Item 15A on last week’s agenda of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors concerned a request to rezone about ten acres of land that is largely zoned as agricultural land to high-density residential in order to permit the construction of 128 townhouses in the Woodbridge District. When this came up, Supervisor Frank Principi argued for approval and was beaten down pretty strongly by the other board members, who noted that we have a glut of available housing at present and there’s little need to take away open space in Woodbridge in order to construct what will certainly be more vacant housing. This wouldn’t be all that notable, as this scenario plays out pretty frequently these days, but for what happened next.
It was pretty clear this was going to go down in flames, and it did with only Supervisors Jenkins, May and Principi voting in support (see update below for correction on what these votes were for). Principi then moved to have this sent back to the Planning Commission to be re-worked a bit, and brought up again at a later meeting. That brought on more discussion about how citizens who had showed up for this public hearing would then have to come back again, and that the board’s opinion on additional housing construction in the county is pretty well understood. Until the housing glut subsides, we just don’t need more houses. When the vote on Principi’s motion was held, there was only one vote in favor.
Neabsco Supervisor John Jenkins.
Jenkins was pretty clearly trying to be collegial here and not leave Principi swinging in the wind by himself. Instead, Principi voted against his own motion so he wouldn’t look like the out-of-touch idiot that he is and left Jenkins swinging, instead. How nice of him. I wonder if John Jenkins is going to be eager to extend this same professional courtesy to Principi in the future after being embarassed while doing a favor. While Jenkins clearly gets, as experience will instruct, that sometimes it helps to give a fellow Supervisor some political cover when you can in order to get some help in the future, Principi The Ignorant can’t seem to look beyond his own immediate political survival and will readily throw potential friends under the bus when he thinks it might suit him.
Principi’s liberal cheerleaders have overlooked Principi’s desire to build townhouses on what is currently open space in Woodbridge, which has a significant concentration of the county’s vacant foreclosed properties and clearly doesn’t need more properties on the market. His potential political friends on the Board of Supervisors are unlikely to overlook this however, as Principi further descends into an irrelevant, albeit occasionally whiny annoyance.
An annoyance, which by the way seems to have a rather difficult to understand desire to promote residential development in the county during a residential glut.
UPDATE: I’ve gotten a clarification in what the votes were in this case that’s important to pass on. The first vote on this was to refer it back to the planning commission, not to pass it, and that was supported by Principi, Jenkins and May. The second vote was to approve the rezoning, which failed with only Jenkins in support. The minutes of the meeting won’t be available until the next Board meeting, and my notes on what happened weren’t as accurate as I’d hoped. Sorry for any confusion.
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