Share This Issue on Your Social Media
Stay Connected With Chair Wheeler
Issue 64
Friday, May 7, 2021
Prince William County
Dear Neighbors,

This week, during the evening Board meeting, we spent time working together as a Board on land use. We heard a presentation from Staff on the Rural Area Preservation Study and the proposed associated amendments. This study has been around for years but had never been brought before the Board.

The Board heard from almost 100 people who came out to the public hearing in-person or via Zoom to express their opinions. There were certainly many different viewpoints on how to proceed as we redo our Comprehensive Plan, a plan that will serve us to manage our projected growth both equitably and sustainably in the years to come.

Working together the Board voted unanimously on the following items:

  • The implementation of the Rural Area Preservation Study was denied
  • The implementation of a Purchase of Development Rights Program was approved
  • The Transfer of Development Rights was sent back to planning staff to review and rework the different sending and receiving areas, as well as the structure of the program
  • The Cluster Ordinance with sewer was sent back to planning staff to review and rework the structure of the program, as well as look at the entirety of the county for this program, not just the current undeveloped area.
It’s gratifying to make progress on land-use issues that will set Prince William County on a path toward a holistic and robust plan that can serve us in the years to come. I am sure as time goes on there will be further discussions and refinements in all the programs. It is through working together we will move forward constructively, and Tuesday was one of those times.

In Service,
Chair Ann Wheeler
Assistance for Veterans in Need
The Dulles Area Transportation Association and the Northern Virginia Veterans Association have been awarded federal funding for a joint project to provide veterans who are disabled or over 65 with transportation to COVID-19 vaccination appointments. The program will provide round-trip, no-cost taxi service to COVID-19 vaccination appointments for eligible veterans who NOVA Veterans helps, including those who need wheelchair-accessible transportation. Details on how to utilize the program will be shared as they are made available.
Getting Vaccinated

Schedule your vaccination appointment with the Prince William Health District using the Vaccinate Appointment Scheduling Engine.

Walk-ins are welcome at Veterans Park Recreation Center, 14300 Veterans Dr. in Woodbridge, and Gander Mountain (limited per day), 14041 Worth Ave in Woodbridge. Follow Prince William Health District on Facebook for walk-in announcements and pop-up clinics.

Over 1 in 3 people eligible for the vaccine (age 16+), in PWC are fully vaccinated. Over 40% have received at least one dose.
Chair's Calendar
Wednesday, May 5, Chair Wheeler had great conversations at Prince William Education Association's Teacher Appreciation Week event and was able to personally thank them for their unwavering commitment to educating the next generation of leaders.
Saturday, May 1, Chair Wheeler joined Senator Mark Warner as he toured PWC's Community Vaccination Clinic in Woodbridge. The clinic was scheduled to administer 3,000 second doses and 1,000 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
BOCS Upcoming Meeting
Work Session
TuesdayMay 11, at 2:00 pm
Buckhall Volunteer Fire Station
7190 Yates Ford Road
Manassas, VA 20111

