The Unusual and Cozy Relationship Between the No Growther Special Interest Groups and Supervisor Higgins

Why is Supervisor Higgins constantly entertaining and communicating with a group of no growthers and their consultant in secrecy? Why is this being done outside of the “official” Route 15 Stakeholder Committee?

On August 31st Supervisor Higgins received a letter and 100+ page report from the following Route 15 “no growther groups”:

Stewart Schwartz
Executive Director
Coalition for Smarter Growth

William Sellers
Executive Director
Journey Through Hallowed Ground

Martha Polkey
Coordinator
Catoctin Coalition

Chris Miller
President
Piedmont Environmental Council

Morgan Butler
Senior Attorney
Southern Environmental Law Center

Ian Lockwood
Professional Engineer
Toole Design Group

Supervisor Higgins never shared the no growthers secret report with the official Route 15 Stakeholder Representatives Committee! In fact, Higgins included this group’s 100+ page report as an attachment in Staff’s “Route 15 – Congestion Report Improvements” that was presented before the Board of Supervisors on September 20, 2018 after having it for twenty (20) days – a shameful and deceitful act!

Supervisor Higgins not only continues to entertain and communicate with this “Shadow” Group of no growthers and their consultant, Supervisor Higgins fails to publish and share any of their e-mail communications or notes from these meetings.

Is this the “transparency” that Supervisor Higgins brags about?

Supervisor Higgins, when will you publish all of your communications to and from these no growther groups and their consultant (between you, Loudoun County Staff and/or the Loudoun County’s consultant Kimley-Horn)?

Is this project intentionally being delayed by Supervisor Higgins and the County’s transportation staff constantly meeting with these no growther groups?

Isn’t it time to Fix Route 15 Now Supervisor Higgins?

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Question: Why does this 3.5 mile transportation project take 10 years to complete?

Question:  Why does this 3.5 mile transportation project take 10 years to complete?

Answer:  We were misled that there would be a multi-year design, engineering and environmental phase needed, including conducting an extensive and burdensome environmental process under NEPA/Section 106.  The fact of matter is that this 3.5 mile project is neither required to conduct an extensive and burdensome environmental process under Federal law nor should the design, engineering and environmental phase take longer than a year.  Below are some important points to note:

  • The Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) funding application (submitted in December 2017) contained the 10-year timeline to complete, including a 3+ year period for design, engineering and environmental work.
  • Extensive presentations were made and discussions occurred during Route 15 Stakeholder Committee Meetings around the NEPA/Section 106 process: https://www.loudoun.gov/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/7549
  • The Board package for this week’s meeting on Thursday September 20th (Item 7, Route 15 – Congestion Report Improvements) states the following under Environmental and Historic Resources:

 “The Route 15 corridor contains karst features, notably limestone rock outcroppings and sink holes; streams and springs. Additionally, there are several historic sites along the corridor, including the Ball’s Bluff Battlefield. The Route 15 widening project is funded with Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) and local funds which do not require a formal environmental review such as a National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) study, National Historic Preservation Act Section 106, or State Environmental Review Process (SERP). Although not mandated based on the funding sources, the County will work to minimize or avoid impacts on historical, cultural and archeological resources as practically feasible throughout the design and construction phases of the project. Wetlands, floodplains and historical assets will be inventoried, researched and categorized.”

Supervisory Higgins, where is the new timeline, urgency and leadership to Fix Route 15 Now?

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Welcome to fixroute15now.com!

Welcome to Fix Route 15 Now!

Fix Route 15 Now is the voice of common sense citizens within the Route 15 corridor that is north of the Town of Leesburg, Virginia up to the Point of Rocks Bridge in Maryland. We are not a special interest group. We will continue to hold our elected officials accountable (County, State and Federal). We will fight for Route 15 to be fixed now, without delay.

We all are suffering. Special Interest groups have infiltrated the process. Our elected officials have continued to meet with these special interest “no growther” groups. There are only a few people within the corridor that want to see nothing done with Route 15. Some of these people are operatives of these special interest groups. Their tactics are radical, their ideas are illogical and their actions are becoming more desperate by the day. We call this “Tyranny of the Minority”.

Ask yourself 10 Questions:

  1. How many hours do you and your family spend sitting in Route 15 traffic?
  2. Are you watching your home values stagnate (if not decline) in the Route 15 corridor?
  3. Are you fearful to let your teenage children drive on Route 15?
  4. How long do your children spend on the school bus on Route 15?
  5. Do you ever worry that first responders (medical or fire & rescue) will be delayed in their response to your home, business or children’s school in the Route 15 corridor?
  6. Did you know that it will take 10 years to widen only 3.5 miles of Route 15?
  7. Do you know that there is no timeline to improve Route 15 north of Montresor Road?
  8. Do you know that there are no plans to improve Route 15 north of Lucketts?
  9. Do you ever wonder who is representing you and your family?
  10. Do you know the extent that special interest groups have infiltrated the process?

We need your help!

Go to www.FixRoute15Now.com website to learn more. See how the Federal Section 106 process and coordination with different partner agencies is delaying the widening of the first 3.5 miles of Route 15 to 4 lanes. Ten years to fix only 3.5 miles of Route 15 is simply unacceptable. This is not by accident but by design.

Write to:
Catoctin District Supervisor
Geary Higgins
geary.higgins@loudoun.gov

Leesburg District Supervisor
Kristen Umstattd
kristen.umstattd@loudoun.gov

Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair
Phyllis J. Randall
phyllis.randall@loudoun.gov

Request the following three items:

  1. Immediately start the project with the $3.5M that has been available since July 1, 2018 with legislative action at the September 20, 2018 Board meeting to form a dedicated project management team to accelerate the Route 15 project!This project will not start until Supervisors Higgins and Umstattd introduce this ACTION (which should have happened at the July 3, 2018 Board of Supervisors Meeting)!
  2. Request that this project be completed in the normal 3-year time-frame by streamlining the section 106 federal and state agency project review.  Further, this process should happen in parallel with engineering and design phase.
  1. Stand up to the special interest groups who are putting up barriers and delaying the design and construction of the Route 15 widening.  We need safe roads for our families!

We need your help now.  Let’s take back control of the process from the special interest groups.

Write to Chair Randall and Supervisors Higgins and Unstattd today and request for Route 15 to be fixed now with an accelerated process and additional project management funds. Remember to follow us Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

Fix Route 15 Now!

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