This year, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisor’s seats are on the ballot and Election Day is rapidly approaching. Please watch this informative discussion of topics affecting the Rural Economy and Equestrian Interests in Loudoun County.  Topics are listed further down this page.

Please view this video to hear where candidates stand on topics that are important to you!

The Forum was sponsored by:
The Loudoun County Equine Alliance
The Loudoun Farm Bureau

Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Candidate Forum was held on  August 9, 2023 in Leesburg, VA.

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Candidate Forum Questions

Responses are to be two minutes or less except for “lightning” round with 45 second or shorter responses.

Please introduce yourself and tell us why you are running for office. Describe your vision for the Transition Policy Area and western Loudoun and how during your tenure, you would work to achieve that vision, in particular as it relates to agriculture and the equine industry. Do you see a future for agriculture in western Loudoun?

Farm Bureau zoning question:
The last decade has seen the balance in western Loudoun businesses shift toward high-intensity commercial activities and county policies favoring those over traditional agriculture.
Do you feel a proper balance between high-intensity commercial uses, traditional agricultural businesses, and impacts to residents has been achieved in the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite? If not, what changes do you want to see made in the draft Zoning Ordinance or in a future ZOAM to address this?

Equine Alliance zoning question:
In the current draft of the Zoning Ordinance, Equestrian Livery and Equestrian Event uses would continue to have more restrictive requirements on square footage, setback, buffers, and attendance capacity than any of the other major agricultural/rural uses. LCEA has recommended short-term fixes beyond those included in the latest draft of ZOR, to address this. Would you support these short term changes and the inclusion of equestrian uses in a rural uses ZOAM? Would you support treating event-based businesses evenly across all uses with a tiered approach to rural uses based on acreage and number of cars or people in attendance? Why or why not and if not, what alternative solutions would you propose?

Farm Bureau second question:
Many of Loudoun’s Rural Economic Development efforts are currently focused on marketing tourism, wineries and craft beverages. If elected, what programs or assistance would you direct Loudoun’s Department of Economic Development to offer for traditional agricultural businesses? How would you suggest improving existing programs such as the “Loudoun Farmer Exchange”

Equine Alliance second question:
It has long been recognized that Loudoun County lacks sufficient park space dedicated to equestrian use. First, do you support having equestrian and hiking trails in Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve? Second, what is your vision of LPAT (Loudoun Linear Parks and Trails) in the TPA and western Loudoun. Third, the County’s Capital Needs Assessment has listed an active equestrian park with arenas, trails and outside jump courses as a “need” but one that has never been fulfilled. What would you do to address this?

Equine Alliance “lightning round” question (45 seconds):
Loudoun’s network of unpaved roads is an important asset for the equine industry. Many equestrians, and fox hunters in particular, use them to ride on. What actions do you think (if any) the County should take to preserve them?

Farm Bureau “lightning round” question (45 seconds):
The current Board of Supervisors has voted to reestablish the County’s Purchase of Development Rights program and funded initial outreach but it still lacks operational funding. Will you commit to adequately fund the entire program in the next budget cycle?

Equine Alliance “lightning round” question (45 seconds):
What do you think should be done to move the All Points Broadband/Novec partnership forward to bring fiber to western Loudoun?

Farm Bureau “lightning round” question (45 seconds):
What role do you feel the county should take in loss of prime farmland to development, utility scale solar, and nutrient banking schemes?