesville Resident Liz Cronauaer, Prince William Times; December 24
In 2020 order to understand the continued relevance of Prince William County’s “rural crescent” as a land-use tool for the benefit of all residents, it is important to understand the premises upon which it was founded.
These were: to slow residential development in areas where the supporting infrastructure was not available, to preserve an area with open space for ground-water recharge and water/air quality preservation, and to protect a threatened rural economy. After 25 years, these are still desirable and achievable goals.
At the time of its inception, Prince William was considered a "bedroom community" where people who worked closer to Washington could find a less expensive place to live. Property taxes were lower, for instance. The problem this created was that taxes on residential development did not pay for the required services, and therefore the county had trouble keeping up with roads, schools, police, and other services needed to support the residents.
This is still true! Unlike Fairfax County, which boasts massive employment centers and revenue-generating areas like Tysons Corner, Prince William has not yet achieved a commercial and business tax base that can offset residential expenses. When houses are built in areas with no existing supportive infrastructure, the required new services drain resources from existing residential areas, which negatively affects all Prince William residents.
Another goal of the rural crescent is to protect open space for environmental reasons, one of which is groundwater protection. Pavement and rooftops generate excessive storm water runoff that damages properties through flooding and erosion and eliminates essential recharge areas for groundwater. Public water resources are limited in the county and therefore well water is an important resource.
Residents who are not connected to public water lines require groundwater levels that are within reach of their wells. This need has not changed since the rural crescent was put in place. If anything, increasing temperatures make rainfall less predictable with increased possibility of prolonged drought. Simultaneously, individual storms have become more intense, causing unprecedented storm water problems. Mitigating these issues requires public funds that could be used for other purposes.
Read the entire article here.