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The Week in Loudoun

County Begins Resolving Zoning Cases

<bt>Board of Supervisors chairman Scott York expects the zoning ordinance amendments adopted in 2003 to remain protected despite the more than 190 lawsuits that have been filed against it by the Feb. 5 deadline.

“I’m surprised that there weren’t more to be frank,” said York (R-At large).

With the board’s authorization, county attorney John Roberts is settling less than half of the cases using a vested rights rules matrix. The matrix identifies zoning cases far enough along in the zoning process for rezoning, special exemptions and administrative approval to fall under the 1993 guidelines and not the amendments adopted last January. The amended zoning ordinance gives the force of law to the Revised Comprehensive Plan, which the board adopted in July 2001.

“We believe this matrix will solve most or all of the vested rights claims against the county,” York said.

Roberts did not return phone calls.

<sh>House Approves Transit Funding

<bt>The U.S. House of Representatives included an additional $25 million for mass transit in the Dulles corridor in the FY 2004 transportation spending bill that was approved on Sept. 9, according to U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10). The installment will bring the total federal share for the project to more than $168 million.

"Getting a workable, efficient mass transit system up and running in the Dulles corridor is critical to helping Moms and Dads spend less time sitting in traffic and more time at home with their families," Wolf said. "This installment is another positive step."

The bill also includes:

* $1 million to help the Commonwealth of Virginia widen I-66

westbound from the Rosslyn tunnel to the Dulles connector. Warner agreed to move forward with a study of widening the road.

* $6 million toward the expansion of Battlefield Parkway in Leesburg.

* $75,000 for improvements to Route 50 in Fauquier and Loudoun counties.

* $1 million for a new ground-based radio landing system for the Leesburg Executive Airport.

<sh>Woman Charged with Embezzlement

<bt>The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office has charged Angela Michell Cacciatore, 25, of Chantilly with embezzlement and money laundering. Investigator Doug Taylor, of the Criminal Investigations Division of the Loudoun Sheriff's Office, detailed the case against her in a Sept. 3 affidavit for a warrant to search for a stolen sofa in her Chantilly apartment.

According to Taylor, Cacciatore worked at Belfort Furniture on Shaw Road in Dulles, as an accounts-receivable accountant when her employer "linked her to approximately 14 questionable transactions." Furthermore, wrote the investigator, "Belfort Furniture alleges that Cacciatore embezzled $12,035 in money, credits and furniture between Oct. 2, 2002 [and] June 23, 2003."

The furniture store reported that a Broyhill sofa was obtained by someone who didn't pay for it. It had a thin, reddish-brown, horizontal and vertical line/square pattern on a cream-colored fabric covering the frame; a solid, reddish-brown fabric covered the pillows.

And Taylor noted that, in an earlier visit to Cacciatore's address, he was able to view a matching sofa in her living room. Wrote the investigator: "[It was] clearly visible from Elmwood Street." The sheriff's office executed the search warrant on Sept. 4 and, at that time, authorities seized "one Broyhill sofa, [which was then] photographed and released to Belfort Furniture."

Cacciatore was charged with one count each of embezzlement and money laundering. She was released from jail on $25,000 bond and has a preliminary hearing date of Oct. 23 in Loudoun County General District Court.

<1b>— Bonnie Hobbs

<sh>Information Sought on Larceny

<bt>Crime Solvers is assisting Loudoun County Sheriff's Investigators in the investigation of a grand larceny case.

Between Aug. 9-16, a 2001 Honda Recon ATV and an assortment of commercial power tools were stolen by unknown subject(s) from a private residence on Loudoun Heights Lane in the area of Purcellville.

Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $1,000 for the information that leads to the subjects' arrest and conviction.

Anyone with information about the identity of these subjects is asked to call Loudoun County Crime Solvers at 703-777-1919.

The caller will never have to give their name, just the information that they want investigators to know. The caller will be assigned a number that is specific to the information that they provide, and this caller number is the key to getting the cash reward. The caller is eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000, from the Crime Solvers Organization if the information provided leads to the arrest and conviction in this case.

<sh>New Dulles Fixed Route Service

<bt>The Virginia Regional Transportation Association has introduced a new Dulles to Dulles fixed route service running between Dulles Airport and Dulles Town Center between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. In addition to the new service, all of the fixed routes, excluding Leesburg, will expand operation hours to run 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. This includes the Purcellville/Leesburg and Sterling/Countryside fixed routes. Sterling Demand Response will also serve at the ADA counterpart, operating 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The change supports passengers who lost their ride as a result of the United Way cuts.

Funding for the service was made possible by eliminating some under-utilized mid-day services, such as the Ashburn/Leesburg and Ashburn/Sterling Demand Response services which operated between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

DMV, Greyhound and other transit services will not be affected by the changes.

For more information, call Mark McGregor at 540-338-7285, Ext. 18.

