rural crescent collage rural crescent McMansions, goats, two-rut road

Prince William County's rural area, known as the 'rural crescent,' is home to small farms, like this one, left, on Aden Road, as well as new $700,000-plus homes built on oddly-shaped 10-acre lots. The county is considering a plan aimed at incentivizing the permanent conservation of rural land by allowing higher density development and public sewer in some parts of the rural area in exchange for placing acreage in permanent conservation easements.


Two sheep look out from a pasture in a farm along Aden Road in Prince William County's rural area, also known as the "rural crescent."

rural crescent map with data points

A donkey in a pasture in a small farm along Aden Road, located in the county's rural crescent.


A two-rut road driveway leads to a small farm in off Aden Road in Prince William County's rural crescent.

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(10) comments


Too many people, including the news media, acting as if this is a new issue. Pre-COVID, Stewart BOCS and developers took down 100s of acres of trees next Colgan. Remember Stone Bridge prior to 2008? This county has been chopping and building non-stop over the past two decades. The Rural Crescent has been preserved for big money houses since 1998. If anyone really wanted to preserve it, they would have purchased it for park space.

The BOCS, current and previous, care nothing a out green, rural areas. Where are our County Parks? Signal Hill and Veterans Park? That's about it. We rely upon National Parks and State Parks for rural areas. Or we go to Fairfax for Occoquan and Fountainhead.

Building more businesses and schools to increase the tax base. Why? So we can build more businesses and schools. What if we tap the breaks a bit and fix what we have while keeping taxes where they are at?

That would require investment in the right places and fiscal responsibility.


The recent trend to paint all those with a different point of view as racists is disturbing. Words such as "exclusionary" and "segregationaist" are used intentionally to evoke images of the Jim Crow era of long ago. We had moved far beyond that time period and had reached the point where racism was virtually a thing if the past. There will always be a few individuals who are intolerant, but society as a whole had moved far beyond that and saw everyone as people, rather than people of one race or another. Until recently. Some have decided to use race as a weapon against those they disagree with, and use accusations of "racism" to silence their opponents. Unfortunately, it often works. But it simultaneously takes our society backwards about 50 years and will have the result of causing non-racists to start making decisions based on nothing more than the color of people's skin. They are creating the racism they pretend to abhor.


This is like saying you can’t afford a really nice car so they should make a new model or drastically reduce the price so that you can.


[thumbdown] Chair Wheeler, Supervisor Boddye and their allies are entitled to their opinion. They can cry segregation and racism and white privilege and exclusionary zoning all they want and still be dead wrong. It comes down to plain economics. If I could afford a $1 million home in the crescent, I'd buy one and move there and nobody would stop me, but since I can't, I live where I live. Constantly complaining about redlining and inequity other woke progressive catchphrases doesn't get it, but unfortunately, since the Board already broke the dam with the Preserve at Long Branch, the crescent (and the last remaining green space in the county) will soon be a thing of the past. My question is: Who will the Board blame when it's all gone?

My wife and I moved to Nokesville (bordering Manassas) to get away from the sprawl and crawl. I grew up in Hybla Valley in Alexandria in different apartments. That being said how come today's Prince William County must make affordable housing in "rural feeling" Western PWC? I was a bad kid and got in lots of trouble ... I grew up and made a life for myself the honest way and don't feel like I have to share what took me over 30 years of my adult life to achieve. Talk about entitled ... if you want to live a better life make it for yourself and let people who are established enjoy the spoils we deserve ... you haven't gotten there yet ... that's up to you to make your dreams come true. It's all about money and that doesn't come free.


How dare you play the race card!

What a joke and lame effort on your part without the facts.

I love in the Crescent and have for over 2o years and I dont live on 2 acres let alone 10!

Yes, we loathe what developers did to Centerville and their sea of rooftops, jammed roads, strip malls only make both developers and approving supervisors wealthy through their corruption.

Dont come at me like I am some rich dude basking in a mini kingdom...wake up and tell the truth.

All you are doing is exposing YOUR racists greedy roots so you can accept your payoffs and ruin lives at the same time.

You are corrupt racist bumblers.


Whether by design or not, the Royal Crescent is in fact exclusionary. There is no denying that we have pushed most of our housing, affordable and otherwise, on to the Eastern end of the county while we seclude and "protect" the Western half of the county from these invasions. And speaking about affordable housing: it is rumored that some of our Republican elected officials have said they don't want townhouses because the occupants are usually Democrats. There is also no denying that population growth is enormous. Are we to keep protecting the 27,000 residents of the Royal Crescent which occupies 53% of our land mass from what we need to do to accomodate our rapidly growing population? And what about economic development? PWC is at a regional low of 14% commercial tax base. Shame on us.

Redistrict 2021

We need affordable housing in PW County - the question is where to put it. Logical choice - near affordable transportation.

Best place for rezoning land to create more low-cost lots for new housing units: where public transit allows a two-job family to have just one car..

Let's plan for high-quality communities that include affordable housing + affordable transportation + parks + libraries + schools + jobs. Rezoning to create isolated "measles spots" away from PRTC/VRE routes will maximize new traffic congestion. Ugh.


These statements about exclusion are bullsh*t. Many of the owners of larger properties in the rural crescent inherited that land. They want to split it up to make money—period. Nothing to do with racism or exclusion of people. If anyone cares to live in the rural crescent, they are welcome. The Board of County Supervisors just gave permission to a developer to build 99 homes for $750-$850K that we fought for 10 years because it wasn’t equitable. The BOCS just played plowing through low income housing to allow commuters to get to the jobs in DC and Maryland, which doesn’t seem like equity. The reason for the rural crescent is to preserve waterways, streams, aquifers, ground water and the Occoquan. Destruction of trees, shifting acres of soil, covering those acres with impervious surfaces like roads and concrete will eventually poison our water. Water will not filter through soil, won’t meet groundwater, will be full of oil and carbon runoffs, and begin to pollute the Occoquan. We need to keep the rural crescent.


"The reason for the rural crescent is to preserve waterways, streams, aquifers, ground water and the Occoquan. Destruction of trees, shifting acres of soil, covering those acres with impervious surfaces like roads and concrete will eventually poison our water. Water will not filter through soil, won’t meet groundwater, will be full of oil and carbon runoffs, and begin to pollute the Occoquan. We need to keep the rural crescent."

Thank for for this! [thumbup]

Its very important, just ask the BOCS about the 25+ year water runoff issue from the Montclair golf course that is just now getting attention!

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