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Campaign for Loudoun's Future: Promoting Sensible Limits on Future Growth
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The Transition Area CPAM
(formerly called the Dulles South CPAM)

Based on developer proposals, the county is considering massive changes to the county growth plan that would add 33,821 new houses in Eastern Loudoun. The proposal was revised in August 2006 and the number of new houses increased from 28,000 to over 33,000.

The analysis on our website pertains to the previous CPAM, which would have allowed 27,977 new houses to be built.

More information on the Dulles South CPAM
The Route 50 Taskforce

In the county's Transition Area, north and south of Route 50 between South Riding and Gilbert's Corner.

If approved
28,000+ new houses means 77,541 new residents - essentially, a new city the size of Ashburn. The door will open for surburban densities to move west across the county and into an area with inadequate infrastructure and failing roads.

Why it's important
What will this massive growth proposal do to our commutes on Routes 50 and 7, the Greenway, and the Dulles Toll Road? How high will our taxes go? How many more times will our kids change schools?

Who decides
The Board of Supervisors.

Latest action
In August 2006, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the newly revised Transition Area CPAM.

In October 2005, the Board of Supervisors decided to delay their decision on the Dulles South CPAM, but it's still very much a looming threat. Other decisions are being made now that will make it easier to approve the CPAM in the future.

On November 1, 2005, the Board of Supervisors gave their okay to the CDA (Community Development Authority) proposal -- a developer idea for a special tax district and a fiscally dangerous and risky endeavour for the county.

As of January 2006, four developers who are part of the CPAM filed rezoning applications (ZMAPs) with the county (see map).  ZMAPs change the zoning for a certain area, in this case parts of the Dulles South area. Although these applications propose residential densities which exceed the current densities called for by the Loudoun County Comprehensive Plan, these rezoning applications may be approved by the Board of Supervisors without changing the Comprehensive Plan with a CPAM. Read Supervisor Jim Burton's update on the ZMAPs

In July 2006, the Planning Commission recommended approval of the CPAM, but with changes. No build-out analysis was provided, so we can't tell you how many new houses could be built. We suspect that this version of the CPAM could yield even MORE than the 28,000 new houses we've been hearing about for more than a year.

Next step
For the CPAM, the next step is a public hearing with the Board of Supervisors.


Update from Supervisor Jim Burton
Excerpt from his December 2005 Newsletter

Last month, the Board rearranged some of its land use priorities. While the Western zoning ordinances remain the Board’s first priority, the Dulles CPAM (a consolidation of the Dulles-area developer-initiated CPAM’s), which had been the Boards #2 priority, was superseded by the Route 50 Task Force, an initiative by Supervisor Snow for the eastern portion of the highway. In making this reprioritization the Board recognized that its decision would delay consideration of the Dulles CPAM by at least six months – a delay which did not bother me a bit.

However, I have since confirmed that almost all of the developers whose individual CPAM’s were consolidated into the Dulles CPAM have filed rezoning (ZMAP) applications during the last few months. These actions indicate to me that a change in strategy is taking place. I believe that there is good news and bad news inherent in this change.

The good news is two-fold. First, it demonstrates the power of public pressure. The Board and Planning Commission received hundreds of emails, letters, and phone calls from concerned citizens who opposed the Dulles CPAM. Over a hundred citizens attended the Planning Commission’s Public Hearing. Many of them staged a mini-demonstration when they were denied access to the Board room that night. I believe that the developers saw the public opposition to the CPAM as a public relations nightmare – a battle for public opinion which they were not winning.

Second, because the density requests of their ZMAP’s will not match the density for the parcels recommended in the current County Comprehensive Plan, the Board (if a majority so chooses) can legally deny the rezonings.

However, rezonings do have a legal time limit associated with them. This requirement may accelerate their timing. Further, each rezoning will move through the process separately rather than as a consolidated whole. Thus, citizens will need to be especially alert about tracking each rezoning through the public process and recognize that they may need to attend multiple public hearings over the next two years. During this time, citizens and the Board will also need to remember, that while one rezoning may not add significant density to an area, when all the rezonings are added up, the result will still likely be some 28,000 units in the Transition Area.