Middleburg—when is enough enough? The precious countryside surrounding your town is at risk of becoming an outright bar zone, full of weekenders coming out to drink beer and add more danger to our already over-crowded roadways.
Scott Buzzelli and Brian Yarnal’s proposal to build “Fueled Farm” at the Buzzelli home, less than 1 mile to the east of Middleburg, is inappropriate. As the most immediate neighbors to this development project, we are extremely concerned about their plans to build a brewery next to our home. The failures of Loudoun County zoning coupled with the shortcomings of Virginia’s agri tourism laws threaten individual property rights and public safety. The brewery laws were written to help farmers, not real estate agents taking unfair advantage of poorly written zoning ordinances. After all of the farms Buzzelli’s firm, Middleburg Real Estate and Atoka Properties, has sold to people seeking the rural life, he’s now threatening to destroy the very character of this community.
Proposed plans include building a parking lot that holds 150+ cars right next to Buzzelli’s home. Imagine seating for 300 people with outdoor games, food trucks, and live music in a property that barely meets the 10-acre requirement. How many bars and event spaces do we need? Within 1 mile of this property we now have Greenhill Winery, the Middleburg Barn, and Mount Defiance Cidery and Distillery, not to mention that there are already 31 “farm breweries” in Loudoun County. How many more car accidents can we take? Buzzelli even admits that his fence has been hit more than once over the years.
When presenting their plans to the Middleburg Town Council on May 14, Buzzelli and Yarnal told the Council that the neighbors were “ok with the plan.” The truth is neither of them ever told us or any of our fellow neighbors about the project. The lack of transparency and honesty they extended to their neighbors, including to neighbors who have lived here for more than 50 years, defies the definition of “neighbor.”
Haven’t we lost enough of our peaceful countryside? Haven’t we had enough loss of property value because of a neighbor’s poor judgement and inappropriate development plans? This neighborhood is rural, which is how it is zoned. Our home is a small family horse farm, which is what it has been since the Rogers family built Stonehill in 1850. That’s what we bought when we moved here in 2016 and that’s what we plan to pass on. Our horses live in our back pasture, and I teach my kids to ride there. Now our rights and our very lifestyle are threatened—and for what? A bar?
Speak up Middleburg! Help protect our farm, our neighbors’ homes and farms, your county park and the safety and tranquility of this community. Send your personal objections to:
Ms. Denise Hires
Virginia ABC Compliance Unit
2901 Hermitage Road
Richmond, VA 23220
RE: Brewery License Application by 37374JMH, LLC trading as Fueled Farm Brewery near Middleburg Virginia
Act fast! There is no time for delay.
Kimberly and Don Skelly