Happy Friday the 13th Lovettsville! Stay safe out there and avoid ladders, cats, and anyone wearing an old school hockey mask!
It was a busy week as we welcomed new Council Members Jennifer Reed, Bobby Merhaut and Brandon Davis to the dais during our annual Retreat on Saturday, January 7th and first Regular Town Council meeting last night.
At the retreat, members went through an unofficial orientation which included a COIA/FOIA overview, staff and Council decorum/expectations overview, adoption of the 2023 Meeting and Events Calendar and appointment to (most of) the Advisory committees and Events subcommittees. To set the stage and focus of the Town Council for 2023, we also reviewed the Town Council priorities which serve as the basis of our budget, projects and operational goals this year. Finally, the Town Council unanimously elected your new Vice Mayor...please join me in congratulating Vice Mayor Pritz on her 2-year appointment!
While last night’s Council meeting was one of the shortest on record, we accomplished a lot! First, we welcomed Daniel Morris to serve as an at-large member of the Commerce and Business Development committee with a term expiring December 31, 2023, reappointed Kristina Swanson to the Board of Zoning Appeals to a 5-year term expiring June 30, 2027, and appointed Planning Commissioners David Smith and Chair Bob Custard to the Oktoberfest subcommittee and Infrastructure committee, respectively. We congratulate Daniel, Kristina, David and Bob on their respective appointments and appreciate their new and continued service to our Town!
Next, through unanimous consent, we:
Extended the ARPA Non-profit and Business grants application deadline to February 10, 2023. More information and application forms can be found here.
Scheduled a public hearing on January 26, 2023 to consider adoption of LVZA 2022-0004, which was unanimously recommended by the Planning Commission to amend Section 42-290 of the Town of Lovettsville Zoning Ordinance to remove the five (5) foot side and rear yard setback requirement for accessory structures and allows decks to extend to the interior property line of a townhouse lot.
Adopted Resolution 2023-01-0003 to contract with Volkert, Inc. to complete the engineering required for the planned replacement of the watermain on Pennsylvania Avenue as part of the S. Church Street/E. Pennsylvania Avenue Improvements project
Welcome Lovettsville’s New Community Resource Officer
Last night was also the first official meeting for our new Community Resource Officer, Deputy Jesse Southward. Deputy Southward has been with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office since 2018 and started out in Western Loudoun before heading east. During his address to Council, Deputy Southward spoke of his excitement to return to our area to serve as the Community Resource officer for all Western Loudoun towns, which is quite a tall task! He indicated that there will be an increased focus on speed enforcement on the Western end of the county. He also offered any citizens and civic organizations the opportunity to schedule tours of the new Western Loudoun Station.
Feel free to reach out to Deputy Southward at firstname.lastname@example.org to join me in welcoming him to Lovettsville, to report a non-emergency issue you may be experiencing within the community or to schedule a tour!
Updated Efforts to Calm Traffic
In his final Mayor’s message email two weeks ago, Mayor Fontaine passed along the news of mobile speed signs being deployed within town to help begin to address increased speeds. He also indicated that this we would continue efforts to address speed and implement additional traffic measures around Town. We are happy to report that we are seeing progress on two additional efforts to help calm traffic.
First, based on speed studies along Berlin Pike conducted in June 2022 by Loudoun County and VDOT, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will be considering approval of the placement of post mounted speed display signs along Berlin Pike in the vicinity of Quarter Branch Road (to the north) and the Lovettsville Game Protective Association (to the south). This is scheduled at the Board of Supervisor’s First Tuesday Business Meeting on February 7, 2023 and information packets will be published here when it becomes available. We encourage members of the community to speak in support of this effort and those interested in speaking can find directions for signing up here.
Second, with the beginning of the new General Assembly session and as requested by the Town Council at their December 15, 2022 meeting, I have sent a letter to Lovettsville’s General Assembly representatives, Senator John Bell and Delegate David Larock, the Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee Senator David Marsden and Chair of the House of Delegates Transportation Committee formally requesting support and assistance to reduce speeds on Berlin Pike within the corporate limits of town through “either administrative means with VDOT or through legislation that enables the Town to dictate speed limits within its corporate limits.” Since Berlin Pike is a primary state highway and we are a locality of less than 3,500 residents, this action must come from the state.
I can assure you that this Council and I will continue to pursue these types of efforts to address traffic and pedestrian safety within town. Furthermore, I thank our Commonwealth and Loudoun County representatives along with VDOT for their support on these efforts.
Town Council Meeting
The next Regular Town Council meeting is Thursday, January 26th at 6:30PM. The draft agenda includes:
Joint Public Planning Commission/Town Council Hearing for LVCU 2022-0003 (AT&T Generator at Water Tower Facility)
Town Council Public Hearing for LVCU 2022-0002 (One Family Brewing)
Town Council Public Hearing for LVZA 2022-0004 (Townhouse Zoning Amendment)
Presentation of Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Town Manager’s Proposed Budget
Project Manager’s Report
Zoning Administrator’s Report
Consideration for Approval of FOIA and Remote Participation Policy Recommendations
Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Second Quarter Financial Reports
Consideration for Approval of the Lovettsville Game Protective Association Open Space Easement
If you have any questions or concerns, or simply want to verify information, please feel free to reach out to me, any member of Town Council, the Planning Commission, and/or the Town Manager. The Town will be more than happy to answer your questions. Additionally, our agendas, meeting materials, and previous meeting video recordings will be posted on our AV Capture solution.
Please do not hesitate to reach out should you have any questions or concerns.