As a work session, there will be limited space for in-person viewing and remote public comment time will not be available. The meeting will not be broadcast but the audio will be recorded and posted on the County website.
Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. James A. McGruder graced the PWC BOCS chambers during the May 4 meeting with a recitation of “I Am the Flag,” an ode to the flag of the United States of America. The presentation drew a standing ovation from the Board and those present in the chambers. You can view the presentation in this video.
 “Sometimes people take it for granted that we’re in a great country, but when you go overseas and come back, you know you’re in a great country because you’ve seen the difference.”
Sgt. Maj. James A. McGruder
Retired U.S. Army
On May 4 BOCS's Proclamations and Declarations
Lynda N. Silverstrand, member of Trails and Blueways Council
Friday, May 21 was proclaimed Bike to Work Day to encourage area businesses and regional decision-makers to support bicycle-friendly policies that might increase bicycle commuting. The day will be celebrated with “pit-stop” events at George Mason University, Manassas VRE Station, Chinn Center, Rippon Landing VRE Station, Woodbridge VRE Station, Dumfries Town Hall, and Haymarket Bicycles. Learn more and register here.
Wade Hugh, Director of Development Services
May was proclaimed Building Safety Month to encourage everyone to ensure places are safe and acknowledge the essential services provided by local and state building departments, fire departments, and federal agencies. This year's theme is “Prevent, Prepare, Protect. Building Codes Save.” During Week1 the focus is on Energy and Innovation, Week 2 is Training the Next Generation, Week 3 is Water Safety, and Week 4 is Disaster Preparedness.
Jason Pauley, Deputy Director of
The week of May 2 was declared International Compost Awareness Week to encourage learning about the benefits compost has on soil and lawn health, plant growth, the environment, and waste management. May 8 was officially recognized as PWC's official Compost Awareness Day. This year’s theme, “Grow, Eat, COMPOST…Repeat,” helps people recognize the importance of composting to grow healthier food, support healthier soil, and to promote a sustainable world.
A Compost Awareness Day event will be held on Saturday, May 8 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Balls Ford Road Compost Facility located at 13000 Balls Ford Road in Manassas (issue 63).
Yolanda Green, Vice-Chair
and Kim Brace, Chair of
May was proclaimed Historic Preservation Month to acknowledge the role of history in everyday life and the contributions made by dedicated individuals in helping to preserve the tangible aspects of the heritage that has shaped the community. The County has a Historical Commission and an Architectural Review Board. The Historic Preservation Division preserves 13 sites and over 750 acres of historically and culturally significant property and resources throughout the County.
ON May 1 the Ben Lomond Historic Site, Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, and Rippon Lodge Historic Site opened for tours Monday through Friday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. Bristoe Station Battlefield Heritage Park is offering guided tours on the second and fourth weekends of the month from May to October.
Curtis Porter, Chair
May was proclaimed Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage to acknowledge their positive impact on all areas of life in PWC. Approximately 38,000 PWC residents identify as Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. This month serves to celebrate the sacrifices and contributions the community has made to the County and recognizes the leaders and trailblazers who hold a common hope of equal treatment, civil rights, and a bright future for PWC.
Kenny Boddye, Occoquan District Supervisor, Khadija Athman, Raheel Shiekh, Maira Baig, and Rafi Uddin Ahmed, President, Dar Al-Noor
 April 12 to May 12 was proclaimed Ramadan in PWC to acknowledge the acts of kindness and selflessness shown by the County’s Muslim community. Ramadan is a time for spiritual reflection, increased awareness, giving to the global poor, sick, hungry, and bridging the differences with a shared commitment to faith. The County's thriving Muslim community contributes to its strength of diversity. Eid al-Fitr, the traditional end of Ramadan, is a joyous occasion with people sharing gifts, sweets, and good tidings with family friends, and neighbors.
Clarice Grove, Manager, Michele Weatherly, Director, Christina Winn, Executive Director Department of Economic Development
May was proclaimed Business Appreciation Month to raise awareness of the innovation, economic opportunity, talent, and benefits from businesses in PWC. Many businesses faced new challenges during the recession caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents and employees are encouraged to support local businesses helping to contribute to economic recovery. Over 9,600 businesses operate in the County and provide more than 125,000 jobs. These businesses play a pivotal role in strengthening the County and contributing to the wellbeing of its residents.
Feedback Wanted for Route 1/123 Intersection Study
The recently completed widening of Route 1, which included a shared-use path and sidewalk, has improved traffic conditions (issue 61). However, traffic volume at the intersection of Route 1 and Route 123 is still heavy and is expected to increase in the future. Currently, at the intersection, Route 123 averages 19,000 vehicles a day and Route 1 averages 39,000.

