Comment articles reflect the opinion of the writer(s), not the Rapp News. Comment below or by writing a letter to the editor: editor@rappnews.com.

The opinion/editorial by Ron Maxwell in the June 3 edition of the Rappahannock News was a clear, common sense example of persuasive argument. Mr. Maxwell brought a detailed and accurate analysis of what the Rush River Commons development would mean to Rappahannock County as we have known and loved it. He also pointed out far more suitable alternatives for the altruistic, multi-purposed solutions the site seems designed to address. 

The developer, Mr. Akre, is a relative newcomer to our county, but surely he understands the deep determination of so many of us here to stand our ground against the tide of exurban development that is at our gates to the east. This vigilance to protect our traditional ambience and way of life has also had the effect of making us ever more attractive to real estate hustlers of every stripe. That vision of preserving our rural nature is expressed in our comprehensive plan, and the simple idea of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The ambition of the Rush River Commons might be the “fix” for something that simply isn’t broken, but it could and likely would have the effect of forever changing the easy, quiet pace and the “down home” way of life here. We have protected that way of life since 1749 and this ambitious development would irrevocably change all of that. 

As has been pointed out, the traffic into and out of this development would essentially and drastically change the traffic flow on that narrow, quiet stretch of street. The sadly misplaced post office is already likely to gum up the usual easy flow in and out of town to the east. Make no mistake, the daily addition of the literally hundreds of vehicles of the residents and visitors. Plus the construction and trade and service vehicles entering and exiting that location on a daily basis is going to forever change our county seat in an unwanted and unnecessary way. One doesn’t have to be a traffic flow engineer to see that narrow, quiet Warren Avenue can’t easily handle the increased traffic that would naturally flow in and out of the gates of the “Commons.”

I don’t know anyone who is opposed to “affordable” housing or to the food pantry, or opposed to nice walkways through well tended wetlands. Nor is anyone opposed to our public library, which somehow made it onto the project’s maps, and remains on its website. But one could have searched every inch of our County for years and not come up with a worse spot for this idea. 

I have known Chuck Akre for quite awhile and have found him to be a conscientious and generous gentleman. I hope and pray that he will consider the feelings of so many long-time county residents who adamantly oppose this development for “all the right reasons.”

This is a big mistake, Chuck. And it is one that can’t be easily taken back. 

The writer lives in Harris Hollow


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