Growing Membership Tops CFFC’s 2019 Goals
By Les Cheek, CFFC President
The CFFC board has embraced a broad range of goals for 2019. Chief among them is growing our membership, especially among residents new to Fauquier and those in the agricultural southern part of the county.
We believe that a majority of Fauquier residents support CFFC’s vision to preserve the county’s historical character as a controlled-growth, moderate-tax, rural agricultural jurisdiction. The payoff is clean air, pure water, bright nighttime skies and a population that expands slowly, in contrast to high-growth, high-traffic, high-tax counties such as Loudoun and Prince William.
CFFC’s objective, fact-based approach to local commercial and residential development proposals seeks to balance inevitable change with the preferences of those who live here, in the expectation that much of what has well-served earlier arrivals will do so for those to come.
The membership campaign will be built around events that connect CFFC to the environment, historical preservation and protection of Fauquier’s equine and agricultural base. At CFFC, we never forget that Fauquier is a rural, agricultural county and not a bedroom for greater Washington.
CFFC’s 2019 goals build on the past to assure a better future, starting with attracting more members and including:
Securing adoption of zoning ordinance amendments applying Fauquier’s farm winery regulations to the promotional activities of farm breweries, cideries and distilleries.
Given the success of the county’s nuanced farm winery rules in balancing the interests of winery owners and their rural neighbors, CFFC believes that those even-handed regulations should be applied to newer but similar enterprises in order to foreclose the inadvertent creation of an easily-avoided and possibly dangerous regulatory void for nascent businesses dealing with alcoholic beverages.
Support creation of and funding for a full-time zoning inspector/enforcement officer position in the county’s Department of Community Development.
Many Fauquier residents are unfamiliar with the county’s complex zoning ordinance, while others are concerned about the spotty and entirely complaint-driven enforcement of even the most basic rules (e.g., signage, setback requirements).
Lay the groundwork for the creation of Rural Historic Districts (RHD’s) in (a) the area along the Rappahannock River north and west of Orlean; (b) Springs Valley; and (c) Goldvein.
Fauquier’s enormous geography (660 square miles) includes large swaths of land that look much as they did 150 or more years ago. If George Washington suddenly appeared in Fauquier, he would immediately recognize the area he knew as a young surveyor. The creation of RHD’s in these historically sensitive areas will help preserve their enduring rural character.
Develop criteria for the creation of a taxpayer-funded, part-time firefighter/paramedic volunteer recruiter and grant application writer position in the county’s Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Response.
The accelerating decline in the proportion of volunteers among the county’s first responders and the growing need for grants to support first-class rural emergency services threaten enormous future increases in taxpayer costs. Beefed up volunteer recruitment and higher grant receipts would greatly reduce this threat.
Seek capital sources to finance Fauquier infrastructure for the aggregation of produce, meat and other agricultural products in a regional food port.
Fauquier’s changing agriculture industry needs facilities to enable farmers to aggregate their output for bulk rate sale to restaurants, grocers and institutions.