To address this, the Virginia Department of Transportation is conducting a study of potential improvements for the intersection and wants your feedback. Alternatives to improving traffic flow and safety include connecting Route 123 and Belmont Bay Drive, constructing a partial or full grade-separated interchange, and pedestrian, bicycle, and transit enhancements.

A video presentation of the study and feedback survey is available in English and Spanish at Comments can also be sent to or to Ms. Angel Tao, P.E., Virginia Department of Transportation, 4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030. The online survey will be available through Monday, May 24.
Share Your Input On Other Transportation Projects

County News
Prince William Public Libraries (PWPL) will no longer charge fines for late items beginning Thursday, July 1. PWPL joins the more than 280 library systems across the country that have gone completely fine-free. In addition to having a positive impact on library patrons, data and experiences from other libraries have proven that removing late fees removes unfair economic barriers to library access for youth and patrons from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Patrons will still be responsible for paying for lost or damaged items, but all fines and fees will be removed from their account after they return past-due items at any of PWPL’s 12 libraries beginning July 1.
Reminder, you have until Friday, May 21 to complete the Prince William Public Libraries survey (issue 63).
Importance of Workforce Diversity
Thursday, May 13, at 1:00 pm, join the New Frontier webinar Workforce Diversity: The Greatest Asset to Business & Society. Diversity takes many forms; racial, gender, age, experiences, sexual orientation, faith, ethnicity, language, etc. The panelists will discuss issues and questions on the topic. The free webinar is recommended for employers, HR professionals, developers, investors, citizens, realtors, planners, and those interested in what’s next in PWC. To learn more and register, visit Workforce Diversity: The Greatest Asset to Business & Society
The Webinar Panelists will be:

About the New Frontier Series

The PWC's Department of Economic Development's New Frontier webinar series explores the investment and growth opportunities taking place in the County through key government initiatives such as Small Area Planning, Mixed-use Zoning, Reinvestment, and much more. Particular focus will be placed on Eastern PWC where much of these initiatives are taking place. A recording of the April 8 Five Generations in the Workforce webinar can be viewed here.
Affordable Housing
Saturday, May 8, from noon to 1:00 pm, Leadership Prince William (LPW) will be hosting the first of three Community Conversations. The session will focus on the current state of affordable housing in Northern Virginia and what is being done about it. The panel will address a variety of issues on the topic and questions during the webinar will be welcomed. You can learn more, register, and submit a question for the panel here.
The discussion will be moderated by 2021 Class Member Dr. Vanessa Gattis of the Prince William County Community Foundation.

The panelists will be:
Integrating Agritourism and Art
In February, the BOCS approved a Zoning Text Amendment to establish the Agritourism and Arts Overlay District (AAOD) (issue 54) to create an area where agritourism and art-related businesses can integrate, while still maintaining the character of the County's rural areas. Now you can learn more in a virtual learning session on Thursday, May 27, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. Do you want to enhance the community's rural economy? Have you ever wanted to run an Agricultural or Arts business from home? Then this is the session for you. Register for the free session here.
Promote Your Products and Services
If you are (or if you know) a local producer who wants to connect with more customers, register for VCE- Prince William Agriculture Agents' free online class. Offered on June 2 at 7:00 pm, you will learn how to register your business and create a profile on Market Maker Virginia (issue 62) that also synchronizes with Buy Fresh Buy Local, Virginia Grown, and Virginia’s Finest listings.
Community Opportunity Reminders

They're Back
By now you've probably heard cicadas are going to be emerging any day now. What you may not know is why this year's batch is different. They are the Great Eastern Brood 17-year periodical cicadas. As the label suggests, they were last seen in 2004 and have been maturing underground since. In the spirit of "but wait there's more," they are the largest in numbers of the various 17-year cicada broods.
With as many as 1.5 million emerging per acre, these cicadas are known for their big numbers, but they are equally known for their noise. Male cicadas produce the loudest sound in the insect world and this year's brood has three different male species, each with its own 'song' and preferred trees. The sound is to attract females, and since they emerge to reproduce, they do it with gusto. They will likely be around through June, but don't think that means we are done with cicadas. The annual, smaller green cicadas will still be out June through August.

