As many of you are aware, the public hearing for the All Dulles Area Muslim Society–Greater Gainesville (ADAMs) Special Use Permit (SUP) was held on Tuesday, June 27, 2017. I appreciate the hundreds of citizens who attended that evening to come and participate in the process. Just to recap, our Comprehensive Plan established a policy in 1998 against sewer extensions and connections in the Rural Crescent (RC), including both residential and commercial uses. While there are exceptions to the policy, ADAMS had not demonstrated that any of those exceptions applied in this case. For these reasons, in May of 2015, I encouraged the ADAMS applicant and their attorney to look for a more suitable site in the Brentsville District development area, one with access to proper infrastructure.
After 8 ½ hours of citizen comment time an SUP was approved at 3:30 am. Unfortunately, the voting process was conducted with egregious errors in basic parliamentary procedure leading to a special exception that allows connection to public sewer.
Managing development and protecting the Rural Crescent is one of the primary reasons I ran for office and for that reason I could not support the connection to sewer in the Rural Crescent for any religious institution. Despite my attempts to question the proceedings, Chairman Stewart, Supervisor Nohe (Coles District), and Supervisor Principi (Woodbridge District) openly broke multiple parliamentary rules from Robert’s Rules of Order in an attempt to bully their way to their desired outcome.
Last week I contacted Thomas Balch, an attorney and Registered Parliamentarian Professional to review the proceedings. His report confirmed the parliamentary errors I had questions about as well as finding additional errors. You may view his report on my website at this link: Link to Parliamentarian’s Report
I have also attached a 30 minute You Tube clip of the proceedings so that citizens can be aware of exactly what transpired on June 27th and how the most basic meeting rules and procedures that the BOCS adopts annually were violated several times over. I urge my constituents to watch the full video so they have a complete understanding of the outrageous violations that took place that evening.
For democracy to work we must be able to trust that our public officials are operating within a set of rules for public meetings. To knowingly break those rules to achieve a desired outcome violates what we are elected to do. I will continue to investigate the legality of the proceedings however, I want to manage expectations and let the public know that the outcome is not likely to be overturned. I urge citizens to stay vigilant as we work together to protect the Rural Crescent from intensive uses, high density development and sewer extensions outside the Comprehensive Plan.
A professional parliamentary opinion on the conduct of the meeting of the Prince William County, Board of County Supervisors held on June 27-28, 2017.
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