Responding to a growing number of residents rising in opposition to Warrenton’s developer-friendly comprehensive plan, the town has pushed to October a showdown vote before Warrenton Town Council. Until residents registered their objections with the Planning Commission, it was on a fast track for a September council vote.
The delay gives town planners and their consultants time to address glaring omissions in the original document.
The overarching unanswered question is this: Why must Warrenton’s small-town charm and history be pushed aside by developers who can build what they want when they want? Why must residential Warrenton become collateral damage as developers shape the town of their dreams.
Developers wished for a green light to construct taller, larger buildings.
Wish granted: the plan raises density projections and allows five and six story buildings.
Developers wished to avoid the approval process that includes public hearings.
Wish granted: the plan authorizes by-right development, so builders can start construction without having to answer questions about size, scope, design or suitability.
Please get involved by writing or calling the mayor and Warrenton Town Council to demand that the comprehensive plan reduce population density and rescind the proposal for by-right development. Go here to contact Warrenton elected officials.
What the Plan Does
If the Planning Commission rubber stamps the comp plan, and Town Council goes along, brace yourself for:
2,102 new residential units
310,000 square feet of new commercial space
480 business class hotel rooms (120 of which are redeveloped)
Runaway construction of by-right of mixed use buildings
5-6 story buildings
The Timber Fence Parkway
A Southern Bypass
Neighborhood streets converted to through-streets
Additional sewer plant capacity
Search for water to meet daily peak demand
Conversion of the majority of our last two large greenfield parcels of industrial land into housing
Among the many unanswered questions are cost projections for the Timber Fence Parkway and a Southern Bypass, sewer system upgrades, water supply to meet peak daily needs, and an unknown list of "amenities." A fiscal model intended to assess the impacts of a larger population on town law enforcement and emergency services is riddled with too many soft numbers to make results reliable. Also unknown is whether Warrenton taxes will increase to make up for shortfalls if the plan fails to meet expectations.
The CFFC Warrenton Task Force is studying the nearly 500 page plan, sending comments to the Planning Commission, and posting findings to citizensforfauquier.org.
Please post your comments to the Planning Commission site, and ask your neighbors to do the same.
July 24, 2020
The number of written comments the town planning commission and its staff received before Tuesday night’s public hearing on Warrenton 2040, the draft comprehensive plan.
Of those, 51 opposed the plan, some of its elements and/or the timeframe for public debate.
Opponents most often cited the potential population growth — up to 5,000 more residents over the next two decades, planning for a western bypass, the potential scale of new commercial buildings and/or the potential cost of public services, including water and sewer system expansions.
Eight people testified at Tuesday night’s public hearing, with three supporting and five opposing the draft plan.
The planning commission will conduct a “work session” on the draft at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, and could vote on a recommendation to the town council Aug. 18.
60 Years On A Precipice
Now on Sale!
Hope Porter's long-awaited book chronicling Fauquier’s conservation history, 60 Years on A Precipice, is available now, direct from CFFC, for $20 plus $3.50 shipping. The book describes the men and women who helped shape modern Fauquier, the envy of the commonwealth with over 100,00 acres under conservation easement. That achievement was hard fought as developers, with help from some politicians, tried to transform Fauquier into another faceless, sprawling suburb of Washington.
Telling the CFFC Story:
The First 50 Years
Warrenton First Fridays
Another conservation-minded Fauquier resident signed up to learn about CFFC on a night when hundreds of people strolled Main Street Warrenton during the town’s First Friday event. The CFFC tent attracted the curious and the committed, as well as school children who learned that conservation includes habitat for Butterflies. The First Friday events run through October.