The Village of Aldie faces another a special exception request a 27,000 sq.ft. building.

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April 6, 2018 Dear Loudoun County Planning Commission, 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 maximize size of the 27,000 sf structure with 600 seats is well in excess of the size of other buildings, primarily residential homes, in the area. The scale of the proposed structure is 6x to 10x the size of other structures along Old Carolina and Buchanan Gap Roads. No elevation drawings have been made available by the Applicant, so the height, scale, profile and design of this large structure is unknown. It is also much larger than existing churches in the area the majority of which are currently served by municipal water and sewer systems. Those include from the village of Aldie, the Church of the Redeemer which has 90 seats and the Methodist Church which has 70 seats. On Old Carolina road is Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church which was established in the community around 1870. It is 5,000 sf and currently seats 150 congregants.  CONDITIONAL APPROVAL ‐ The operating hours of the church as proposed in its special exception application is well below what the church will likely implement on an on‐going basis. In reality, the church’s operating schedule in their current Centreville/Chantilly‐based location calls for services on nearly every day of the week (see enclosed copy of their May 2018 calendar). Do they really intend to reduce their existing operating hours in this new, larger facility? In order to seek the highest return possible from their investment in this facility, the church is likely to expand the hours of their own services or rent their facility to other churches or for other uses such as weddings, social events, community meetings, etc. This is a serious concern since their parking, traffic study and septic field design all assumed a single three‐hour church service on Sunday, an additional 1‐hour Sunday school and administrative use during the week. The engineering and professional studies submitted by the Applicant are all based on this limited use and, so far as we know, there are no limitations on the Applicant’s ability to expand these operating hours in the future which make these professional studies moot. As was mentioned in the special exemption hearing on March 27th, no other Loudoun County church has ever been approved with conditions of limited use. Upon further investigation we understand that, based on constitutional law, no government entity can dictate a church’s hours of worship. The church could appeal any planning staff’s recommendation of approval with conditions. Any court, whether state or federal, would overturn the planning staff’s recommendation allowing the church to worship as freely as they wish.  TRAFFIC ‐ Old Carolina Road (Rt 615) is an unmarked two‐lane country road, one that is not wellmaintained, that will be further stressed by the additional traffic generated by this +600‐seat church. Even if the church operates under its proposed schedule, let alone the expanded schedule likely expected based on the calendar of its current facility in Fairfax County, increased traffic congestion will result ‐ this will be particularly troublesome at the intersection of Old Carolina Road and Rt 15. This is a non‐signalized intersection that is becoming more dangerous given the limited sight lines and 55 miles per hour speed limit of both north and southbound traffic on Rt 15. The combination of increasing traffic flows on Rt. 15 from increased development in the area, the fastmoving traffic there and limited opportunities for entry from and onto Old Carolina Road will only get worse with the addition of this over‐sized church.  ENVIRONMENTAL ‐ The Applicant’s proposed septic system is designed to accommodate only the peak usage of their Sunday services and Sunday school. It is not designed to accommodate further high usage periods during the other six days of the week. This system will not be able to accommodate the church’s hours if they were to expand to match the worship schedule at their current Fairfax County location. Given the wet and poor soil conditions on this property, we understand this site can only support a 4‐bedroom residential structure and don’t believe it can practically support a 27,000 sf church facility without a connection to municipal water and sewer.  DEVELOPMENT CURRENTLY PLANNED FOR OLD CAROLINA ROAD – Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church has approval for an additional 12,000 sf at its current site that was granted decades ago. The church plans to apply for a permit to enlarge its structure at the end of April.  ADDITIONAL COMMUNITY INFORMATION – Our area serves a number of other uses, some of which contribute to our community and some of which do not. o 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. o 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. PEV’s paintball park came to our area in 2003, much to the community’s dismay. It has expanded to many acres in Loudoun and Prince William counties to become one of the larger land owners in the area. Per Jim Burton, former Loudoun County Blue Ridge District Supervisor, “They lied to us about their scope and purpose. They came in and destroyed the land. This was not what we as supervisors voted for.”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. The current and previous owners of the land are in civil court suing each other regarding the cost to remediate debris piles left on the property by the prior owner. This property has large, commercial trucks coming and going throughout the day and late night hours. Thank you for considering our concerns. Name Address Email _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ _____________________ _________________________________ _________________ Schedule of Pope Kyrillos Coptic Orthodox Church at 4429 Brookfield Corporate Drive, #500 Chantilly, VA‐church.html Tuesday, May 1 7:30pm Advanced Hymns Class Wednesday, May 2 7:00pm bible study for 1th to 5th Friday, May 4 7:00pm Pope kyrillos meeting Saturday, May 5 9:00am Liturgy (A worship service of the Christian church.) 7:00pm Tasbeha (A worship service in the Coptic Orthodox Church consisting of praises glorifying God taken from the Psalms and other Biblical sources and often chanted with simple musical accompaniment of cymbals and triangle.) Sunday, May 6 8:30am Sunday Liturgy Tuesday, May 8 7:30pm Advanced Hymns Class Wednesday, May 9 7:00pm bible study for 1th to 5th Friday, May 11 7:00pm Pope kyrillos meeting Saturday, May 12 9:00am liturgy 7:00pm tasbeha Sunday, May 13 8:30am Sunday Liturgy Tuesday, May 15 7:30pm Advanced Hymns Class Wednesday, May 16 7:00pm bible study for 1th to 5th Friday, May 18 7:00pm Pope kyrillos meeting Saturday, May 19 9:00am liturgy 7:00pm tasbeha Sunday, May 20 8:30am Sunday Liturgy Tuesday, May 22 7:30pm Advanced Hymns Class Wednesday, May 23 7:00pm bible study for 1th to 5th Friday, May 25 7:00pm Pope kyrillos meeting Saturday, May 26 9:00am liturgy 7:00pm tasbeha Sunday, May 27 8:30am Sunday Liturgy Tuesday, May 29 7:30pm Advanced Hymns Class Wednesday, May 30 7:00pm bible study for 1th to 5th

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