Archive for the ‘Events and Screenings’ Category

Proposed Blackthorne Inn Development near Upperville, VA

The Goose Creek recently sent comments to the Fauquier Planning Commission regarding the Proposed Blackthorne Inn Development. See below and keep updated at Fauquier.com.

Signed GCA Letter 5 17 17

Blackthorne Inn – Cynthia Kirsch Photography

 

Holly Meade
Chief of Planning
Fauquier County
Department of Community Development
10 Hotel Street
Warrenton, Virginia 20186

May 16, 2017

RE: SPEX-16-006207

Dear Ms. Meade:

The Goose Creek Association is concerned with the size and scope of the special exception applications filed by the Easton Porter Group (EPG) for development of the Blackthorne Inn property in Upperville, Virginia. This 57acre property lies within the Goose Creek watershed, an integral source of groundwater for residents of Fauquier and Loudoun counties, as well as part of the Potomac and Chesapeake Bay watersheds. The property also lies within the Unison Battlefield Historic District.

GCA endorses the Planning Commission’s review comments on the proposed development and appreciates the professional review you, your staff and other agencies have provided. We strongly believe that the EPG should address all the issues and questions raised in your report, before any special exception permit is issued. In particular, the extensive use of water and alternative septic systems (ASS) should be scrutinized and tested before any development for their impact on the ground water.

We cannot simply accept EPG’s assertions that there will be no impact on the watershed, as we have heard this before. Marshall is facing a groundwater crisis that is being addressed with over a million dollars of taxpayers’ money, despite frequent assertions that there is plenty of water in Marshall. Fauquier and the US Army Corps of Engineers are in the midst of a multi-year study of Fauquier’s aquifers. Without the results of this study and a site-specific drawdown study on the property, we simply cannot accept the developer’s assertions that there will be no impact on the surrounding wells and watershed.

Further, the use of ASS raise issues of maintenance and the toxicity of dispersed outflow. These systems incur more frequent mechanical break-downs than regular septic systems, especially when used intermittently due to seasonal fluctuations of use, and do not resolve all toxic outflow when operating as intended, as nitrates and other non-biologicals can infiltrate and pollute the groundwater.

Finally, granting these special exception requests, as proposed, will create a precedent for all properties zoned as Rural Agricultural in Fauquier. Such zoning does not require or compel commercial development on the scale proposed, even for so-called agri-tourism. Granting this application could lead to similar development requests throughout the county with consequences that are not amicable to the peace and quietude of our countryside.

The size and location of the events center and other potential outdoor events are of particular concern given that they are likely to impose excessive noise, light and traffic burdens on the otherwise rural and residential community. Last November Mr. Dean Andrews asserted that the resort would work within the parameters of the 2014 special exception “license” approval. However, EPG’s current application far exceeds the parameters of that approval. See Fauquier Times, “Blackthorne’s new owners vow to ‘minimize impact’ on neighbors,” November 17, 2016. The proposed size and frequency of events belie EPG’s assertion. In the article, Mr. Andrews also suggests that the overnight guest accommodations would be capped at 120, not the EPG proposal’s 78. EPG’s subsequent assertion that the number of overnight residents will be fixed as proposed at 78 rather than lead to more lodging development in the future must be scrutinized. Whatever the amount of accommodations and events that are permitted, perhaps the EPG could put the property under an easement that sets the development at that level to ensure no further development by EPG or another owner occurs in the future.

The nearby Salamander Resort began as a proposed @ 70 room inn and morphed, for commercial reasons, into the size and scale it is today (168 rooms). EPG’s proposed events center size and the frequency of events requested are similar to those of the Salamander Resort and more than the Airlie Resort, both of which are located on hundreds of acres, not 57, with specially built water reserve facilities. In addition, other nearby resorts and event centers are being planned on a massive scale that will only bring more competition for accommodations and events. See Banbury Cross Reserve on Rt.50 east of Middleburg in Loudoun County.

If Fauquier County’s Comprehensive Plan for Rural Agricultural zoning is to have any meaning, our Planning Commissioners and Supervisors must address whether and where developments of this size are appropriate and credible. Promises of over one hundred full-time jobs in a seasonal business and bounteous tax revenues must be weighed against declining adjacent property values and reality.

EPG’s proposal seems to be preliminary, and they have not yet responded to staff comments, so GCA will continue to monitor EPG’s application for responses to the concerns raised here, by neighbors and by the Department of Community Development. EPG is a high quality developer and professes to be a good steward of the environment that has produced beautiful properties elsewhere. Therefore, we hope that EPG will amend its proposal to address these concerns and produce a more appropriate plan for our watershed and community.