So what does this mean for PWC? The County is on the southern edge of the brood's territory. They will definitely be here, but since PWC covers over 336 square miles, it's likely some areas of the County will experience them and others may not. While annoying, they don't bite or sting and are not toxic to pets in small amounts. You can find tips to protect your plants here. Oh and if you're feeling really adventurous, they are edible.
What was Life Like in 1987 and 2004

To really appreciate how long it is between 17 years, in 1987 Dirty Dancing became a surprise hit movie, the Bangles "Walk Like an Egyptian" was a chart-topper, and a first-class stamp cost 20 cents. Fast forward to 2004, Shrek 2 was released in the theaters, in our family rooms Friends said goodbye, and it cost 37 cents to mail a letter. Today, a stamp is 55 cents, but with the advance of online banking and email, certainly doesn't get used as much. However, it's not all bad news. In 1987,the average 30 year fixed mortgage was 9% to 11%, in 2004 it was to 5% to 6%, and so far this year it's been around 2.5% to 3%.
Mother's Day
Speaking of things to do in PWC, it's Mother's Day on Sunday, May 9, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate in PWC. Whether it's dining, flowers, history, sweets, pampering, or maybe all of the above, you'll find something to do! No matter what you do, be sure to celebrate all those who have filled the role of Mother for you, be it for a lifetime or a moment in time.
The origins of Mother’s Day, as celebrated in the United States, date back to the 19th century when Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children. Later, in 1870, suffragette Julia Ward Howe wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” a call to action for mothers to unite in promoting world peace. In 1873, Howe campaigned for a “Mother’s Peace Day” to be celebrated every June 2.

It was the efforts of Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis, that resulted in the official Mother’s Day. Following her mother’s 1905 death, Anna Jarvis conceived Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers make for their children. Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

However, as the day became more commercialized, Jarvis eventually resorted to an open campaign against Mother’s Day profiteers. She spent most of her wealth in legal fees launching countless lawsuits against groups that had used the name “Mother’s Day.” By the time of her death in 1948, Jarvis had disowned the holiday and actively lobbied the government to remove from the American calendar.
Travel and Tourism
Speaking of things to do in PWC, it's National Travel and Tourism Week! This year PWC's Department of Park, Recreation and Tourism is celebrating the resilience of the tourism, travel, and hospitality industry and how the #poweroftravel will energize the economic recovery. Learn about all that PWC offers at VisitPWC.
I would like to recognize the impact and importance of travel and tourism on Prince William County and the important role of the County’s Office of Tourism. In 2019, Travel and Tourism supported 6,782 jobs and had an economic impact of $643 million in Prince William County. Travel and tourism is one of the hardest hit industries from COVID-19 and its resurgence is an integral part of our economic recovery and restoration of our quality of life.
Ann Wheeler
Chair At-Large
Prince William Board of County Supervisors
Regional News
Virtual Job Fair
Amazon is hiring approximately 60 entry-level Data Center Engineering Operations Technicians (EOT) for its Northern Virginia Data Center locations. EOTs are responsible for operating and maintaining all electrical, mechanical, and fire/life safety equipment within the data centers. Those selected will start in June 2021 and complete a 12-week on-the-job Work-Based Learning Program working in their data centers full time.
College degree and prior work experience are not required. All relevant training will be provided throughout the programLearn more and submit your application here. Virtual interviews will be conducted from Saturday, May 15th, through Saturday, May 22. A second job fair will be held in August.
Ann B. Wheeler was elected Chair At-Large of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors during the 2019 General Election and assumed office on January 1, 2020. Prince William County is located 25 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., and is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s second-most populous county with approximately 470,000 residents.