Thursday night’s public hearing before the Fauquier County Planning Commission will test our commitment to preserving the extraordinary region we call home. At issue is a proposal to build a 42-room hotel, event center and restaurant in an area adjacent to the Barrel Oak Winery in Delaplane.
Allowing this kind of development would set a precedent facilitating similar development and an eventual end to home as we know it — an end to the majesty of our open countryside; an end to our small towns, where we know our store owners by name; and, yes, an end to the refuge our eastern neighbors find here with hiking, cycling, shopping, equestrian and other events, dining, and wine tasting.
Rejecting this kind of development, which would be located in an area zoned rural/agriculture, would reinforce our region’s commitment to its Comprehensive Plan, which concentrates commercial businesses, like this hotel, in Fauquier County’s eight service districts. Keeping commercial development inside the service districts not only helps us prevent the kind of sprawl that has ravaged so many other parts of our country but might also help co-located businesses benefit from proximity. Imagine what patrons from a 40-room hotel in Marshall proper could do for its restaurants and shops!
Let’s show once again that individual or corporate economic interests don’t trump the values our citizens hold dear. Hold the line, Fauquier County, and keep our home the treasure it is.