<sh>Bullet Fired Into Home

<bt>A bullet was discovered in the home of a Leesburg area family Sept. 8. A 40-year-old resident of the home located in the 42200 block of Green Meadow Lane found the bullet. The man told deputies that sometime between 1:30 and 2 a.m., he had heard what sounded like a gunshot and checked his residence finding nothing out of place. That morning the man again checked his residence and discovered a bullet on his bed.

The bullet had entered the home, passed over his son's bed and through the wall of another room coming to rest where the man had been sleeping.

Sheriff's Deputies believe the bullet may have been fired from James Monroe Highway (Route 15). Deputies searched an area along Route 15 yesterday for empty shell casings but no evidence was discovered.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office at 703-771-1021.

<sh>Drug Court Conference

<bt>The Loudoun County Community Criminal Justice Board will hold a Drug Court Conference on Thursday, Oct. 2, from noon-5 p.m. at the Ida Lee Park Recreational Center. The guest speaker will be Attorney General Jerry Kilgore. The conference will also include presentations by The National Drug Court Institute, professionals and practitioners from existing Virginia Drug Courts. Lunch will be served.

<sh>Award for WORK Program

<bt>A Loudoun County program designed to provide sentencing options for youthful offenders has received national recognition from the National Association of County Parks and Recreation Officials.

The association has awarded its 2003 Park and Recreation Program Award to the Work Ordered Repayment by Kids (WORK) Program, operated by the Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services.

The WORK Program gives the courts an additional sentencing option for juveniles by providing supervised community service in the county's community centers and parks.

Tim Chesnutt, Youth Services Division manager, and Leon Evans, WORK Program coordinator, accepted the award at the Sept. 2 meeting of the Board of Supervisors.

Youths referred to the WORK program are typically between the ages of 12 and 17 and have been involved in offenses such as fighting, shoplifting, vandalism, and alcohol violations.

WORK participants have completed thousands of hours of community service by planting trees in county parks, clearing hiking trails, helping with construction of the Franklin Park Performing Arts Center, and building and installing park benches. They also have helped out at many county-sponsored fairs and festivals.

The WORK Program is operated in conjunction with other agencies, including the Juvenile Court Services Unit, Juvenile Detention Center and the Young Adults Project.

<sh>EDC Seeks Members

<bt>Loudoun County’s Economic Development Commission (EDC) wants local business leaders who can contribute time, energy, and ideas to promote business growth, strengthen the local economy, and preserve a high quality of life for county residents. The EDC expects several openings for three-year terms beginning January 2004, and leaders from all sectors of the local business community are encouraged to apply.

With 27 voting members, the EDC includes representatives from diverse industries such as: aerospace, agribusiness, banking and finance, higher education, manufacturing, professional services, real estate development, retail, small business and telecommunications. Additional commissioners include elected officials and ex-officio members representing key economic development businesses and organizations.

The commission’s responsibilities include:

* Updating and implementing the community’s Economic Development Strategic Plan.

* Providing program and policy recommendations to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.

* Coordinating economic development and marketing activities among public/private groups in the county.

* Providing the Department of Economic Development with ongoing support and oversight.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Sept. 29. Send letters of interest, along with resumes/bios, to EDC Nominating Committee, c/o Debra Jenkins Loudoun County Department of Economic Development, 1 Harrison Street, 5th Floor, P.O. Box 7000, Leesburg, VA 20177. Visit www.loudoun.gov/edc.

<sh>Catoctin Water Quality Meeting

<bt>Loudoun County, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and the Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District invite all interested citizens to a public kickoff meeting for the Catoctin Creek Water Quality Implementation Plan on Tuesday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. at the Lucketts Community Center, located at the intersection of Route 15 and Lucketts Road (Route 662).

The meeting will provide an opportunity for the public to sign up to participate in one of four working groups focused on agriculture, residential, environmental, and government issues. The most intensive working group efforts will occur in October, November, and early December. Additional public participation and input will be possible at a project review meeting in December, a final report presentation in January 2004, and a subsequent 30-day public comment period. The Implementation Plan is expected to conclude in March 2004.

The reason for the Implementation Plan is that water quality along 35 miles in four segments of Catoctin Creek in Loudoun County does not comply with the state's bacteria content standard. The goal is that all streams should be suitable for recreational uses, including swimming and fishing.

For more information, contact Jim Christian, Loudoun Soil and Water Conservation District at 703-777-2075, the Loudoun County Environmental and Historic Resources Program office at 703-737-8440, or go to www.loudoun.gov/envhist/catoctin.htm.

<sh>Leesburg Planning Meetings Set

<bt>The Town of Leesburg Planning Commission invites the public to attend "Visioning Sessions" in the fall to discuss long-range transportation, land use, urban growth boundary and environmental issues. All sessions will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at Ida Lee Recreation Center, 50 Ida Lee Drive, N.W. Those meetings include:

* Transportation: Saturday, Oct. 4.

* Land Use: Saturday, Oct. 25.

* Urban Growth Issues: Saturday, Nov. 15.

For more information, visit www.leesburgva.org/townplan, e-mail townplan@leesburgva.org or call 703-771-2765.