Sincerely yours,

Lori Keenan McGuinness
Chair, Fauquier County, on behalf of the
Goose Creek Association

Goose Creek Canoe and Cleanup Day – June 3, 2017

Join Us! For a wonderful documentary “Saving Place, Saving Grace” January 27th, 6pm-8pm at the Hill School, Middleburg, VA

pffsavinggraceposter

LAND TRUST OF VIRGINIA AND GOOSE CREEK ASSOCIATION PRESENT: SAVING GRACE, SAVING PLACE AT THE HILL SCHOOL JANUARY 27, 2017

Contact: Kerry Roszel 540-687-8441

Event: The Land Trust of Virginia, in conjunction with the Goose Creek Association and Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, will host a free screening of Saving Grace, Saving Place, a documentary chronicling the story of a Trappist monastery’s struggle for reformation of their home by embracing an intense sustainability initiative. Witness the monks’ land stewardship, prayer, and work ethic as the core of the community at Holy Cross Abbey. It’s a race against time to retain their rural home along the iconic Shenandoah River in the shadow of The Blue Ridge Mountains.

Ecology meets theology. Saving Place, Saving Grace portrays an extraordinary place and grace in the spirit of contemplative prayer and lifestyle that is the soul of Cool Spring. And—without the active engagement of the internal and external communities—this 1,200-acre property and community could disappear.

When: Friday, January 27, 2017

Time: 6:00pm Animal Ambassadors from Blue Ridge Wildlife will be on hand for a meet and greet before the film begins.

6:30pm – 7:30pm movie followed by Q&A.

Where: The Hill School Performing Arts Center, 130 South Madison Street, Middleburg, VA

Cost: Free. Preregistration is encouraged. Contact Kerry Roszel: kerry@landtrustvaorg or (540) 687-8441 or www.landtrustva.org.

The Land Trust of Virginia partners with private landowners who wish to voluntarily protect and preserve their working farmland or natural lands with significant scenic, historic, and ecological value for the benefit of our community using conservation easements.

The Goose Creek Association protects and preserves the natural resources, open space, historic heritage, and rural quality of life within the Goose Creek watershed.

Blue Ridge Wildlife Center works to ensure the future of native wildlife through rescue and rehabilitation, research, and education.

 

Markham Truck Rest Area Decision Suspended

Our voices were heard at a recent public meeting regarding the proposed Markham Truck Rest Area, which approximately 84 people attended and 90 comments were posted.

VDOT has decided to suspend any decisions pending research into other viable solutions and recommendations for managing truck parking shortage.

Read full letter below:

granger-letter10-14-16

Project Wild Thing Screening at The Hill School April 22, 2016

LTV, Goose Creek Association, and Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Host

Project Wild Thing Screening at The Hill School April 22, 2016

Contact: Kerry Roszel 540-687-8441

April 1, 2016– The Land Trust of Virginia, in conjunction with the Goose Creek Association and Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, will host a free screening of Project Wild Thing on Friday April 22, 2016 at The Hill School Performing Arts Center in Middleburg, VA. The 4:30 screening will be preceded by a visit from the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center’s Animal Ambassadors and a second screening will be held at 7:15 pm. Admission is free.

Project_Wild_Thing_final

Click on Image to Download Poster

Project Wild Thing is a documentary chronicling one man’s personal quest to get his children off the couch and into the great outdoors and is an ambitious, feature-length documentary that takes a funny and accessible look at a complex issue, the increasingly fragile connection between children and nature.

Watch the trailer!

David Bond is a filmmaker and a father.  Things have really changed since he was a kid.  His children are hooked on screens and don’t want to go outdoors; they want iPads, TV and plastic toys. The marketing departments of Apple, Disney and Mattel control his children better than he can.  Determined to get them up and out, David appoints himself as the Marketing Director for Nature.  With the help of branding and outdoor experts, he develops and launches a nationwide marketing campaign to get British children outside. But the competition is not going to lie down and let some upstart with a free product steal their market.  Project Wild Thing is the hilarious, real-life story of one man’s determination to get children out and into the ultimate, free wonder-product: Nature.

The Hill School is located at 130 S. Madison St, Middleburg, VA.

landtrustva

The Land Trust of Virginia partners with private landowners who wish to voluntarily protect and preserve their working farmland or natural lands with significant scenic, historic, and ecological value for the benefit of our community using conservation easements.

blueridgewildlife

Blue Ridge Wildlife Center works to ensure the future of native wildlife through rescue and rehabilitation, research, and education.

