A Vote Against Sprawl

 Developers pushed Loudoun Board of Supervisors for more houses in the Transition Area and the Loudoun community pushed back!

In Loudoun, there’s an important stretch of land between the heavily suburban development in the east and the rural area to the west. And this less dense section of the county, known as the “Transition Area,” has been under a new kind of attack.


One by one, developers began submitting proposals to increase the number of houses they could build there, hoping to gain approval by submitting “small” changes. But, on Wednesday, March 4, the Loudoun Board of Supervisors voted against Stanley Martin Companies’ request to rezone their property next to Willowsford (south of Braddock Road, west of Lightridge Road)! They wanted to double the density from 40 to 81 homes and change the zoning from 1 house per 3 acres to 1 house per 1 acre.

This win sends a message to the developers that the Transition Area is not open for rezonings to increase density or to change the vision for the area.

Every decision by the Board sets a precedent for the next. And higher densities in places where they’re not planned can bring higher taxes to cover public services, more traffic, more school boundary changes, and less open space and resource protection.


What rezoning requests are still on the table?

  • Ryan Road Assemblageis a Ryland Homes project between Ryan Rd, Evergreen Mills Rd and Northstar Blvd. The request is to rezone 93.35 acres from 1 dwelling per 10 acres to 3 dwellings per acre, for a total of 266 single family and townhomes plus a commercial center instead of 9 residential units.
  • Elklick Preserve aka Braddock Assemblage is an EPH Group, LLC project south of Braddock Rd, adjacent to the Fairfax County border. The request is to rezone a portion of the 63.71 acres from 1 dwelling per 3 acres to 1 dwelling per 1 acre, for a total of 83 units instead of 29.
  • Lambert Property is a Ryland Homes project south of Braddock Rd, west of Bull Run Post Office Rd, north of Buffalo Run Lane. This old rezoning request has been reactivated to rezone 190.06 acres from 1 dwelling per 3 acres to 1 dwelling per 1 acre, for a total of 206 units instead of the envisioned maximum of 87 units. The request went to a work session of the Planning Commission in early June, and it may be heard at the Board of Supervisors public hearing in July.

Rezoning requests come with proffers, which are things the developer promises to provide, like funding for schools, parks and roads. If the past has shown us anything, it’s that these promises are often left unfulfilled and their benefits never offset the long-term costs of the development.

Stay informed and continue to let the Board of Supervisors know you support their recent decisions to block proposals that would increase density in the Transition Area.

This article was featured in our Summer 2015 Member Newsletter, The Piedmont View. You can read more of the articles online or view a PDF of the winter issue.