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 Don't Supersize Loudoun!
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We are deeply disappointed to report that Tuesday's final vote on the rural zoning was derailed. It has become clear that some members of the Board of Supervisors are playing games with our community's future. They are disregarding the public's clear consensus on the rural zoning and its impact on our taxes, traffic, and environment.

Some elected officials are making last minute changes that prevent any decent analysis or meaningful public input. They are sending us into a never-ending cycle of public hearings without taking final action based on the will of the citizens.

It's a poor way to plan the future of our community.

In this email:
1. Rural Zoning Derailed
2. Planning Commission Approves 33,821 New Houses
3. Rt. 50 CPAM Public Hearing on Monday

1. Rural Zoning Derailed
Tuesday's final vote on the rural zoning was derailed by last minute amendments from Supervisor Mick Staton (Sterling, Sugarland Run District). He proposed thousands more houses, but the the exact number is not known because county staff had no time to do a full analysis.

Why do we have to go through yet another public hearing (possibly in November), when A-3 subdivisions continue to be filed and the community overwhelmingly supported the proposal that would have allowed 13,936 new houses in rural Loudoun?

Supervisor Jim Burton, who represents a large part of the rural area, said that citizen input from across the county has been 15:1 in favor of the rural zoning proposal without the amendment. We are dismayed by the lack of respect for the clear will of Loudoun residents.

As soon as we have confirmed the status of the proposal and number of houses, we will give you a thorough update. The addition of thousands of houses in a rural area with no jobs and many dirt roads will have an enormous impact on our taxes and competition for county services.

We encourage you to read Supervisor Jim Burton's update and to watch the Board of Supervisors' debate on September 6th (items 10a and 10b) and September 7th, so you can witness their actions.

Tell the Board of Supervisors to get it done.

Recent Press Coverage:
WAGE Radio 1200 AM
Public to Comment on Staton Zoning Plan
Leesburg Today
Rural Zoning Vote Hits Another Snag
Loudoun Times-Mirror
Loudoun Adopts Growth Compromise
Washington Post, 9/8/06

Don't Let Our Elected Leaders Play Games with Our Future

Email to the Board of Supervisors. Be sure to include your name and address.

Please join us in thanking those members of the Board who continue to fight for the interest of Loudoun taxpayers and commuters. They need our gratitude for their service to the community in these difficult times.

Ask those in the majority why they continue to ignore the will of the people after many years of public support for real rural zoning.

Upcoming Public Hearings

Rt 50/Arcola Area CPAM Public Hearing with the Board of Supervisors
Tuesday, September 12 at 6:30 PM
County Government Center

Transition Area CPAM* Public Hearing with the Board of Supervisors
Tuesday, October 10 (Date tentative)
Location TBD

*Formerly called the Dulles South CPAM

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2. Planning Commission Approves Plan for 33,821 New Houses
Last week, the Loudoun Planning Commission voted to recommend the Transition Area CPAM (formerly called the Dulles South CPAM). This massive change to our county's growth plan would allow 33,821 new houses to be built in the Transition Area, which stretches from the Prince William county line up to Ashburn. Developers have already submitted rezoning applications to build 19,000 of these residential units.

The Planning Commission voted despite the fact that county analysis was released to the public only one business day before the public hearing. It is fair to expect citizens to review the analysis and give meaningful comment on the CPAM within one business day?

The county also did not do a traffic impact analysis of 33,821 houses, despite serious concerns raised by the state about the impact on Rt. 50, the Greenway, and local roads such as Braddock.

The tentative date for the Board of Supervisors' public hearing has been set for Tuesday, October 10. We'll let you know as soon as the date is confirmed.

3. Route 50/Arcola CPAM Public Hearing on Monday
On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the Arcola Area/Route 50 Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPAM), which is intended to promote the development of retail and business uses for existing and future residents in the Dulles South area. If you can't attend but would like to comment, please email the Board of Supervisors.