Letter of Objection to Alcoholic Beverage Control

Date:  August 26, 2015

To:  Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

The Board of Directors of the Goose Creek Association, PO Box 1178, Middleburg, VA 20117, hereby objects to the issuance of a Limited Brewery License and a Retail Off Premises Limited Brewery License/Keg Permit (License Numbers 87875 and 87876) to B Chord Brewing Company LLC d/b/a B Chord Brewing Co., to be exercised at 19481 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont, Virginia 20135.

Issuance of these licenses will have a substantial and negative impact on the quietude, tranquility, and safety of the surrounding rural area, including the Goose Creek watershed in which the proposed B Chord facilities and operations are to be located.  Negative impacts are due to, among other things, increased traffic and noise, loss of aesthetic appeal and view shed impacts from the (18’height) hops poles, exterior lighting, parking lot, and other structures and facilities, and, importantly, an unknown and undescribed impact on the Goose Creek watershed due to substantial increases in well water usage and its disposal in local, on-site septic field/s. 

As a community organization whose mission includes the protection of Goose Creek and its watershed located in Loudoun and Fauquier Counties, VA, we have major concerns related to the as yet undefined  impact of the proposed B Chord facilities and operations on the watershed, and the possible/likely negative impact on the environment, on property values, and the continued existence and value of other agricultural, equine, or recreational operations or entities, due to reduced or polluted water resources including the Goose Creek, local drinking water sources, wells, and the aquifer serving the southwestern Loudoun area.

Additionally, the issuance of these licenses with the aforementioned nuisance and environmental impacts will negatively impact and substantially decrease the value of abutting and neighborhood rural properties, located in a quiet, designated historic and heavily conserved area which will be degraded by commercial and patron traffic at a load necessary to support the proposed business and at hours of operation currently allowed.  Much of the appeal to past, current and future visitors and residents or purchasers of properties within the area is the absence of commercial activity associated with establishments such as the proposed retail brewery.   In addition to everyday operations, we are concerned that special events at the facility and how they will be limited or prohibited to insure no adverse impacts, will be inadequate to protect already existing properties and residents.

We hereby object to the issuance of the above-referenced licenses.

Thank you for your attention to these objections.

Bonnie L. Mattingly, Co-chair Loudoun County, Goose Creek Association

And the Board of Directors of the Goose Creek Association

PO Box  1178, Middleburg, VA  20117

Phone:  540 687 3073

You Are Invited

ANNUAL MEETING
at The Rector House, 7260 Rector Lane, Marshall, VA
on Monday, June 8, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.

Presentation on GCA Annual Report 2015
&
Speaker Kimberley Fogle, Director Community Development, Fauquier County
Speaking on Fauquier County’s Policy on Future Telecom Development

Light refreshments served

Please RSVP by June 4, 2015 to (540) 687-3073
or
andrea(at)goosecreek.org

Earth Day Loudoun

EARTH DAY LOUDOUN 2015

Booth at Earth Day Loudoun

Goose Creek Association had a booth at the Earth Day Loudoun fair held on Saturday, April 26, 2015.  Our booth was a favorite with the children, as the “stars of the booth” were the macroinvertebrates (bugs) caught that morning at a site on Little River in the Goose Creek watershed.  We had a great time speaking with the Loudoun County residents who had never seen the bugs before and were interested in water quality issues.  It was a beautiful day and everyone had a great time.

Movie Update

PlasticParadisePosterGCA, Land Trust of Virginia and Virginia League of Conservation Voters Education Fund hosted the environmental movie screening Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch on Friday, March 6 at The Hill School in Middleburg. In spite of freezing temperatures and snow covered roads from a storm the night before we had a great crowd show up and enjoy the movie. The movie is a serious look at plastic in our lives and what it’s doing to our health and our ecosystems. The Pacific Ocean along with earth’s other great bodies of water are being transformed into garbage recepticals. Action needs to be taken now to curb this environmental disaster from getting worse. We can all help by:  Using multi use bags for all shopping, adopting a non-1-use plastic container policy, urging legislators to adopt a no plastic bag policy and telling friends and neighbors about the importance of reducing plastic usage.

Save the date: Environmental Movie Night

Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, come join us and see this intriguing environmental documentary on March 6, 2015 at The Hill School in the Sheila C. Johnson Performing Arts Center, 130 South Madison Street, Middleburg, VA 20117. Doors open at 6:30 for free refreshments, movie starts at 7:00 p.m. Free stainless steel water bottles for the first attendees!PlasticParadisePoster

 
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