Loudoun Update – Rt. 15 North & Zoning Ordinance

The following text was sent out as a PEC email alert. To sign up for alerts visit pecva.org/signup.

Local Land Use Update

Dear Supporter,

I can’t believe it is already May…it’s been a busy spring!

A number of important local land use processes are playing out simultaneously in Loudoun County (more on the zoning ordinance rewrite below), but most urgently I’m reaching out about the proposal to widen Route 15, north of Leesburg starting at Montresor Road. 

I hope you’ll read more and weigh in with the Loudoun Board of Supervisors.


The Future of Rt. 15 North of Leesburg

lucketts
View of the village of Lucketts from the south. Photo by Hugh Kenny/PEC

Over the past several years, I’ve written to you about plans for the future of Rt. 15. Most recently, about a proposed bypass of the Village of Lucketts.  

This Wednesday, May 11 at 6 p.m., the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing about the related Route 15 North Comprehensive Plan Amendment, which calls for:

  • Widening the road to four lanes between Montresor Road and the village of Lucketts,
  • Building a bypass (on one side or the other) around Lucketts
  • Adding a median to the two-lane section of Route 15 north of the village to St. Clair Lane. 

PEC continues to believe there are less costly, less damaging solutions for addressing safety and transportation reliability on the corridor, and we stand with area residents and businesses who are asking that the Board of Supervisors postpone a decision on the proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment.  

Some key points for consideration: 

  • The cost of the overall project is enormous (a whopping $308 million), and to date, only local funding sources have been identified.
  • This Comprehensive Plan Amendment would have a very real impact on property owners along the roadway. A significant loss in property value would occur, regardless of whether the project ultimately comes to pass.
  • The 2019 Loudoun Comprehensive Plan called for the creation of Small Area Plans for our villages. Having such a plan in place for Lucketts, before a Route 15 North Comprehensive Plan Amendment, would provide a vision for the community and a defense against the inevitable real estate speculation that would arise from the amendment. 

And, what’s good for the Lucketts community would also be good for all residents in Loudoun since this expensive project would ultimately compete for limited funding with other, potentially higher-value, local projects.   

How to get involved

You can contact the Board of Supervisors by email (bos@loudoun.gov) or sign up to speak online or in person at the public hearing this Wednesday. 

Board of Supervisors Public Hearing
Wednesday, May 11 at 6 p.m.
Location: Government Center, 1 Harrison St., SE Leesburg, VA 20175 and live streamed at https://www.loudoun.gov/392/Cable-Channel-Webcast

Loudoun residents can support the community through a sign-on letter from the Lucketts community to the Board of Supervisors. 

The letter calls for low-cost safety improvements that could be made within the existing right-of-way, but have gotten wrapped up in what has become a contentious, drawn-out process. We would ask the County to make these a priority.


Loudoun Residents Asked to Provide Input on Potential Zoning Changes

screenshot of zoning ordinance draft text
View and comment on the draft zoning ordinance.

In mid-April, Loudoun County staff opened a 90-day public comment and review period for the first draft of a zoning ordinance rewrite. 

The zoning ordinance establishes the legal foundations by which a locality can enact its comprehensive plan. It includes a number of regulations, definitions and policies related to land use. The county adopted its most recent comprehensive plan in 2019, and ideally, this zoning ordinance rewrite will be in line with the vision that was established in that document. Some notable changes to the zoning ordinance that we support include better environmental and historic resource protections.

The public engagement period closes on July 18. Then, the review process will make its way to the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. You’ll have further opportunities to weigh in this fall and winter.

I will have much more to say on this in future alerts, but wanted to share the link with you now: https://www.loudoun.gov/zoningordinancerewrite


I know that was a lot to digest! Please let me know if you have any questions that I can assist with. Your input and perspective is always appreciated. 

Sincerely,

Gem Bingol
Loudoun Field Representative
gbingol@pecva.org
(540) 347-2334 ext. 7041

headshot photo of Gem Bingol