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August 18, 2005


The Regular Session of the Purcellville Planning Commission convened at 7:00 p.m. and the following attended:


PRESENT:            Dennis Beese, Chairman

                        Mike Reles, Planning Commissioner

Catherine Falknor, Planning Commissioner

Jonathan Stewart, Planning Commissioner

Michael Seigfried, Planning Commissioner

                        Tom Priscilla, Planning Commissioner/Council Liaison


STAFF:            Wayne Lee, Senior Planner

                        Tucker Keller, Planning Technician

                        Maureen Gilmore, Town Attorney




The regular meeting of the Planning Commission was called to order at 7:03 p.m. 








a)      Draft Zoning Ordinance Amendment re:  Historic Corridor Overlay District.  The Commission will hear comments on this amendment initiated by the Town Council to add a historic corridor overlay district to the zoning ordinance.


Tucker Keller read the following into the record for Martha Semmes.  “I Martha Mason Semmes, Purcellville Director of Planning and Zoning do hereby attest and affirm that on August 11, 2005 I sent written notices by first-class mail to the last known address of all affected property owners and/or home owner associations or owner’s agents concerning a Public Hearing by the Purcellville Planning Commission to be held on August 18, 2005 at 7pm in the Town Office, 130 E. Main Street, Purcellville, Virginia regarding a zoning ordinance text and zoning map amendment to create the Historic Corridor Overlay District in accordance with title 15.2-2204 of the Code of Virginia as amended.  A list of whom is attached hereto along with the sample of the letter so sent.  This affidavit and list shall be included in the file for this zoning text and map amendment.  Martha Mason Semmes”.



Bob Lazaro, 725 Sunflower Court, Purcellville, VA


Mr. Lazaro is representing himself as a resident of the Town.  He is in favor of the Historic Corridor Overlay District ordinance as submitted to the Commission.  It’s consistent with the Town’s award winning Comprehensive Plan which was adopted in 1998.  Purcellville is rich in history and culture and this he believes is the first step in ensuring that future generations of residents and visitors to Purcellville will enjoy for many years to come.  He would like this ordinance passed to preserve the history of Purcellville.


Charles King, American Legion Post 293, Purcellville


The Legion understands that the Town needs to upgrade but they have a problem with the Town being able to dictate to them what size signs are allowed and what color they’d have to paint their building.  He believes this would take away their freedom of choice.


Mary Moorcones, 101 N. 28th Street


She grew up in Purcellville and appreciates the preservation and the revitalization however, this particular document is fraught with controversy and could be interpreted by anyone any way they wanted to do so.  Even in the intent there are two conflicting ideas – 1) historic preservation 2) revitalization and when you go further into the application, it pretty much restricts you from doing anything.  She agrees with the gentlemen when he said you are taking away choice.  When she reads the document it seems to say that if a family with young children moved into a house on Main Street with no fence then they couldn’t construct a fence, or change a fence in order to protect their children.  She reviewed the wording in the ordinance and said she feels the wording is conflictive.  She feels the Town will be policing all homes who want to possibly add an addition in this district.  She feels that the Town is trying to turn Main Street into a home owner’s association like the new developments.  She believes that some of the businesses in the district area could use some design changes and update them.  Having worked in a federal agency and worked on regulations, this doesn’t pass the plain English muster for readability.


Susie Windham, 410 W. Main Street, Purcellville


She congratulated the Town Council for their July 19 action for sending this resolution to the Planning Commission and congratulations to the Planning Commission for putting this on tonight’s agenda.  Both Ms. Windham and her husband Roy support this proposed action.  This is one of the examples of what she has heard for three years from the people which was generated in workshops in the Comprehensive Plan and in two or three Charrettes that involved some of the people that are at tonight’s meeting.  It is the beginning of establishing a positive identity for the Town of Purcellville.  We are no longer a small rural town and we need to keep the identity of that group by trying to keep the structures here in Town.  She thinks it’s a fantastic idea to put guidelines on certain streets.  There are safety valves, nothing is set in stone, and residents can come in front of the different committees to voice their opinion.  We have valuable businesses in Town and they are only going to benefit because when you have the title of something Historic attached to your Town, people will flock here to drive around the streets and shop in Purcellville.  The home owners have done their best to make their homes nice.  This will mean that the Town cared so much about preservation and beautification that the Town took legislative action to make it come true. 


