Letter: Karl Kelley, Leesburg

Editor:  Goose Creek is under assault, again. Developers are currently seeking to rezone an environmentally sensitive track and undo protections that have been in place for over four decades.

In 1976, Goose Creek was designated as a scenic waterway and was entered into the Virginia Scenic Rivers program. On March 2, the Board of Supervisors will vote whether to rezone a portion of the watershed to allow for the blasting of the slopes and clear-cutting specimen forest for the construction of Goose Creek Overlook, a development of 251 townhomes.

To add insult to injury, the proposed rezoning is directly across from the controversial and ill-fated True North data center project that after two years remains stalled in construction with no buyer and generating none of the revenue promised to the county. Located across the creek, the proposed development is not only a death blow to this section of Goose Creek, but everything downstream as storm water and pollution make their way through Leesburg and into the Potomac River.

Goose Creek is a gem of Loudoun and a rare opportunity to experience the wilderness in eastern Loudoun. The habitat in this area includes critical wetlands that support diverse waterfowl, endangered turtles, egret rookeries, small and large mouth bass, and bald eagles. On land, the watershed provides a critical corridor for wildlife to transverse the county. It’s also the source of our drinking water.

The applicant’s proposed land purchase is speculative and contingent on successful rezoning. For its part, the developer is promising affordable housing units located over 5 miles from the closest metro station and over 3 miles to the closest public transit hub. The applicant concedes the AHUs lack adequate parking, arguing that AHU residents don’t require as many cars. They will need cars.

The developer also promises a nature trail in exchange for destroying the very same environment through which the trail will run. No thank you. The county already owns easements suitable to provide public access on both sides of Goose Creek. This is a unique opportunity to provide both protection and a public space for the enjoyment of generations of Loudoun residents as envisioned in the General Plan.  

Since True North, we have a new Board of Supervisors with promises to better protect Loudoun’s rural and wild areas and promote smart growth over reckless growth. Hopefully, this time will be different and we’ve learned that we can’t expect to kill the Goose and continue to enjoy the eggs.

Karl Kelley, Leesburg

4 thoughts on “Letter: Karl Kelley, Leesburg

  • 2021-02-17 at 3:25 pm

    In the scheme of things, nothing is lower than developers in the way they ramrod things through to please their greedy selves. And the developers in Loudoun are and have always been the worst. No sense of history, or even a sense of what looks good. Look around at their handiwork, all junk. They do not have any architectural or idea of what makes a good looking development. Look at that mess they threw up on Route 15 south of Leesburg, Meadowbrook. I don’t know how much they cost, but they are all crammed next to each other and looks like a ghetto before the paint has dried. Shame on the developers that have ran over Loudoun. They should look out west and see how it is done where the developers out there take the land into consideration and make quality buildings, here we get the same old tired “plastic econoboxes” over and over, no vision. Let’s hope the BOS does something for the citizens of Loudoun for once and not the deep pockets of the lemmings aka the developers!

    • 2021-02-17 at 6:00 pm

      I’ve long loathed the vinyl sided blight of Loudoun. I also recognize Sedona, that all are not as fortunate as you and I may be. Folks starting out with their first home have to bust their humps and swing what they can. As for blaming developers, you have it exactly backwards. Its the polticans who approve all of this. If developers keep putting up projects, and they’re approved, then why blame them.

      Lets focus on this specific project the writer is so accurately discussing above: Other than in last weeks legals, have you heard a peep about it? In the papers? Nope. An alert from the PEC? Zippy. BOS talking about it? Naahh. Only an alert from another landowner, and one from Loudoun Wildlife is all I heard about it. Nowhere else. You know what that means? The BOS, the developer, and our supposed defender of all things Goose Creek must be in on it together. It’s odd. Very odd indeed.

      Before you get high on developers out west, tell me again about Phoenix, Tuscon, Denver, Salt Lake, The Springs, Boise, Spokane, Portland, and a thousand place names in California. As someone who knows the western states more than the average bear, it’s pretty disgusting out there too.

  • 2021-02-18 at 9:23 am

    But the checks cleared and the BOS were elected! When density is compromised developers make their investment in campaign donations back 100 fold. How did both party supported candidates for Chair of the BOS manage to spend over a $million each if not for high density development donations. WAKE UP and convince your fellow registered voters to show up at the next local election after clearly determining if the “representative” you are supporting is a partisan shill ready to support tax burdensome development or not and vote accordingly or stop complaining as Loudoun will look like Arlington eventually.

  • 2021-02-18 at 12:01 pm

    You really have to be in the right social circle to find out this information. Especially if you can’t find in public records.

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