Virginia Steeplechase Racing’s Great Meadow Gets Tower


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steeple chaseTucked away in the gently rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is Great Meadow, the idyllic 250-acre equine course of open green pastures and wooden fences where the exceedingly tweedy, and often fabulously and famously wealthy come to play with their horses on spring and fall weekends. A 1982 gift to The Plains, VA. community from the late, swashbuckling newspaper magnet and entrepreneur Arthur W. (Nick) Arundel, the steeplechase racing venue is a little more than an hour’s drive west from the U.S. Capitol but in a different world and an absolute escape from the madness of the city and its endless communications. But no longer.

Despite protests from some area residents, on March 10, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the Great Meadow Foundation’s application to build an 87-foot tower disguised as a silo it sought to provide more reliable phone service to guests attending events and serve other cell phone users within range, reported The Fauquier County Times.

“It’s pretty obvious we’re not going to arrive at a situation that satisfies everyone,” said Scott District Supervisor Holder Trumbo, noting the county spent “quite a bit of time on this” application.

The planning commission voted 4-0 with one abstention in favor of the application with conditions added. The tower will be fenced off and screened with trees and hedges. The mock silo covering the telecommunications equipment will be brown or rust covered. The Times reported Trumbo called on both Great Meadow and the nearby residents in The Plains off Old Tavern Road to work together to “be better neighbors.”

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