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Sterling Planning Commissioner Helena Syska "LESS CHESAPEAKE BAY AND MORE ZONING INSPECTORS CRACKING DOWN ON OVERCROWDING"

October 28, 2010
Sterling Planning Commissioner sent this letter to the editor and made this statement available to the news media.

LAND DEVELOPERS DEMONIZED

Illusory, greedy, corrupt. Politician? Land developer? So they have been defined, but there is a new brand of charlatan that has made his way into our society. The greedy environmentalist. Perish the thought. How could anyone with the good intention of saving the woodland turtle, reducing the country's dependence on fossil fuels, or wanting our streams to run clean and clear be so utterly demonized?

WOLVES IN SHEEPS CLOTHING

Because wolves come in sheep's clothing, that's why. The greedy environmentalist aims to use the green ideal to give the public a guilt trip about their lack of stewardship of the land. And while you sacrifice, they fill their own pockets. For example, citizens across the country have been intrigued by those huge sleek, contemporary wind mills which purportedly will cut back on our reliance of foreign oil. So far they have produced very little energy for the cost. Someone is using your tax dollars in the form of government grants to construct them and is paying themselves a hefty salary to do so. In the meantime those who welcomed these mesmerizing structures into their communities in the name of environmental correctness are suffering with the unending, deafening noise and vibrations they cause.

CHESAPEAKE BAY IS TROJAN HORSE

Reviewed by the Loudoun County Planning Commission this year and now before a committee of the Board of Supervisors, the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance was voluntarily put on the table in Loudoun to improve the County's, and therefore, the Bay's water quality. Loudoun's politicians are these days carefully crafting ways to make the CBPO more palatable to the public.

CBPO MAKES NO SENSE FOR LOUDOUN

Representing the Sterling District on the Planning Commission, I voted against recommending that the Board adopt the CBPO. Sterling District Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio continues to fight the CBPO vigorously at the board level. Why? Because boiler-plate legislation like the CBPO doesn't make sense for Loudoun. We the people of Loudoun are capable of pulling together a contingency of highly qualified people to address water quality without inviting the federal government in to tell us what we should do. And, there are too many other pressing needs in Loudoun that require attention.

FARMERS AND BUSINESS UNDER ATTACK

Businesses and farmers in Loudoun are agitated and nervous about the CBPO. They cannot invest today into this endeavor when the economy is so fragile. They have told us that. Homeowners are unsettled when they hear that it will cost them an additional $6700 to add a pool or patio, garage or shed, playhouse or retaining wall as they would be required to hire professionals to map, at their own expense, the required resource protection areas of their property for land disturbing activities and submit the map to the government data base, with no guarantee of approval of the project.

Then there is the requirement for additional buffer plantings without the thought of the full cost to the property owner of maintaining such a buffer when it begins to mature. Have a thousand dollars lying around to chop down a single tree when the County comes out to tell you that the once needed tree meant to stabilize soil and hold back erosion is now becoming invasive?

So why is the Board so obsessed with pushing the CBPO? Why aren't less burdensome and costly alternatives being explored? Are they following the dictates of politicians from above and not the will of the people of Loudoun? Good intentioned, but very complicated and confusing, the CBPO is just more layers of government regulation, bureaucracy, intrusion.

Mind you, the County does not have to adopt the Chesapeake Bay Ordinance at all. This is all about voluntary compliance. What is truly pathetic and so disappointing is that the extensive work and expense farmers and developers have already put into making and keeping our waters clean through Best Management Practices (BMPs) over the past decades is unknown to the general public and being ignored or minimized by politicians and the media.

If the Board can find local, state or federal tax money to provide incentives to put the CBPO in place, then it can find the money now, today, to put more deputies on the streets to fight crime and protect us.

MORE ZONING INSPECTORS TO CRACK DOWN ON BACKLOG OF TAX EVADERS AND OVERCROWDING

The Board can bring in more zoning inspectors to address the backlog of zoning complaints and complaints of residents not having personal property car stickers, which provide the County with valued revenue. How in the world will the CBPO, if adopted, be enforced if citizens today are not getting a quick response to their complaints? The water is supposed to get cleaner and our communities in the meantime turn into sewers? It doesn't make sense.

The dance with developers was a dismal affair. Engaging in environmental ego trips can be detrimental as well. Focusing on reducing the County's increasing crime, fixing roads, moving traffic, cleaning up, revitalizing and investing in our communities, making sure that every child is educated well, and welcoming business should take precedence.

Helena Syska

Sterling, VA

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