Loudoun is considering trading too much residential development in one village for too much commercial development in another.
On Wednesday, January 13, the Loudoun Board of Supervisors will consider a developer’s proposed land deal that would potentially pit two communities against one another.
Back in Oct, 2020 we celebrated the news that the county had plans to purchase a 16-acre property in the historically Black village of St. Louis to save it from development. Members of the community and partner organizations like PEC had worked for some two-and-a-half years to raise awareness about the negative impact the proposed 27-home development would have on the drinking water supply and property values nearby. It was reported that the county would pay $1.5 million for the property (more than three times the assessed value of the land according to the county’s parcel database) and possibly turn it into a public park. The developer would also get tax benefits from putting the land into a conservation easement.
But on Dec 1, the Board of Supervisors announced a much different purchase agreement, one initiated by the developer and that clearly serves its interests well. Under the new agreement, the County would still pay Mojax $1.5 million for the St. Louis property (without a conservation easement), but it would also give Mojax 6.31 acres of county-owned land in the village of Aldie, with frontage along Route 50 and wrapping around the back of the old fire station, and another $600,000 for improvements to that property, which happens to be adjacent to another property owned by one of the Mojax developers and currently lacks Route 50 access.
- Sign up to speak at the public hearing on Wednesday, January 13 at 6pm. Call 703-777-0200 on January 12, the day before the hearing to register to speak virtually or in-person. Public hearing info >>
- Send an email to the Loudoun Board of Supervisors with your concerns at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Sign the community-led petition in support of St. Louis and Aldie.
- Share this page with your friends and neighbors and ask them to take action
Making things worse, the Mojax developers are known to repeatedly disregard federal, state, and local regulations and ignore the concerns of residents.
It’s also worth noting that the 6-acre parcel in Aldie is the same property where the county planned on building a new fire station. In response to the concern about the impact that location would have on the small village, the county did the right thing and found a less impactful location for the fire station down the road. Mojax’s plan to turn the Aldie property into an expanded ~35,000 square feet of commercial development with a brewery, retail, inn and restaurant would have a bigger negative impact than the fire station.
What started out as a bold step the county was taking to protect one village now unnecessarily puts another at risk. We believe the county should purchase the St. Louis property without creating a whole new set of problems for the people of Aldie.
Questions? Contact Gem Bingol at email@example.com