Welcome to MY Opinion


Although I am neither fully for nor against development, I will admit to not wanting to live in an environment like Fairfax or Manassas. However, I do not feel that I have the right to create laws imposing my desires on the landowners of this county to suit the way I would like it to be. Judging from past and present attempts at various "downzoning" plans, there are those among us who feel that they do have the right to forcefully impose their tastes on our neighbors. At the planning commission meeting at Liberty High School, 50 acre minimum lot size plans were revealed which create land regulation that would make the county look as "we want it to look" in the future. "We" seem to have forgotten that "we" do not own this land we seek to control. These regulations would undeniably have the effect of devaluing some of our neighbors’ land at the same time as they would be eliminating many of their landowner’s rights. This is a dangerous and far reaching precedent that I do not wish to be a part of setting. I am also fairly certain that if these regulations were in effect 30 years ago many of the people who think they are a good idea now would not be here to implement them.

Please remember that most of these people have worked hard to pay for this land for many years in anticipation of cutting a few lots off in their later years to afford retirement, much as we might have been putting money away for years in an IRA or some other pension plan. We might soon be telling them that their retirement is worth only one third of its present value and no one will be able to afford what they are left with anyway. I really don’t believe that the majority of the landowners who will be effected by this plan are wealthy millionaires simply biding their time to rape the county with development. Certainly those people do exist but I think that the majority of the people who will be effected by these new rules are regular folks like you.

Not only do some of these plans include taking subdivisional rights from landowners, they also place restrictions such as where houses may be placed on the property so they might not be seen from the road. ( I certainly wouldn’t want to have a motorist’s scenery blemished simply so someone could put their house where they want it on their property, which, by the way, they work every day to pay for.) I also do not want to be told that I must have my garage attached to my house or that my roof must be a certain color, or that I cannot even hang a clothesline, to appease the passers by . You may laugh but I am sure there are many people in Fairfax who thought this type of thing would never happen there 20 years ago.

I can’t help but notice that at the same time that we are so avidly trying to stop our neighbors from dividing a few lots off of their couple hundred acre property, we seem to be on the verge of embracing a 2000 lot subdivision near Vint Hill. Apparently we want these new residents to be able to drive through the rest of our county without having to look at our houses.(What’s wrong with this picture?) I like Fauquier county’s rural look. I moved here because I liked it. Even so, we had better sit back and take a very long look at these plans and their future ramifications from many angles before we seal our fate with them.


R.E Cover II


(a place south of Opal so many might not have heard of it)


Another Thought


Having read Hope Porters letters and commentaries for some years now, I recently found I was mistaken. I used to think her opinions were of no value. After reading her recent letter condemning Jay Katzen, I did indeed find her opinion useful. If she has that much contempt for Mr. Katzen it serves as a confirmation to me that he must certainly be the best man for the job.

As a no growth, anti-progress, throw back to the horse and buggy days she must surely be a leader. She seems to be against everything that anybody wants to do, no matter what it might be. Had Ms. Porter been around during the advent of the wheel (or was she?), she would no doubt have been the first one on the band wagon condemning it as putting all of humanity in the fast lane on the road to Hell.

I myself am not a proponent of rapid growth but her incessant badgering of any progressive projects or ideas pushes me closer to embracing her opponents’ points of view. I personally appreciate that the medical field now has more options than leaches and that we no longer have to wait for a vacant cave to find shelter.


Here Is A Story No One Else Would Publish

( So I put published it here myself )

I recently returned to the boating world after about a twenty year sabbatical. I now live in Sumerduck, Virginia, outside the Fredericksburg area and have several different types of water available to me at similar distances from my home. We have everything from small lakes which only allow electric motors to larger lakes to the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers to the Chesapeake Bay. I needed a boat that would float in 3 inches of water yet handle the chop of the Bay on a windy day and everything in between. Having contemplated for quite some time just what kind and size of boat would be perfect for all situations, I decided such a boat did not exist, and certainly not in my price range.

