This is the letter I sent in to the Board of Supervisors this afternoon regarding the CBPO I mentioned here earlier. I am posting it here in response to suggestions by fellow Loudouners. Feel free to modify it and use it to send in to the Board yourself.
I have read, with some alarm, of the attempts by members of the Board to implement the features of the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act (1988) in a Chesapeake Bay Preservation Ordinance. This is ill-advised and I suggest in the strongest of terms that you halt the effort.
The first, most obvious, point of all of this is that Loudoun does not touch the Chesapeake Bay. This fact was clearly realized when the CBPA was enacted in 1988 since the localities addressed by the Bay Act were specifically eastern tidewater regions to the east of I-95. Localities further away were recognized as having minimal, if any, affect. Your own staff has reported that no benefit study has been done, let alone has suggested that implementing the CBPO would present any benefit to Loudoun’s residents in any way. You are shooting in the dark at a target you do not even know is there. Aside from some tenuous, distant relationship the affects of implementing the Act here in Loudoun would not provide any measurable benefit to Loudoun, making this proposal something that falls quite a bit out of the scope of Loudoun’s governance.
Secondly, it is plainly obvious that Loudoun does not have the staff to implement this kind of regime. It would require millions of dollars to set up, millions more to maintain, and millions on top of that to staff. Considering that Loudoun’s most recent budgetary actions required reductions from schools, sheriff’s department, and other public safety organizations – clearly essential services to Loudouners – I fail to see how Loudoun could afford to stand up such a necessarily large and intrusive program.
Third, Loudoun lacks the information to even tell where, specifically, the more highly restricted areas in Loudoun would be. To simply designate everywhere that can’t be proven to be within 100′ of a body of water as a Resource Management Area shows the huge inaccuracies inherent in the program as stated. It smacks of nothing more than a power grab; an attempt to exert government control over all private property in the county. History has a name for efforts like that, and “democracy” isn’t it.
Supervisors, this is a very bad idea, even if you could argue that it’s done for the best of intentions. You need to set this aside, immediately. You lack the information to do this properly and, most importantly, we cannot afford it. There are a number of matters still before you that need resolution. I recommend you undertake the tasks you already have assigned and halt this program now before it becomes a costly boondoggle wrapped around the Loudoun taxpayers’ necks.