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Planners discuss a vision for town

Brainstorm session generates ideas for shopping, recreation

By Sally Voth -- svoth@nvdaily.com

STRASBURG -- Future shopping and recreational possibilities for the town were brainstormed Tuesday by the Strasburg Planning Commission as it discussed a community plan.

The community plan, similar to a comprehensive plan, is a long-range vision.

Scott Terndrup, the Town Council's representative on the Planning Commission, led the discussion. He brought up Half-Moon Beach, saying it had been used for recreation for many years.

"Obviously, there have been tragedies there," he said. "As [Commissioner] Hank [Dean, who is an insurance agent] can attest, tragedies lead to liability issues."

Two people -- including a 6-year-old girl -- drowned in the quarry at Half-Moon Beach three years ago. The child's family settled with Half-Moon Beach Park Inc., Skyline Paintball, Strasburg Land LLC and Dunmore Land for $1 million earlier this year.

The quarry was proffered to the town when the Dunmore subdivision was rezoned in 2005. On Tuesday, Terndrup said if the paintball area and a larger area could be included, perhaps the town could work for a higher-density residential footprint.

Councilman Don Le Vine said a community plan was needed for this area so that if Dunmore or Cedar Valley came back wanting to renegotiate proffers or the like, whether the town wanted the quarry would need to be straightened out.

"I've talked with our insurance, VML [the Virginia Municipal League]," Clerk of the Council Amy Keller said. "They're definitely not in favor."

Commissioner Carl Rinker couldn't resist throwing out a joke.

"I think we start up the Strasburg Nudist Colony," he said.

Dean compared the quarry to Lake Frederick, which is surrounded by homes.

"It's depth in several places is probably just as deep as some of these areas that we have in the quarry," he said. "Obviously, they've been able to deal with that from a position of there's no swimming."

The lake's use is regulated and motorized boats are permitted for fishing, Dean said.

"That's a situation that's a possibility," he said.

Fishing and paintball -- combined with the nearby visitor's center -- could draw weekend visitors, Terndrup said.

The group also talked about possible areas for a grocery store or department store. Terndrup said he thought the area around the Interstate 81 interchange with Va. 55 would be a good spot since it would balance shopping areas on both ends of town. The Cedar Valley site on U.S. 11 north of town would also be an option, he said.

Commissioner Robert Flanagan suggested converting Washington Street into a pedestrian shopping mall with restaurants.

"It's the most opportune street of the three downtown," he said.


What Strasburg needs is a business of some sort that takes pieces of chicken, cooks them up all nice and pretty using salt, pepper, and other tasty herbs, then offers them for sale to passersby on their way to and from the nudist camp. (shirt and shoes required, of course)

Maybe somebody should offer to sell the quarry to Middletown? They buy anything, including stores that sell chicken.

i can't imagine that the town leaders aren't promoting more tourism just due to the natural surroundings. honestly, the town park has a great view and they should have a lot more areas that are more open and advertised to the public.

"Fishing and paintball -- combined with the nearby visitor's center -- could draw weekend visitors, Terndrup said."

so, from the interstate you notice the restaurants at the exit on 11, not much at the exit on 55 and then the truck stop is the next one. there are some amazing places around strasburg and i'm not sure if there has been enough mention of a better "vision for town".

It’s very easy to sit back and ponder the possibilities and pretend we all live in a Utopian society where much wanted developments pop up magically from the ground like weeds in an old field. People around here want another grocery store so bad it was rumored as far away as Edinburg that a new Martin's store was moving in on Route 55. These types of businesses just don't move in that easy. The town needs to be more engaged in economic development. Shoot, we all sit around and talk about what we’d like to have around here but talk is cheap. The town needs to get out and court these businesses. They need to offer incentives for coming here. Manassas got an IBM/Toshiba microchip plant about 10 years ago by offering tax breaks, plenty of clean water, and other perks. The result, the City of Manassas brings in over 50 million a year in tools tax revenue. The word is out about Strasburg. Plenty of people know about the way the last businessman was treated and I’m sure he’s told his friends too.

And they could name that business after a cartoon character who eats a diet of green leafy vegetables, even though the restaurant doesn't serve anything remotely resembling real healthy food.


1) The business in question is named after a character from the movie The French Connection, not a cartoon sailor man.

2) The nutritional value, or lack thereof, of the menu offerings is really not the government's business. Move to NYC or Cali if that is your cup of tea.

okay wolfcr... not sure what you're goin' for there...

i just think that we should offer the amazing tourist destination instead of industry and restaurants you can get from any other town up and down 81. half moon beach was a beautiful place and its sad that people have died there but people die on 81 more frequently and it won't be shut down. we should propagate more tourism due to our nature and history. do any visitors traveling 81 know about the view from signal knob or the view looking up there from the river? what about buzzard's rock? there are so many quarries that are amazingly beautiful just up and down the train tracks. i have pictures of lots of sights around strasburg. maybe i should make a tourist website for the town. i have so many amazing memories with amazing people around this town. that's why strasburg should be known, not for letting a national restaurant chain leave town.

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