on July 30th 2019
5:30 - 8:30 PM
Hylton Performing Arts Center
The Gregory Room
10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, VA 20109
(next to George Mason University)
Prince William County is engaged in revising the sections of the Comprehensive Plan that pertain to the Rural Crescent and the Infrastructure and Facilities plan. It is important that your voice be heard. Under consideration is changing the boundaries of the Rural Crescent to reduce its size in response to the Rural Preservation Study prepared in 2014 for the county under the direction of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.
The current set of meeting are being represented by a graphic artist to express the mood of the room. As seen in the example below from the first meeting.
|from PW County|
It is often believed that when you own land you can do what you want with the land, but that is not true. We have zoning and the county has a comprehensive plan to guide land use and development decisions. Virginia law requires every governing body to adopt a comprehensive plan for the development of the lands within its jurisdiction. These plans are reviewed every five years, to ensure that they continue to be responsive to current circumstances and that the citizens of the county continue to support the goals of the plan and set the planned use and zoning.
It is essential that the "Voices" of all the residents of the Rural Area and of Prince William County should be heard before this important issue is settled; and that the needs and rights of existing Prince William residents be considered first. Do we want more development in the Rural Crescent?
There may not be adequate water at a reasonable price to supply higher density housing. In Virginia there are already problems with availability, quality and sustainability of groundwater in Virginia in places such as Fauquier County, Loudoun County and the Coastal Plain. It is unknown if the water resources in all areas of the Rural Crescent can adequately support the current allowed level of development. The Evergreen water system does NOT have adequate water capacity to recover from a leak or broken pipe. The Service Authority has determined that an additional well cannot solve the problem and a water tower is necessary to ensure water to their existing customers. That water tower will cost in excess of $1 million. We need to know what the costs will be to provide water to all future residents.
Advances in science have allowed NASA to measure groundwater depletion from space. They found that over the ten years of their study (2003-2013) all of Virginia’s groundwater aquifers were being depleted. We are using groundwater faster than it was being recharged and reducing the recharge with changing land use. The more roads and buildings built, the less recharge.
Prince William County is dependent on both groundwater and water from the Potomac and Occoquan reservoir. Groundwater supplies not only all the residents in the county who obtain their water from a private wells (about 15%-20%), but also a series of wells provides the public water supply in the Bull Run and Evergreen distribution area. Groundwater also provides base flow to our rivers and streams. There was a time when much of the public water in Prince William came from public wells, but contamination and other issues have required that Prince William County abandon many of the public wells and purchase water from Fairfax Water and Lake Manassas for the Western Distribution system and Fairfax Water for the eastern distribution system.
Our communities are dependent on water and those water resources are limited. In order to purchase more water from Fairfax Water, Prince William would have to have to make additional capital investments into the water treatment and storage in Fairfax county, if adequate water is even available to purchase. In addition, Prince William County would have to provide water distribution and sewage to any higher density development.
Making changes to the Rural Crescent that lets existing residents or future residents run out of water or have inadequate water to meet future planned development is unacceptable. State law now requires that the County’s Comprehensive Plan address water availability, quality and sustainability as well as transportation needs directly, and as practical matter new development creates a need for schools, hospitals, and electrical capacity with associated demands and impacts on water resources which must also be addressed.