George Orwell, author of “1984,” made the point that language has the power in politics to mask the truth and mislead the public.
In “1984,” in his novel, he coined the phrase “Newspeak,” referring to the abuse of language by the government.
In Loudoun County, we have long had a “transition” area in the County’s Comprehensive Plan, serving as a buffer between western Loudoun (rural) and eastern Loudoun (suburban).
Every Members of the Board of Supervisors knows what that means.
In a recent County study, inviting us to “envision” the future, we were told there is a “market” demand to add 50,000 residential units to our already over-crowded County.
Citizens have said loud and clear – we do not want 50,000 more units – not in the West or the East or the Transition area,
When the “vision” statement for the “new and improved” comprehensive plan was considered by the Board of Supervisors last week, a majority of the Board favored myopia, narrowing the County’s “vision,” and kicking the County’s long-held land use policy of “transition” to the curb.
Supervisor Ron Meyer (R-Broad Run) feigned a misunderstanding of the English language when he said, “As far as saying something’s a transition setting, I’m not sure what that means in the English language.”
If Mr. Meyer suffered a language lapse, he could have consulted a dictionary.
Merriam Webster says a “transition” is the “passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another.”
Loudoun’s “transition” area is a “passage” from suburban development through mixed development to rural development.
Mr. Meyer understood perfectly what and where the transition area was when, as a Board candidate in 2015, he answered the Chamber’s questionnaire, faulting the Comprehensive Plan, including the Transition area, under review and subject to revision now.
Mr. Meyer said, “Current planning does not reflect community realities in this [transition] area and it will be vital to better plan the transportation network and land use polices to ‘fill in the gap’ in a smart and responsible way between suburban areas in Ashburn and Leesburg in this small corner of the Transition Area (underscoring supplied).”
Mr. Meyer’s shoddy mimicry of Orwell’s “Newspeak” sought to eliminate “transition” to compromise any thought or memory of the policy that has preserved and protected the County’s special character.
Nor did Mr. Meyer stop with his faux misapprehension of what “transition” meant.
Mr. Meyer swelled with intolerant and disrespectful humor, when he said, “What is the transition setting, does that have to do with someone’s gender identity?’” Continue reading