Prince William County Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPA2018-00002) incorporating Bristoe Station and Kettle Run Battlefields Preservation Study.

During their December 15, 2020 meeting the Prince William Board of County Supervisors conducted a Public Hearing on Comprehensive Plan Amendment #CPA2018-00002, Bristoe Station and Kettle Run Battlefields Preservation Study. Public hearing speakers included Kim Brace - representing PWC’s Historical Commission, a representative from Equinox Investments, the Chapel Springs Church pastor, and Blake Myers representing BRCWRT.

Supervisor Lawson (Brentsville District) thanked the speakers for their participation and comments, specifically highlighting the Historical Commission and BRCWRT, and thanked County Archaeologist Justin Patton and the respective landowners for working together to develop revised Amendment text addressing landowner concerns. Supervisor Lawson’s motion to adopt CPA2018-00002 was seconded, and then approved by unanimous vote.

As many of you know, adoption of CPA2018-00002 was the culmination of an initiative begun in 2018 to incorporate into the Comprehensive Plan recommendations from the Bristoe Station and Kettle Run Battlefields Preservation Study. The Amendment’s focus is on preserving significant historic resources, maintaining rural area character, and establishing priorities for consideration in reviewing land development applications. The Amendment incudes four policies that will guide conservation efforts, county investments, and future development for the benefit of current and future County residents and visitors.

POLICY 1: Incentivize preservation of the battlefield landscape in the Bristoe Station and Kettle Run Battlefields Historical Area.

POLICY 2 Protect, maintain, manage, and interpret the Bristoe Station and Kettle Run Battlefields Historical Area.

POLICY 3 Preserve viewsheds of the Bristoe Station and Kettle Run Battlefields Historical Area.

POLICY 4: Where preservation is not feasible in the Development Area, apply appropriate mitigation measures to new development within the Bristoe Station and Kettle Run Battlefields Historical Area.

Bristoe Station and Kettle Run Battlefields Historical Area.
(The yellow dashed line outlines the Historical Area; the heavy black line denotes the boundary between the PWC-designated Rural and Development Areas)

Since the completion of the Battlefield Preservation Study in 2016 the BRCWRT has been a vocal supporter and advocate for this CPA Amendment. Our Round Table has been a participant in all Planning Commission and Board of County Supervisor hearings that preceded, and led to, the Amendment’s

approval. Many thanks to BRCWRT members Rob Orrison, John DePue and Kim Brace for their advocacy, and to PWC Archaeologist Justin Patton for keeping us updated on the status of the Amendment, the respective negotiations and the meetings and hearings conducted by the Prince William Planning Commission and the Board of County Supervisors.

Fairfax County Confederate Names Inventory

The Fairfax County Confederate Names Inventory Report was submitted to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors on December 3, 2020. The Report was subsequently presented (see presentation summary, below) and discussed at the County’s Land Use Policy Committee meeting on December 8, 2020.

Committee members, consisting of all County Supervisors members, thanked and recognized the History Commission for the detailed and comprehensive research. During the ensuing discussion the general consensus of the Committee appeared to be that street and place renaming is their priority. Renaming Lee Highway and Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway within Fairfax County was a primary discussion topic. During this discussion it was noted that both highways are under the jurisdiction of Virginia’s Central Transportation Board (CTB), that any name change must be approved by the CTB, and that all costs associated with highway renaming within Fairfax County would be borne by the County. The committee directed County Staff to provide a memorandum outlining the renaming process associated with Lee Highway and Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway.

Renaming community streets was also discussed, with a general consensus that the renaming of a community street should be driven by a community/bottom-up process and community desires. During this discussion a County Land Development Services (LDS) representative stated that the County has a process for changing community street names and that any such change requires the support of 51% of community residents, although no additional specifics were provided or discussed. As with the previous topic, the Committee directed the County Staff to provide a memorandum outlining the renaming process for community streets.

Renaming of places included in the Inventory Report was not discussed. The Inventory Report includes 6 civil war related memorials and plaques and 91 civil war related historical markers; however, no mention of the memorials, plaques or historical markers occurred during the Committee’s discussion. (one of the listed memorials, the Marr Obelisk formerly at historic Fairfax Courthouse, was removed on November 5, 2020).

Several Committee members identified the need for community involvement, and for a process moving forward that prioritizes efforts, includes definitive time frames and incentivizes public and community involvement. There was no substantive discussion on this topic, nor was there any discussion of potential costs (county, community, individual, business, etc.) associated with renaming, replacing or removing (or contextualizing) any of the items included in the Inventory Report.

As reported previously, a number of BRCWRT members have communicated with the History Commission and the Board of Supervisors with their thoughts and concerns regarding this initiative by the Board. Specific concerns include the Board’s implied pre-determined course of action to remove or rename items included in the Inventory Report, specific content and sections of the Inventory Report, the lack of a transparent process that includes public input and involvement, and potential actions with respect to historical memorials, plaques and markers in Fairfax County. Stay tuned for future developments. Fairfax County residents are encouraged to contact their respective District Supervisor and convey their thoughts, concerns and recommendations regarding the Inventory Report, potential Board actions on items included in that Report and the process for public/community input and involvement.

The video of the December 8, 2020 Land Use Policy Committee meeting may be viewed here -

The Fairfax County Confederate Names Inventory Report is available here - commission/files/assets/documents/confederate-names-committee/confederate-names-inventory-report.pdf.

Route 28 ByPass Project

On December 7, 2020 the Prince William County Department of Transportation, in conjunction with

the Fairfax County Department of Transportation, conducted a virtual information session regarding the Route 28 Bypass project. The meeting’s purpose was to inform residents of both counties about the project background, project efforts to date and the current project timeline, with a focus on the concept for the Route 28 Bypass connection and its terminus and tie-in to Route 28 in Fairfax County.

Project Timeline:

  • Design and Engineering        2021 2023

  • Right of Way & Utilities       2023 2025

  • Construction                          2025 - 2027

The Route 28 Bypass tie-in concept, depicted below, is for the Bypass to follow the existing Ordway Road alignment across Bull Run and connect to Route 28 in Fairfax County at a T-intersection. The specifics of the Bypass corridor, the T-intersection and the intersection location will be determined during the project’s Design and Engineering Phase.

Route 28 Bypass & Terminus in Fairfax County Concept (PWC DOT Presentation, December 7, 2020)

BRCWRT continues to monitor this project and, in collaboration with the Northern Virginia Park Authority, will continue engaging with Prince William County Department of Transportation (PWC DOT)

to ensure potentially threatened cultural and historic sites are protected. Known historic sites include sites within the Bull Run Regional Park at the Ordway Road Crossing of Bull Run, including the site of Mitchell’s Ford and associated civil war earthwork remnants, and potential sites associated with the ultimate location of the T-intersection in Fairfax County. PWC DOT plans to host information sessions on the Route 28 Bypass project and address topics specific to Prince William County in the near future.

Thank you for your interest in and support of historic preservation. Stay strong, stay safe and stay healthy in 2021!

Blake Myers
BRCWRT Preservation Chair