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Fitch Ratings reaffirms Loudoun County's AAA rating

Loudoun CountyFitch Ratings announced yesterday its award of AAA rating to Loudoun County for $102.1 million in general obligation refunding bonds that are expected to be sold April 8. The rating agency also gave the AAA rating on approximately $880 million outstanding general obligation bonds.

Arlington, Fairfax among three finalists for new Northrop Grumman headquarters

Northrop GrummanNorthrop Grumman will move its West Coast headquarters to the Washington area, and has narrowed its choices to Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, and Montgomery County in Maryland, according to sources in government and real estate. The company is expected to announce its decision by the end of April.

The entrance of a large number of highly paid workers into the area would likely invigorate the local housing market.

New gas pipeline to increase capacity in Churchland area

Columbia Gas of Virginia is building almost five miles of new pipeline through Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Suffolk to increase capacity in and around the Churchland area. The company expects to to spend almost $8 million and complete the project in June.

The increased capacity will support development in the area, spurring growth that will benefit the real estate market.

Read more in The Virginian-Pilot....

Governors call for a rail corridor along I-81

Bob Riley, Haley Barbour, Ed Rendell, Phil Bredesen, and Bob McDonnell -- governors of Alabama, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia, respectively -- call on the federal government to help fund the Crescent Corridor, a 2,500-mile rail route stretching across 13 states from New Jersey to Tennessee and Louisiana. Besides relieving traffic congestion, the governors cite projections that say the Crescent Corridor project will create 47,000 jobs by 2020 and 73,000 by 2030.

Virginia Real Estate Board elects Chair and Vice Chair

At its meeting this week, the members of the Virginia Real Estate Board elected a new Chair and Vice Chair. The results...

  • Chair: Byrl Taylor, GRI, from Long & Foster in White Stone
  • Vice Chair: Scott Gaeser, CCIM, from Eagle Realty of Virginia in Glen Allen

Roanoke jury values seized land at $2.2 million

A small victory in Roanoke for property owners around the Commonwealth: The Roanoke Redevelopment and Housing Authority has been ordered to pay Jay and Stephanie Burkholder $2.2 million for land seized under eminent domain. The figure falls between the $1.53 million the housing authority had offered to pay and the value of about $4.5 million given the Burkholders by two appraisers.

The Burkholders plan to continue their fight against the seizure, and say they hope to ultimately strengthen the rights of Virginia property owners.

"I intend to be a missionary or warrior for property rights," Stephanie Burkholder said. "I will not roll up and go away."

Virginia Beach developer nailed with $24,000 fine after state and local agencies make conflicting demands

When a Virginia Beach developer was asked to mow an overgrown 1/3 acre wetlands field by the local government, it complied. But the State Water Control Board considered the tract of land a protected wetland, and by mowing it, they say the developer altered and degraded the wetland, which should have been preserved as natural and open space.

"We had the state saying, 'Don't touch the site,' and the city saying, 'Mow it now,' " said Carl Eason, an attorney representing Glenwood South and its affiliate, Warner Construction. "I felt like I was in 'Alice in Wonderland.' "

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Appalachian Power Co. asks for 12.8% increase, commission recommends 3%

Appalachian Power Co. wants to raise rates a whopping 12.8%. If the rate hike is permitted, a customer currently paying $105 per month would instead owe $118.44. The State Corporation Commission is recommending that commissioners consider limiting the rate increase to 3%.
Appalachian's 2009 profit from its full service territory, including parts of Virginia, West Virginia, and Tennessee, totaled $155.81 million.
Read more at The Roanoke Times

Tougher stormwater regulations postponed

Stricter standards to keep stormwater runoff under control -- and out of the Chesapeake watershed -- have been postponed until at least the end of 2010, and possibly as late as Dec. 1, 2011.

The tougher standards would control the way new homes, shopping centers, and other developments are built. Environmentalists maintain the new standards are necessary to protect the watershed for future generations, but opponents say the rules will increase sprawl, increase the cost of housing, and that consumers would ultimately bear the cost of stricter development rules that builders would have have to comply with.

Read more in The Daily Press...