So I jumped in and bought a couple month old, small to medium sized center console with a hull structure guaranteed not to sink ( You know, the ad with the picture of the boat cut into three floating parts ). It was newer than I had planned to buy but I had realized that a boat in the price range I wanted would end up being nothing more than a yard ornament. Finally making my decision ( actually I saw this boat beside the road with a "For Sale" sign on it and my wife remarked that it was a "pretty " boat, thus ending the years of decision making ) I became the proud owner of an 18’ vee hull Carolina Skiff.

Now, where to make its maiden voyage ( of course more major decision making and coin flipping ). I decided to try my luck at the Rappahannock River. I had never trailed a boat before and did not want to use the public dock in Fredericksburg and become an object of amusement to bystanders as so many other boaters had been for me. We decided to go in at Port Royal since our privacy would be better ensured. This turned out to be an excellent choice. We went round trip to Tappahannock and enjoyed every bit of the journey.

This also proved to be an excellent learning experience. I had no familiarity with this type of brackish water which you cannot see through. I looked across the water and saw no light or dark areas indicating shallows or depths so I started off on my merry way. My previous boating experience had been during my childhood, while growing up and living on the crystal clear coral based bodies of water of Bermuda, so lakes, rivers and the Bay are a new experience to me.

A friend, Rick Steadman (an HVAC technician), who was accompanying me, had installed a depth finder in the boat for me the night before ( which, thankfully, he had insisted I purchase ). As we turned it on and started adjusting it ( I always wanted to try one of these here depth finder thangs ) it showed us a depth of 45’. Great! I might even take a peek at that chart book sometime. As it went from 45’ to 12’ to 3’ in a very short time, I quickly shut the motor down and decided that the time for that chart book was now. A second friend, Tony Vitiello (also an HVAC tech) who had come along for the ride, opened the book. He immediately informed me why the depth finder was reading so shallow. The channel was very thin and completely on the other side of the river. Had the tide been lower I believe we would have been grounded. He also began explaining how to navigate with the buoys. He had had prior navigating experience but was apparently unaware of my ignorance since we had only been minutes on the water and the subject had not come up on the trip to the boat ramp.

However, I am now using charts and have learned that buoys are not simply to decorate the river. I spent the rest of that weekend staring at charts and buoys and observing my surroundings.

With these lessons in mind we proceeded down the Rappahannock river. It was November but it was sunny and about 80 degrees so we had indeed lucked into an unusual day. In all honesty I had not expected the trip to amount to much as I had considered the Rappahannock to be too small at this point to be interesting. I was happily mistaken. As we wove our way almost 40 miles from Port Royal to Tappahannock each curve provided a new scene and frequently a new challenge. The buoys are often quite a distance apart and difficult to discern by the naked eye and there are many bends where the charts indicate large areas of very shallow water outside the narrow channel.

This part of the river is surprisingly scenic . At frequent intervals there are both cliffs and beaches, most of which seem to be secluded and well away from dwellings, although I can’t imagine that this will be the case for long. Here again I hope I am proven wrong and the tranquillity will remain for decades to come. I don’t know if it was because of the time of year, or whether this stretch of water is under used, but we only saw a couple of boats all day until we approached Tappahannock. We almost seemed to be alone for many miles at a time, in fact.

As we neared Tappahannock the channel had changed from extremely narrow to apparently taking up most of the river and the boat traffic picked up many fold. It looked like there were a lot of people salt water fishing below the bridge. Apparently this is the official salt water boundary for fishing licenses.

The chop was increasing in this area and, taking into account our lack of experience, we decided to turn around and head back to Port Royal. The return trip was somewhat easier because we had now been through this section of river . However, I would not recommend decreasing one’s level of vigilance, because the twists and turns become confusing and the narrowness of the channel should not be forgotten.

We loaded the boat back on the trailer with astounding proficiency ( acceptable proficiency anyway for our first effort, and, of course, there were no witnesses to contradict my story ). I highly recommend this trip to any who have not taken it. I seriously doubt they will be disappointed. In fact, we liked it so much we took my wife, Jill, and Rick’s family on virtually the same trip the next day, taking advantage of the rest of the beautiful weekend.

Thanks for your time

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