The following text was pulled from an email alert sent out by PEC’s Loudoun field representative Gem Bingol. To sign up for email alerts from PEC visit pecva.org/signup.
There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I want to thank everyone who took the time to write or speak directly to the Loudoun Board of Supervisors at the public hearings last week on the draft Comprehensive Plan!
Residents turned out in large numbers to share their perspectives, concerns and hopes. The vast majority took the opportunity to voice their opposition to the current draft — specifically the increased scattered residential development it would induce and the loss of the Transition Policy Area.
- Majority of speakers decry Planning Commission’s Comprehensive Plan during first public hearing (Loudoun Times Mirror)
- Plan Panned: Now What? Supervisors Begin Review of New County Vision (LoudounNow)
It was a great opportunity to hear directly from people, in their own voices, whether at the podium, via videotape or in writing. Heartfelt comments from the very young to older generations showed how strongly people feel about Loudoun’s future and what they hope will take place.
If you haven’t yet given your comments yet, please take the time to express your thoughts at an upcoming Board meeting (Tues, May 7, Thurs, May 23, Tues, June 4, and Thurs, June 20) or via email.
And please be sure to scroll down for next steps!
PEC will be attending and reporting on the Board of Supervisors worksessions for you — and posting updates to our website and social media.
The Board has 4 more meetings scheduled to review and make changes to the Comprehensive Plan document between now and June 20th, the date they want to take their final vote. They may add one or more meetings if they need more time.
Earlier this week, at their first meeting since the hearings, the Board voted on several motions regarding the Urban Planning Area, its first topic for discussion.
1) From our view, the most important vote that passed was Supervisor Umstattd’s motion to amend the Urban Policy Area vision statement to say “The Urban Policy Areas (UPA) will be the target area for much of Loudoun’s growth in the immediate future, with complete communities that accommodate living, working, shopping, learning, and playing in dense urban environments of walkable/bikeable mixed-use and transit-oriented development.”
This is an important acknowledgement that Loudoun intends to focus its growth around where the infrastructure is, and where the county will place most of its effort.
2) A separate motion about providing a range of housing for all income levels in the Urban Policy Area vision statement was withdrawn to allow more time to work on the overall issue of affordable housing. Chair Randall, Supervisor Volpe and Umstattd all expressed interest in addressing the topic.
Going forward, a key concern is how the Board will meet the desire for more affordable housing with effective new housing policies, instead of just opening the county to more growth everywhere (as we’ve seen in the past, simply allowing more housing won’t make it more affordable).
Your continued participation is essential – calls and emails to the Board, continuing to keep your friends and neighbors informed, letters to the editor, etc., will continue the community conversation and provide our elected officials with needed feedback going forward!
Loudoun Field Representative
The Piedmont Environmental Council