2007-01-15, 10:18

Is Rockingham County, Va., becoming another Fairfax?

By: Jonathan Groner

A few days ago, I wrote about a proposed mixed-use project in Harrisonburg, Va., about 130 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., and still a good 80 miles from even the outskirts of the D.C. area. Now, the prospect of this "new subdivision that resembles a small town," in the words of a local journalist, as well as new commercial and industrial growth, are making local residents wonder if their cherished small-town way of life is soon to change.

"Some wonder if the area is becoming another Northern Virginia," wrote reporter Jenny Jones in the Daily News-Record, a local newspaper, on Jan. 11, 2007.

Jones' story continues:


"Metropolitan Northern Virginia and its many pleasantries are gaining on you and your way of life," wrote Lance Strong, of Harrisonburg, in a recent letter to the editor of the Daily News-Record. "The Friendly City and surrounding Shenandoah Valley as you know it are gone … forever."

In response to a recent story on the Preston Lake development, an anonymous reader wrote on the Daily News-Record Web site, "I hope everyone enjoys Fairfax County and Arlington County, because it sounds like Rockingham County will soon be nearly identical to those two counties."

But officials say Rockingham County will retain its identity and will not become similar to Northern Virginia.

"I really don’t see us becoming an extension of Northern Virginia," said Del. Matt Lohr, R-Broadway. "We’re probably 20 years behind Fairfax and Loudoun counties when it comes to growth."


Again, mixed use, which patterns itself to an extent after small-town life, may be coming into conflict with actual small-town life.

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Anonymous finnegan said...

It will be interesting to see -- once it's completed -- how the locals react. Will the locals be buying the properties, or will it be NoVa families fleeing the sprawl, only to add to the sprawl down here?

4:36 PM  

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