Tom Rust, 1779 Roxbury Hall Road, Leesburg


Although he lives in Leesburg, he spends most of his time in Purcellville.  He operates Loudoun Truck Center and Loudoun Milk Transportation at 631 W. Main Street.  He supports the general gist of the legislation and its intent but is disturbed with the lack of conciseness in the language.  He doesn’t think it’s exacting enough to be informative about what a historical structure is and protects the tax base.  He would like them to take a look at what you can do to be a little more concise with the wording and make it more exact and better defined.


He gave an example of how confusing regulations can be by reading a regulation by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Commonwealth of Virginia.  He read from VAC 5-501 Regulations Governing the Cooling, Storing and Sampling, and Transportation of Milk.  This regulations wording is exacting and might be useful to the exact wording of a “historical structure”.  He would like firm guidelines as to what he can do with signs and buildings.


Philip Forbes, Purcellville


His family has lived in Purcellville for over 100 years, his house has been here for 94 years and he applauds their efforts.  In 1982 he attended a Planning session and found out that Main Street was zoned commercial.  It took 8 years to get Main Street rezoned to residential.  The first meeting of the PBA was held in his living room.  There were 7 attendees and 4 of them are here tonight.  This legislation has been a long time coming.  Save it now, you won’t be able to save it later.  God Bless You, Semper Fi.


David Eno, 351 E. Main Street


He believes the ordinance goes too far with restrictions.  He doesn’t think most people realize what is in the document.  He believes the restriction for road frontage is too much – he only has 300 feet.  He believes the houses on Main Street are now in great shape after new owners have put paint and elbow grease on the homes.  Neighbors helped neighbors accomplish this task.  No one he knows anything about this new plan.  The Charrette was during working hours when most people were working and couldn’t attend.  There is a need to have our hearings when people are available.  He offered his home for a community meeting without having to deal with the legal terms that are in this document.  It sounds to him like a lot of boiler plate that has ended up on our Town’s Planning book which has come from Fairfax County.  He’s compared our Planning’s documents to Fairfax’s documents and they are very similar.  The proposal needs more work – there is a lot left open to interpretation.


Donald Berry, 331 W. Main Street


He and his wife support this initiative.  They have lived here for 30 years and is a member of the PPA.  He is encouraged with the document and hopes it can move forward, although it sounds like some details have to be worked out.




a)   TP05-09 – Wright Farm Phase 5 Record Plat – This is the phase of Wright Farm to

the west of Berlin Turnpike for which we recently have received several extensions

in order for the plat to be revised to address Town staff and review agency comments.    Action on this plat is now required.


Mr. Lee gave a status report on this project.  Staff recommends approval of this plat with certain conditions.  Ms. Gilmore discussed the different legal issues of the plat – including dedicating the street to the Town, which the Board of Supervisors would have to approve.  Commissioner Seigfried informed the Commission that the Board of Supervisors will include this in their meeting scheduled for September 6. 


Ms. Hommel, Wright Farm, LLC reviewed what changes have been made to this plat.  She further reviewed the plat, the lots, parcels, and streets that would be involved as well as the approval process.  She also reviewed the County’s requested changes and what language would have to be changed on the plat.


Commissioner Priscilla questioned the reservation (lot 98) near the church and how it’s been split for Phase 5.  They don’t have the reservation from the church to date.  He also questioned a future bridge structure and if the reservation is adequate for this possible future project.


Commissioner Seigfried is concerned with the dedication of the road and whether it should go to the Town of Purcellville or to Loudoun County.  Ms. Hommel and Ms. Gilmore answered questions pertaining to this issue. 


Motion by Commissioner Stewart to move approval of TP05-09 – Wright Farm Phase 5 Record Plat an application for record plat approval for a 22 lot subdivision on a 124.85 acre portion of the properties identified with Pins 452-46-5048 and 487-30-6183 subject to the execution of a state maintained roads agreement and performance bond and appropriate amount in acceptance of these two documents by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and to consider adding wording to the deed that would include the Town as a grantee on the reservation for the northern collector road.


                                                                        Motion by:            Commissioner Stewart

                                                                        Seconded:            Commissioner Seigfried


      Amendments to motion by adding signing of the deed by the Board of Supervisors.


                                                                        Motion by:            Commissioner Stewart

                                                                        Seconded:            Commissioner Seigfried

                                                Passed:      5-1 (Priscilla)




a)   Draft Zoning Ordinance Amendment re:  Historic Corridor Overlay District.  The

      Town Council has scheduled a Public Hearing on these amendments for September

     13, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.  The Commission is discussing the public hearing and the

      proposed amendments for the purposes of improving the draft and preparing to make

      a recommendation to Town Council on the draft.


Mr. Lee reviewed this plan, its wording, the exemptions, and its intent.  Mr. Lee also discussed what changes are being made to structures by the Board of Architectural Review. 


