The Piedmont Environmental Council, an organization that promotes regional conservation, has offered $600,000. This will allow the county to purchase the Aldie Assemblage which has been at center of ongoing debates about construction in the historic village.
The purchase would also include part of the current Aldie Volunteer Fire Department. The property line includes outbuildings, and runs through the main building. The replacement of the volunteer fire department is planned. The council would lease it to the volunteer department for $1 per annum until the new station in Gilberts Corner is ready.
The PEC has been involved in many preservation and environmental projects in Loudoun. This includes the acquisition of 239 acres near Gilberts Corner and the collaboration with NOVA Parks to build the 150-acre Gilberts Corner Regional Park. The council was also part of Loudoun’s planning exercises, including Envision Loudoun. 50 roundaboutsand Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership.
Christopher Miller, the president of the council, wrote to the county attorney that the organization seeks the role of steward for the diverse natural, historic, and scenic resources on the property. He stated that the health of our environment and the vitality and viability of our towns and villages are closely connected.
This is especially true in Aldie’s case, which is at the intersection of many long-standing conservation initiatives by PEC, including protection for the Bull Run Mountains, and the preservation of the [sic]He wrote this to preserve the integrity and the Route 50 Traffic Calming Project.
The terms of the contract would oblige the Piedmont Environmental Council and bring the structures in compliance with the state building code as well as the county ordinance on the maintenance of historic buildings. Over the years, the building has suffered from neglect. Meanwhile, county supervisors have fought with residents of Aldie to stop their plans for a larger fire station on the property.
The proposal is the second time that well-respected local preservationists have tried to buy the property from County. Aldie resident and Aldie Heritage Association member Guy Gerachis had offered to buy The six-acre property for the same price, proposing to restore the so-called Aldie Tavern and nearby Satterfield Cottage as residences and refurbish the 19th century cellar house, along with other renovations. It was a proposal that received support from many people in the area. After initially accepting the offer, and lengthy negotiations, county supervisors pulled out of the deal.
The county government purchased the property with plans for it to be used to replace the cramped Aldie Volunteer fire station. The community protested the plans and prevailed.
Mike Kane, Piedmont Environmental Council Director for Conservation, did not respond to requests for comment. Tony R. Buffington, Republican-Blue Ridge District Supervisors, declined to comment.
Loudoun Nowhe has asked for information about any other offers that the county has received for this property.