Preserve Aldie's Old Carolina Road
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We are residents of what the County describes as the Aldie Mountain Village community and are writing to express our serious concerns regarding application number SPEX‐2017‐0029 submitted by the St. Pope Cyril Coptic Orthodox Church (the “Applicant”) to build a structure and church facility on Old Carolina Road in Aldie, Virginia. We believe the facility as proposed is incompatible with our community and should not be approved in its current form for the following primary reasons:
- SCALE ‐ The proposed size of the 27,000 SF mega church structure is 6 to 10 times larger than any other buildings in the area, which are primarily residential homes; further, the church will support 600+ congregants and be serviced by a well and drain field. This is in stark contrast to the existing church in the area, Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, which supports 150 congregants in a 5,000 SF structure with well and septic.
- CONDITIONAL APPROVAL ‐ In the special exception application, the mega church has proposed unrealistic operating hours. Parking and septic field designs, as well as the traffic study, assume just one 3-hour church service ONLY on Sunday, an additional 1 hour Sunday school and administrative use during the week. At the church’s present Chantilly location, services occur nearly every day of the week (see enclosed copy of their May 2018 schedule). The church’s move marks an expansion of the congregation; therefore, it seems illogical to believe that activity will be so heavily cut back. This fact raises serious safety concerns regarding the validity and applicability of any investigations or designs created under the assumption of limited operating hours.
- TRAFFIC ‐ Even considering the proposed operating schedule, increased traffic congestion will cause safety issues at the intersection of Old Carolina Road (a two-lane, country road) and RT 15. The non-signalized intersection has a limited line of sight and the 55 mph speed limit of RT 15 already makes it difficult to turn. We fear the added traffic congestion from the mega church will compromise the safety of the intersection.
- ENVIRONMENTAL ‐ The Applicant’s proposed septic system is designed to accommodate only the peak usage of their Sunday services and Sunday school. This system will not be able to properly support the facility if they were to at all expand their operating hours, let alone to match the worship schedule at their current Fairfax County location.
- ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY INFORMATION – Our area serves a number of other uses, some of which contribute to our community and some of which do not.
- Old Carolina Road already supports Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA), a no‐kill animal rescue that is on 10 acres with over 100 dogs & two large catteries. It is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays only.
- Old Carolina Road has become famous through various cycling publications as a cyclist’s haven. Every weekend our roads are filled with numerous pelotons. This adds another layer of complexity to additional development on the road.
- The property adjacent to the Applicant’s land to the south currently houses a landscaping company. This land has been in violation of zoning laws for the past four years requiring significant time from our county attorneys and zoning staff, a burdensome cost to taxpayers.
Thank you for considering our concerns. The precedent of allowing a mega church in a small village setting will not only impact our village but every other village in western Loudoun county.
Today: Friends of Old Carolina Road is counting on you
Friends of Old Carolina Road needs your help with “CONCERNED CITIZENS & NEIGHBORS OF OLD CAROLINA ROAD RE: SPEX-2017-0029 St. Pope Cyril Coptic Orthodox Church”. Join Friends of Old Carolina Road and 122 supporters today.