Commissioner Stewart believes adding a definition page to this document would be advantageous for clarity.  Commissioner Seigfried asked different questions pertaining to ownership of residential and commercial properties for clarification.  He further asked for clarification of the wording in 2.2.1. 


Chairman Beese has concern with the use of the word “substantial”.  He is concerned over the restrictions and bureaucracy and doesn’t believe it’s going to benefit the residential property owners.  The economic gain would be useful if the residence was on the State Historic Board and Trust for tax advantages and possible grants.  If you’re not on the list but in this zoning district, it could be a detriment and could hurt the value of your property. 


Mr. Lee read the following into record:


Uses permitted by special use permit or commission permit.


The following uses may be permitted by special use permit approved by the Town Council following report by the Planning Commission in accordance with the procedures, guides and standards of Article 8:


1.      Bed and breakfast facility.

2.      Convalescent homes, rest homes, nursing homes, or homes for the aged.

3.      Family care homes or foster homes.

4.      Hospital or clinic for humans.

5.      Nursery schools, kindergartens, child care centers, day nursery, or day care centers subject to Article 6, care or home child care, nursery schools, kindergartens, child care centers, day nursery or day care centers.

6.      Private schools, colleges, or universities subject to the standards contained in Article 6, Section 7.3.

7.      Radio or television transmission or receiving tower not more than 50 feet in height.

8.      Recreational uses or facilities for a private membership, such as clubs and lodges, golf courses, game courts, swimming pools, archery range, fishing or boating lakes, picnic grounds, or similar activities, and accessory facilities, including sale of food, beverages, incidentals, supplies and equipment.

9.      Churches and other places of worship, and their accessory uses associated therewith.  Accessory uses may include daycare, “soup kitchens,” temporary shelters, special camps and other services provided by the congregation but which are considered by this ordinance to be secondary to the primary function of the church for religious services. 


      When filing an application for a special use permit for a church, the applicant       must list each accessory use it intends to operate.  Permits for churches may be       approved without all the proposed accessory uses.  After the approval of the initial       use permit for a church, subsequent applications must be made for any new       accessory use or change in an existing accessory use.


      When considering a request for a special use permit for a church and any       accessory uses, the Planning Commission and Council may consider the       following and impose those conditions necessary to mitigate impacts:  traffic;       parking; hours of operation; impact on adjacent neighborhoods; types of special       events; time limitations for accessory uses such as for shelters; number of students       in church schools and daycare; number of inhabitants for shelters.


Section 6.  Site plan review required for certain uses.


6.1  For the purposes of assuring careful use of difficult topography and good arrangement, appearance, function, and harmony with surroundings and adjacent uses and the objectives of the comprehensive plan, and compliance with the requirements of these regulations, site plans for the following major uses shall be submitted and reviewed in accordance with the requirements and procedures of Article 11:


1.                  Uses permitted by approval by special use permit.

2.                  Cluster subdivisions or subdivisions which average lot area.

3.                  Planned housing developments.

4.                  Mobile home parks or subdivisions

5.                  Multiple-family dwellings.

6.                  Townhouses

7.                  Churches, temples and synagogues

8.                  Drive-in facilities, all types

9.                  Automobile service stations

10.              Hotels, motels, or motor lodges

11.              Shopping centers

12.              Business buildings, office buildings, commercial buildings, or industrial buildings, if such buildings are to contain more than 5,000 square feet of floor area.

13.              Any parking lot or parking facility which is to contain more than five spaces.

14.              All uses which utilize common facilities such as entrances and exits, parking and loading facilities.

15.              Any use noted as subject to site plan review.








None – there wasn’t an August, 2005 meeting.  Commissioner Priscilla questioned when the PUGAMP’s catch all meeting would be scheduled.




Chairman Beese apologized for missing the last PUGAMP meeting and stated that he may miss the next meeting.




Changes to be made to July 21, 2005:


-                     Second page (30) under Chairman and Commissioner Comments – where it states, “Commissioner Seigfried stated that the Board of Supervisors voted to put the schools our – “our” should be “out”.

-                     Correct the header for the July 21, 2005 meeting.

-                     The items from July 21 and August 4 are the same minutes.


Commissioner Seigfried made a motion to defer the approval of these minutes until the next scheduled meeting in order to correct the minutes.


                                                                        Motion:            Commissioner Seigfried

                                                                        Carried:           All




There being no further business the meeting adjourned at 9:17 PM.





                                                                        Dennis Beese, Chairman




Jennifer Helbert, Town Clerk