the Supervisors for Missing Information
At a public
hearing next Tuesday, July 31, the Board
of Supervisors will consider changes to the Zoning
the laws that enforce our county's Comprehensive Plan.
We have a
lot of questions and need answers to key issues. These
changes could affect the net density of both residential and commercial
of Supervisors needs to engage in an open public discussion of the costs
and benefits of these changes, and provide an analysis of the impacts.
Ask the Board
- Can you provide
us with an analysis of the impacts?
Before moving forward, we
need to know what the impact will be on our commutes, schools, and
- Can you give us visual illustrations?
Show us how these changes will work and what they will look like.
- Will these changes allow more new houses and commercial development?
If so, we need to know what the ongoing tax burden will be.
- Will the changes
reflect the vision set forth in the 2001 Comprehensive Plan?
example: provisions to protect environmental resources, which are missing
from the zoning ordinance changes.
- Can you explain
the reason for each technical change to the Zoning Ordinance?
know if these
changes would improve our communities or compromise our quality
these changes wait until the completion of the four suburban community
These plans, designed
to address the needs of existing residents, are promised in the 2001 Comprehensive
Plan. Before we change the Zoning Ordinance, we need to know what we want
the Zoning Ordinance to do.
of the proposed changes (pdf)
Prepared by Ed Gorski, Piedmont Environmental Council
amendments to the Zoning Ordinance (pdf)
county information and staff report
the Board of Supervisors
the Board of Supervisors: It's
unfair to expect us to weigh in without all of the information.
to provide analysis, illustrations, and justification for
each change, and then to engage in a public discussion of
the costs and benefits.
be sure to include your name and address so your comments
can be counted.
Ask the Supervisors for answers on
Tuesday, July 31
come to the hearing and ask the Board of Supervisors to
give us more information.
with the Board of Supervisors
Tuesday, July 31 @ 6:00 PM
Questions about the Proposed Changes
are 846 pages in the Zoning
Ordinance, and many pages contain technical changes. We encourage
the Board of Supervisors to engage in an open public discussion of
the costs and benefits of these changes, including asking staff to
provide illustrative comparisons, examples, and analyses of the impacts.
are there so many technical changes to the Zoning
Ordinance for residential areas?
would alter the way our neighborhoods look and feel. The changes
also appear to allow increased density.
are the trade-offs and benefits of the proposed changes?
Show us visual examples of the impacts, including the placement
of houses on lots, reduced open space, less
residential parking, taller buildings closer to the street,
and density bonuses for unbuildable floodplain land.
protections missing that are called for by the Comprehensive
Such a thorough re-write of the Zoning Ordinance should include
water quality and limestone protections among others. Why hasn’t
the Board of Supervisors taken steps to readvertise and reenact
the Conservation Design, Limestone Overlay District, and River
Stream Corridor Overlay District?
rules for developers to be easily changed without public say,
including safeguards for the public and the environment?
Should regulations be moved from the
legally binding Zoning Ordinance to the Facilities Standards
Manual (FSM), where changes can be made administratively? One
example would be moving floodplain regulations to the FSM. This
would increase the potential for flooding, destruction, and loss
of personal property.
allow larger by-right business and commercial
uses of land?
This reduces the potential for transportation proffers
and may result in uses that are incompatible with their surroundings.
allow changes in access to Route 50 that don’t
match the Route 50 CPAM?
The proposed changes would change retail access to Rt 50, contradicting
include technical changes that would harm our water quality?
of the changes would have a negative impact, including increasing
the amount of impervious surfaces allowed for non-residential uses,
increasing the size of some retail parking lots, and allowing buildings
to cover more of the lot area. Has this been analyzed?
is unbuildable floodplain included in density calculations?
it is for residential or commercial development, increased density
without corresponding environmental protections isn't in our best
- Why are road setbacks being changed and what impact
would that have?
distance of buildings from the roadway creates a qualitative difference
in the character of the area. There could also be an additional
gain in density from the setback changes. What is the goal of these
have building height limitations been removed from the Village
Conservation Overlay District?
buildings should be at an appropriate scale and context to the
existing community and respect historic character.
- Why are buffering and screening requirements reduced
loosen regulations that require retention of existing trees
and vegetation in residential areas? If
buffer yards are eliminated next to natural features, then
can the county require a forested stream buffer?
- If the public interest is not served by the proposed
changes, then how is this action consistent with the stated
purpose of the Zoning Ordinance and the State Code?
the county being moving away from these protections, and is it
section 1-102 of the Zoning Ordinance-- Goals, Purpose and
Intent --it states “this
ordinance is enacted in order to promote the health, safety and
welfare of the residents of Loudoun County and to implement the
Loudoun County Comprehensive Plan.”
State Code sections 15.2-2200, 15.2-2224, and 15.2-2283 specify
purposes of the Zoning Ordinance which are either not being met,
are being loosened, or eliminated to the detriment of the public.
What is zoning?
ordinance that divides the county into different districts
or zones. The
land in each zone is assigned specific use or uses, either
as a special exception, or as a rezoning. Zoning
also determines how our communities look by guiding where and
how buildings are placed in relationship to each other, whether
and how environmental features like streams and trees are protected,
and amount of impervious areas allowed.
is the Zoning Ordinance different from the Comprehensive Plan?
Plan lays outs the county's and citizens' vision for future
growth: how much, how it will look, where it will be located,
and what we want to protect. The Zoning Ordinance is the law
that is supposed to ensure that the vision becomes a reality.
It provides specific limits and rules for development.
Piedmont Environmental Council
On behalf of the
Campaign for Loudoun's
Together, We're Fighting to Protect the Quality of Life in Loudoun
Please Help Us Reach You Better
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