Meet the Warners
Many people in Purcellville know us and know our love and concern for the community. For those who don’t yet know us, we are a local family whose farm has become surrounded by Purcellville growth, and we see the chance to do something meaningful with the land that can bring multiple layers of benefit to the Town and to the community.
Here’s what we are not: we are not developers, speculators, outsiders, or opportunists seeking quick and shallow outcomes. We just want to create something that is in the best interests of the citizens of Purcellville, the community flavor of their town, the economic strength of local businesses, and the long term fiscal vitality and sustainability of the Town. Jim Herbert is also not a developer, he is the family’s real estate broker/advisor. The family is open to all thoughts, comments, questions, and concerns, and the family looks forward to hearing from citizens about these Warner Brook ideas.
We’ve been in the Western Loudoun community since the 1700’s. Before we moved to Warner Brook in 1960, we farmed the property which is now known as ‘The Barns’ winery in Hamilton. The Warner family farmed in and around that area for six generations. We’ve also been a part of the Purcellville community for over one hundred years. Our grandfather, Ambrose Warner, partnered with Ed Nichols in 1914 and opened the Nichols and Warner hardware store (now known as Nichols Hardware). From 1931 until 1947, our great uncle, Clifton Warner, owned what is now known as the Fireman’s Field / Bush Tabernacle complex. And our great grandfather, Eugene Monroe, was the first mayor of Purcellville (1908). Our father (Paul Warner) died in 2003, and our mother (Cecil Warner) died in 2012, leaving Bruce, Paula, Tina and Scott as the current owners of the Warner Brook property. Scott Warner and his wife Patty and kids live and vote in Purcellville, and Tina Warner lives and votes in Purcellville. Bruce and Linda Warner live near Richmond, and Paula and Dennis Barrett live near Ashburn.
Warner Brook Farm
Prior to 1963, the farm was literally on the other side of the tracks – there was no development prior to that time north of the W&OD railroad tracks, now the W&OD Bike Trail. First came the Purcellville residential development in the Fenton subdivision, then the development along Loudoun Valley Drive, which ultimately quadrupled in size when Dominion Valley was added. Then came the by-pass.
The route 7 by-pass was completed in 1985, impacting 42 acres of Warner Brook farmland. 30 acres was taken for the road, while an additional 12 acres (south of the by-pass) was separated from the farm making it unfeasible for further agriculture. We didn’t sell the 30 acres, the State of Virginia took the land through eminent domain. That made 42 acres sacrificed for Purcellville growth and improvement. What was once pasture became a four lane highway built to reduce traffic through the town of Purcellville, and to address growth that was occurring in Western Loudoun, and beyond. Subsequently, Hirst Road was built to also reduce traffic through the town of Purcellville and to provide easy access to what was to become the industrial parks.
After the by-pass and Hirst Road were completed, next came the industrial complexes at the intersection of Hirst and Hatcher Roads, along with the Valley Industrial Park (Nichols Lane), all within immediate eyesight and earshot of Warner Brook Farm. These provided much needed and/or enjoyed services for Purcellville’s businesses and citizens. However, residents didn’t want them in town, so these aspects of Purcellville growth went out beside Warner Brook (lumber yard, medical building, auto body shops, auto repair shops, fast food, bank, storage units, breweries, etc.). Next came Woodgrove High School which, at no fault of the Warners, significantly increased traffic, once again, right past Warner Brook Farm. Most recently, the annexation of the Mayfair development, became Warner Brook’s newest neighbor with a mix of residential and light industrial uses next door.
Warner Brook was once was a dairy farm located out in the country on the other side of the tracks approximately one mile from what was then the center of town. Now the family finds Warner Brook surrounded by Purcellville’s light industrial, commercial, and residential developments.
Warner Brook Concept Plan
When their parents passed away, all the siblings were grown and established in their jobs and families elsewhere, so they weren’t going to move back to the farm and pursue agriculture. They also didn’t like the idea of just more houses on the farm. Having been involved in sports and in sports programming for youth benefits, the family wanted to create something around sports and family recreation that would leverage the existing community enthusiasm for activities like those taking place at Fireman’s Field. They also wanted to do something that would add strength to Purcellville’s small business base, and expand the Town’s commercial tax base.
The Family’s overall concept began to form around commercial elements for indoor sportsplex, outdoor fields, industrial park, and mixed commercial retail center. Input from an early charrette that invited citizens and all neighboring properties led to a response to Wright Farm neighbors’ questions about residential being located adjacent to their residential. Accordingly, single family detached residential was added as the final element to the existing concept plan.
The entire website is designed to fully disclose everything about the concept plan, so that citizens can become aware of the facts and of the intentions for a long term slow growth project for Purcellville.