Covington to Recuse Himself from Pioneer Assemblage, Birkwood at Braemar Vote

| September 19, 2013 | 0 Comments | News

Sign advertising retail space on the acres that may now be converted to high residential housing.

Brentsville Supervisor Wally Covington said in a statement on the Brentsville District Facebook page that he would recuse himself from voting on the Pioneer Assemblage and possibly the Birkwood at Braemar home development proposals.

According to Covington, the two projects may be tied together, and as the Pioneer Assemblage presents a conflict of interest for him, that would extend to Birkwood as well.

Statement from Supervisor Covington:

Recently Brookfield Homes put forward two proposals in the Brentsville District:  PLN2013-00384 “Pioneer Assemblage” and PLN2014-00077 “Birkwood at Braemar.” As these two developments move through staff review and the planning commission, the proposals may eventually, via proffers, be tied together. Due to the fact that my family has a long-term ownership interest, dating back primarily to the 1950s, in a family farm which my parents purchased on Pioneer Drive, land on which we continue today to raise cattle, I intend to recuse myself from both of these votes if/when these proposals come to the Board of County Supervisors for consideration.

As many Braemar residents, along with many Brentsville District residents, disapprove of more homes being built in the area, some may be dismayed to learn that their supervisor would not be voting on an issue they consider to be critical.

However, in a statement to a citizen that was released to Bristow Beat via Covington’s office, the supervisor explained that residents would have a voice and vote; it would just not come from him.

For the record, Brentsville is never without representation. The chairman is elected to serve “at- large,” which includes Brentsville District. When the board as a whole considers an issue, their votes represent the people at- large.  You may always, on any issue of import to you that comes before the Board of County Supervisors, direct your comments to any supervisor.

He also specified that it is not a given that the two properties would be reviewed together and that “anything can happen.”

The proposals for Birkwood at Braemar and Pioneer Drive are in the earliest stages of review by planning staff. Literally, anything can happen as staff proceeds to analyze the pros and cons of the developments.  In short, they may not ever come before the Board of County Supervisors.  However, as required by state law and with the advice of the County Attorney, I issued my disclosure as early in the review process as possible.

Private property off Broadlanes Lane near Pioneer Drive in Nokesville. Property on the south side of Broad Run is rural and serene.

Several Braemar residents have said that the idea of more homes coming into their neighborhood is troublesome when they have over-crowded classrooms and students at Marsteller Middle School in trailers.

One citizen who commented on Bristow Beat’s Facebook page, following an article about the Birkwood developments, suggested the county should “stop building for a few years and let the economy catch up.”

Another woman said, “Personally, I don’t believe we need any more homes in the area. It’s ridiculous. Just causes more traffic and overcrowding in our already overcrowded schools!”

Others said they felt duped by Brookfield Homes who had promised them more stores, not homes. However, some residents said that Bristow had enough of both stores and homes, and some open space would be nice.

© 2013, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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