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Tolle Resigns from County Planning Commission

Member steps down before a heavy agenda.

After nearly two years of serving on the Loudoun County Planning Commission, Christeen Tolle decided to step down.

"This has been an interesting and educational experience," she said. "It was a pleasure to serve on the commission."

Tolle said she had been thinking about resigning for some time. "I had difficulty balancing the work on the commission with the full-time job," she said, "and it is hard for me not to give 100 percent when I do something." She decided to step down at this time because she thinks the Planning Commission's workload will get a lot heavier in January. She said she did not want to leave in the middle of important discussions, including a number of proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendments. A lot of behind-the-scenes work needs to be done in order to do a good job as a member of the Planning Commission, she added.

"This is something I could see myself doing in the future," said Tolle.

Scott York (I-At-large), chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, said Tolle's departure from the Planning Commission will leave a big hole. "She is a very good planning commissioner. Very thorough in her work," he said.

YORK MOVED to suspend the rules at the Board of Supervisors meeting Dec. 6 in order to nominate and appoint Kevin Ruedisueli as Tolle's replacement. Suspending the rules allowed for an immediate approval from the board, as opposed to the regular procedure in which the board would vote on the nominee's approval at the following meeting, in this case on Dec. 20. The Supervisors unanimously approved Ruedisueli's appointment.

"I am honored and excited about the notion of working on the Planning Commission," said Ruedisueli, a 26-year resident of Loudoun County. He said it was hard to determine what the biggest challenge for him will be, but keeping up with the workload will definitely be one of them. "I will look at each application carefully and be a positive force on the commission," he said.

"Ruedisueli's challenge will be to quickly get up to speed," said York, who is confident Ruedisueli will meet the challenge and the work will continue to go forward. York said he would personally prefer Tolle stay on the Planning Commission for the four years, but understands her reasons for resigning.

"I think Kevin [Ruedisueli] will do a great job," said Tolle. She said he has experience working with Loudoun County, so he is not a complete novice. She added he is energetic and open-minded, also important qualities for a person serving on the Planning Commission.

The challenge for the commission, said Ruedisueli, is to find sensible ways of promoting growth. "We need to continue to be aware of the historic and natural resources," he said. Those resources bring tourists to the county. It is important, he said, to keep the diversity between eastern and western Loudoun. If western Loudoun gets developed in the manner the eastern part did, then the county will look the same throughout, he added. "Most of my work will probably be done in the eastern part of the county," he said.

RUEDISUELI IS A licensed architect since 1992, doing most of his work in Loudoun County. He said it is a natural segue for an architect to become involved in planning issues.