Public Hearing with the Board of Supervisors
Tuesday, September 12 at 6:30 PM
County Government Center

County Staff Report
Press coverage: Hearing Forthcoming on Revamping Arcola Area

Concerns about thes proposed changes include:

  • Reduction of industrial and airport-related business, while increasing residential and retail uses, will cost taxpayers.
  • Enough retail is already zoned for the area and is awaiting customers from the 11,000 new houses already in the pipeline. Loudoun County commissioned a retail study for the Route 50 corridor, which indicates there is enough planned retail to serve zoned houses through 2030.
  • Adding 1,436 new houses along Route 50 doesn't make sense when more than 11,000 new houses are already approved but not yet built in the Dulles Community. How much longer will our commutes be? How high will our taxes go?


Rural Zoning Update from Supervisor Jim Burton
Dear Neighbors,

Tonight, it is my unfortunate duty to have to share with you one of the great disappointments in my career as your representative. Despite continued verbal commitments to vote for the Clem-Burton plan as late as last Friday afternoon, we were two votes short of the six promised. As a result, the Clem-Burton plan failed. I consider this a betrayal of me personally, of the public process, and of all the Loudoun citizens, east and west, who rallied round this plan again and again and again.

Tonight, Supervisors Clem, Tulloch, Staton, Snow, and Delgaudio voted to pass a substitute plan made by Supervisor Staton for which there has been neither advertisement nor public hearing. Mr. Staton's plan was only revealed to us after lunch at Tuesday's Board meeting. His plan, in essence, doubled the cluster density in the AR-1 district and also increased cluster density in AR-2, resulting in more than 4,000 additional units over and above the Clem-Burton plan. (Mr. Staton's plan was so hastily pulled together, that his original density calculations were incorrect by more than 3,000 units and had to be corrected in a third version this evening.)

This new five-person majority planned to take this action in complete disregard of the County Attorney's advice Tuesday that this higher than advertised density plan would never stand up in court and in spite of being aware of the language of the Virginia Code which prohibits zoning "to a more intensive use classification than was contained in the public notice without an additional public hearing" (Code §15.2-2285.C). I believed this would be an illegal vote and I said so. I believed that those landowners who failed to vest prior to tonight's vote would sue, would win at the circuit court, and would be vested as a result, and we would still be faced with at least another three months of A-3 limbo as we proceeded through the public process yet again. This would have left us right where we were 18 months ago -- at A-3 zoning.

Given the illegal nature of the vote, I could not support it. I then proposed that the Board undertake the necessary legal process. I do recognize that this will delay a vote for another three months and allow more A-3 applications to vest. However, I believe that such a delay will at least allow what was passed -- which is lower density than A-3, but not as low as Clem-Burton -- to stand up in court.

There was one bright spot. Six supervisors -- Chairman York and Supervisors Clem, Tulloch, Waters, Kurtz, and I -- voted down an effort by Supervisor Snow to implement a lenient grandfathering clause.

I am deeply disappointed in my colleagues who made promises to me and to the citizens of Loudoun that they supported the Clem-Burton plan and then voted against it. I am deeply disappointed in my colleagues who chose to delay and delay a vote on the Clem-Burton plan and then to submit and support a last minute alternative now rather than at the appropriate point in the process a year, or even six months, ago. I am deeply disappointed in my colleagues who have once again betrayed the trust of Loudoun voters. At this point I am considering what possible alternatives might exist, if any. If there are actions I can take, I will most certainly take them.

That said, I want to thank the hundreds of citizens who have called and written the Board in support of the Clem-Burton plan -- over the last year the emails ran 15-1 for the plan. I want to thank the hundreds of citizens who turned out again and again for public hearing after public hearing in support of the Clem-Burton plan. For those of you whom I represent in the Blue Ridge District, I am honored and proud to represent you. You are a truly committed community. For those of you outside my district, I am honored and proud to share residence in Loudoun County with you. Ultimately, I believe we will find a way to make our vision for the County a reality.

Best regards,

Jim Burton
Supervisor, Blue Ridge District

Thank you for your support,
Andrea McGimsey
Campaign for Loudoun's Future
[email protected]

Together, We're Fighting to Protect the Quality of Life in Loudoun

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