Huge Surprise! LCPS Picks Another Bad Site Owned By A Connected Developer!
When will this comedy of errors end? The Loudoun County School Board voted 8-1 last night to agree to purchase 170 acres, primarily from developer Sal Cangiano for the next western Loudoun High School (Living in LoCo report here). This property is of course very close to Purcellville, where apparently every western high school must be located. Take a look at a map of the vastness of western Loudoun County and then tell me if it makes sense to put three high schools all within five miles of each other. Of course it doesn’t make sense, but that is what they’re proposing. Bob Ohneiser, who I am hot and cold on (as opposed to generally cold on the rest of them) was the only no vote.
In keeping with established LCPS tradition, this property is proposed to be purchased for well above assessed value, and for much more than the developer paid for it just a few years ago. While land prices continue to fall, only LCPS seems to want to keep paying inflated prices for land. Land investors known as vultures are picking up developer land for as little as 25 cents on the dollar right now, yet the taxpayers are going to be expected to shell out above market rates for this site. This is what their secretive process has given us once again – a bad deal with a connected seller.
By the way, the School Board’s attorney for land deals until recently represented Cangiano. Does this contract have the extra special clause that first appeared (I believe) in the Greenvest Lenah contract – that the county is obligated to lobby for this site and not look for alternatives? And this is what their new supposedly better and more open process is giving us? No wonder so many do not trust the School Board on land deals. I’ll be extremely disappointed if the supervisors go along with this one, but luckily they have proven to be very tough with the inept School Board on these matters.