´╗┐PWCAPrince William Conservation Alliance

´╗┐Community Report, January 14, 2021

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Pond at Merrimac Farm WMA

Designing cities that love nature

Invite wildlife into your backyard

Tonight! Thursday, January 14, 7pm
RSVP required, click
here to register

Join PWCA and UVA Professor Timothy Beatley in a conversation about the many ways in which cities are already profoundly natureful and biodiverse. Beatley believes that contact with nature is not something optional but is absolutely essential for a happy, healthy and meaningful life. This emerging new model overcomes the current physical (and mental) disconnect between nature and cities to the benefit of both.

Preserve at Long Branch Public Hearing  
Tuesday, January 19, 7pm meeting

Click here to register to speak online at the public hearing.
Click here to share your views with the Board of Supervisors
Click here to read more about this development proposal.


Planning Commission recommendation: Denial
Planning staff recommendation: Denial


Like a bad penny, this project keeps on coming back, despite credible, consistent, and huge community opposition. The applicant, Classic Concept Homes, seeks approval for a Comprehensive Plan Amendment and Rezoning application to gain access to public sewer and build approximately 100 new homes in the Rural Crescent, more than triple the density currently allowed. 

This development proposal would set a precedent for other land speculators seeking increased density in the Rural Crescent. 

According to the Comprehensive Plan, the primary function of the Rural Area is to maintain open space, protect native habitats, allow for large-lot residential development, allow for agricultural activities, and provide potential sites for community facilities.

Limited public infrastructure is planned for the Rural Area, reflecting the costs to build additional roads, schools, etc. to serve a low-density population. 

Protecting the Rural Crescent protects our wallets as well as our watersheds, public water supply, scenic viewsheds, housing diversity, and the rural character of west Prince William. Every dollar we spend to develop the Rural Crescent is a dollar we can't spend to improve schools, parks, trails, transportation, and fire and rescue services, and address underserved communities. 

The BOCS vote is scheduled for this coming Tuesday, January 19, 7:30 meeting. Click here to read more about this proposal. Click here to share your views, and here to register to speak at the public hearing.

Cindy with a green frogVanishing Water? From the Rural Crescent to the Occoquan Reservoir by Elizabeth Ward

We are at a crossroads in Prince William County.  The Board of County Supervisors is considering plans for development of the Rural Crescent, an area completely dependent on groundwater to supply its homes.

The groundwater level in the only monitoring well in the Rural Crescent has been falling since 2004. This is a warning that we are depleting the aquifer.

Adding development to the Rural Crescent without a program to measure and monitor the groundwater that the whole Rural Crescent depends on is like driving with your eyes closed.

There is no surface water to turn to if the wells fail, groundwater is all that is available. The public water suppliers in the Washington area are already struggling near the limits of their capacity and facing extraordinary costs, and cannot be expected to come to our rescue.

In 2018, the Virginia Legislature amended the comprehensive planning process (§§ 15.2-2223 and 15.2-2224 of the Code of Virginia) to include the requirement that county Comprehensive Plans ensure the continued availability, quality and sustainability of groundwater and surface water resources on a County level.

Prince William needs to carefully carry out that process as we plan for the future of our county. Read the full article here.

Comments on the Preserve at Long Branch by Charlie Grymes

On January, 19, the BOCS will choose between supporting suburban sprawl or they can uphold the current strategy to combat sprawl and protect the Rural Crescent.

We support development of walkable, live-work-play communities. There’s not even a bus stop at the so-called “Preserve” at Long Branch site.  More development there will add cars to local roads. Traffic congestion will increase; greenhouse gas emissions will increase. 

Viewed through an equity lens, this sprawl proposal will create an enclave of expensive houses for those with above-average incomes. There will be no affordable housing near affordable transportation. 

The bait being offered, to proffer parkland, is a ploy to transfer land too steep for building houses to the county for long-term maintenance.
We need to build new housing units in Prince William – and we need to plan for those new housing units to be built in the right places. 

On January 19, Supervisors can repeat the pattern of the last 50 years and help land speculators profit at the expense of action on climate change, sustainable development, and traffic…

OR they can reject Preserve at Long Branch and make clear that Prince William will follow the regional development strategies endorsed by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and prioritize development of walkable, live-work-play communities with schools, libraries, retail centers, and jobs close to each other.

PWC Survey on the Rural Crescent