Update 4/3/15: Developer Withdraws Application For Age-Restricted Community. Text of our March 2015 email alert is below:
Some good news and another call to action this week!
Last Wednesday, on a 6-3 vote, the Loudoun Board of Supervisors voted to deny the McIntosh rezoning request to increase density in the Transition Area next to Willowsford. Voting against the rezoning were Janet Clarke, Matt Letourneau, Ralph Buona, Geary Higgins, Shawn Williams and Scott York.
A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who took the time to write. Several of the Board members mentioned the letters from citizens as having an impact.
Now on to the next proposal. As I mentioned in my last alert, there are 5 other rezoning requests for the Transition Area in the queue. Wildwood Farms, a proposed Active Adult community for ages 55 and up, will be considered by the Board this Wednesday, March 11, 6pm at a public hearing. The property is located between Sycolin Rd, Dulles Greenway and Goose Creek, and the developer is asking to increase the density from 1 housing unit per 10 acres to 1 housing unit per half acre. This change would result in seventeen times the density planned for in the Comprehensive Plan!
This proposal would bring suburban densities to the Transition Area and, as noted in the County staff report, “would be a fundamental direction change for the County.”
Every zoning decision sets a precedent for the next. Thank the Board for voting no on the McIntosh rezoning and continue doing what’s best for Loudoun residents, not what’s best for developers looking to make more money.
Other Problems with the Wildwood Farms rezoning:
- It asks for 177 residences where only 10 were planned.
- One of the reasons densities were limited to 1 housing unit per 10 acres was to protect the drinking water intake on Goose Creek, just downstream.
- Ensuring the enforcement of an age-restriction over the long-term is very difficult. In the past, developers have returned to the County Board and asked to convert an age-restricted part of the community back to regular housing. Meanwhile… the developer isn’t offering any money to offset school capital facilities costs because of the age-restriction.
- Even if the community does end up being age-restricted, it’s not actually in an ideal location for senior residents. The Transition Area lacks pedestrian connections and access to transit and thus requires a vehicle to get around.
Loudoun Land Use Officer
The Piedmont Environmental Council
P.S. I am headed out of town on an extended trip. If you have any questions, please direct them to PEC’s other Loudoun Land Use Officer, Ed Gorski at email@example.com.