Paving paradise

I have a home on Battle Run Lane and I oppose the paving of Battle Run Road. As a refugee from Loudoun County, I watched as one gravel road after another succumbed to paving, opening the way to developers aplenty. When I got to Loudoun in 1996, it was still rural — when I ran away in 2007, it was a suburban bedroom community to DC, full of cul-de-sacs and soccer fields.

Mine is a cautionary tale. In addition to being a homeowner in the county, I am also a realtor in the county, and can say with certitude that paving will not bring value to your property because the charm and remote aspects of life that attract folks will diminish. (Paved roads also fill with potholes and need regular maintenance.)

But, I can assure you that it will eventually lead to more lax zoning after the developers see that more infrastructure (including cell access, by the way) will make their subdivisions more palatable to suburbanites who want to replicate their way of life further afield. The developer playbook includes putting tremendous pressure on the Board of Supervisors and landowners, including “deal sweetening,” and offering to pay for county improvements, many of which were not made or necessary (except to the developers).

I know many of these developers personally, some who live in the county, and I can tell you that they are biding their time for these kinds of “improvements” to happen.

Please don’t open the door to development! . . . (Oh, no, I hate to be fighting this fight again!)

Michelle Galler

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  1. Paving Battle Run Road will not spoil Paradise. The woman who wrote about her concerns is a weekender on Battle Run Lane. There are four lanes that connect with Battle Run Lane — three of which have no access to the rest of the world except via battle Run Road. All residents of three of those lanes contribute to the private maintenance of those lanes. Full-time residents who live on those private lanes travel back and fourth daily along public-road Battle Run Lane — to work, for grocers, for the Post Office, and for all other activities because they have no choice. Because of the heavy runoff from Googe Mountain onto Battle Run Lane, the road is a loblolly or a moonscape of potholes except immediately after the infrequent scraping by State Maintenance. There were times this year when Battle Run Road required 4-wheel drive. Battle Run Road belongs to all the citizens of Virginia and it should be paved for many practical reasons.

  2. On the other hand:
    When we moved to Madison county, 33 years ago. Our realtor took us around a number of properties, with some nice houses on them. Many of them were on what I would called “unimproved roads”, and indeed, just looking behind us as we traveled, was a cloud of dust hundreds of yards deep, where we had just driven. It was not, and had not been raining, but I could imagine. In the years here, I have traveled most every road in Madison, and Culpeper counties,in doing part time work after my regular retirement. I am glad we made the decision and told the realtor to not show us any more houses on such roads. For instance, in both the 2000 and the 2010 I was employed by the Census Bureau, and in both years, I and the census takers I supervised were constantly behind the planned timing for finishing our jobs. Too wet, from both snows and rains, and the dirt roads were impassable for days on end. Schools were canceled, and people could not get to work in towns, all because of these roads. A real mess. The real way to have privacy, is to insure your elected representatives are of the same mind you are, about mass housing. That is another story in itself, but left for another time.

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