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Campaign for Loudoun's Future: Promoting Sensible Limits on Future Growth
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Go!How Does Unbalanced Growth Impact Me?

Go!Who is My Supervisor?

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Don't Supersize Loudoun!



How does unbalanced growth affect me?


Our roads are already clogged with cars. More houses in the rural west far from jobs and stores will further paralyze an overstretched highway system. Each new house means 10 more daily car trips on Loudoun roads. MORE »
TAXESFamily in park
Frustrated with constantly rising taxes? More houses mean more schools, roads, and the other services that run up tax rates.


Development of rural areaRapid growth is putting children in trailers and disrupting lives with redistricting. School budgets are strained to cover school construction. More rapid growth leaves basic County services like parks, ballfields, fire and rescue lagging behind.
The very qualities that make Loudoun so desirable are being undermined. Do you drink Loudoun wine or buy food at the farmer's market? Have you ever gone biking, enjoyed a scenic drive, or spent an afternoon in a rural setting close to home? These activities could soon be a thing of the past. MORE »

1. Traffic
Over 100,000 new houses could be added to Loudoun -- far away from major job centers like Tyson's Corner. This means thousands more commuters would be joining you for your daily drive. We all know our roads can't meet our current needs, let alone growth at that magnitude.

Although Loudoun has seen job growth in the last few years, the top categories include construction, manufacturing, and county workers (our taxes pay their salaries), not the kind of jobs needed to afford the expensive houses that would be built.

Every household generates an average of 10 daily car trips, which includes commutes, shuttling kids to soccer practice, grocery store runs, and commercial vehicle trips (e.g., delivery trucks, newspaper delivery, service vehicles). Adding thousands of new houses means tens of thousands new daily car trips on our roads!

Can we afford road congestion at that level, financially or mentally?

2. Taxes

New residents cost more in services than they pay in taxes, so adding tens of thousands of new houses to the county means either tax increases or greater county debt.

As reported by the Washington Post on 1/28/06, "Housing assessments in Loudoun County will rise by an average of 28 percent this year, the biggest increase in at least 16 years and a reflection of the county's astonishing growth.....  Local governments, including Loudoun, have lowered tax rates by a few pennies here and there in recent years. But they also have had to pay for more schools, police officers and other services that their growing populations demand. Partly for that reason, they have not come close to offsetting increases in tax bills."  (Washington Post, "Housing Assessments in Loudoun Rise 28%")

Building thousands of new houses in western Loudoun especially doesn't make fiscal sense. The farms and open space of Western Loudoun generate more in tax revenues than they demand in services from county taxpayers. Every three acres maintained as rural/agricultural land in Western Loudoun saves us - both Easterners and Westerners - more than $11,200/year.*

But the rural character of western Loudoun does more than save taxpayers money. The businesses that flourish in Loudoun's rural areas, called the rural economy, are a net generator of income to the county treasury and save taxpayer money.

The horse industry alone brings in $80 million annually and employs almost 2,500 people, which rivals most large businesses in the east. Other rural industries are booming in Loudoun, too.

Is it fair for Loudoun taxpayers to pay more taxes to subsidize unbalanced, large-scale growth in the county? Adding tens of thousands of new houses to the county just doesn't make fiscal sense.

Quotes from county officials regarding taxes
* The county school and non-school expenditures per housing unit is $11,207.99 based upon the most recently adopted School and County Budget.

3. Schools & County Services

Schools, roads, fire and rescue services, parks, recreation centers, ball fields.... The cost of these public resources is shared by all of us. Again, new residents cost more in services than they pay in taxes, so adding tens of thousands of new houses to the county means either tax increases or greater county debt. Debt means added interest (paid by current taxes) plus the owed principal (paid by future taxes).

Roughly 75% of the county's expenditures go for schools. With a majority of new residents being young families with children, that could translate into very high tax bills for all of us in the coming years.

We need to take care of the existing needs of current residents first.

An example of how costly infrastructure improvements can be is Loudoun's rural road system.  Should thousands of new houses be added in rural Loudoun, the majority of the county's 330 miles* of unpaved roads would need to be improved or paved. 

Estimated per lane mile cost to pave to rural rustic road standards (Based on Mt. Gilead Road)** $123,750
Total cost to pave roads to rural rustic road standards $40.8 Million
Estimated per lane mile cost to pave to collector road standards (Based on Sycolin Road)** $1.8 Million
Total cost to pave roads to collector road standards $594 Million

* KELLERCO Study, 9/22/00
** 5/12/05 Memo from Terrie Laycock to the Board of Supervisors

All information from County report "Proposal #1 for Western Zoning, prepared 7/21/05.  Available at http://www.loudoun.gov/rural/ruralzoning.pdf.

The county recognizes that county services needs will continue to increase as Loudoun's population grows:  "The population of the County is one of three key drivers of the fire and rescue service.  Demands on the fire and rescue system will continue to increase as the population continues to grow... A direct link to the increase in population is the increase in the number of housing units in the County."  -- Proposed Service Plan Loudoun County Fire and Rescue System (June 20, 2005)

4. Recreation
Many of us chose to live in Loudoun County for its unique character and regional identity.   Loudoun has so much to offer, from hiking and wine tasting, to summer festivals and Civil War & colonial history, to suburban amenities and rural areas. Paving over our home and adding tens of thousands of houses will put our unique and special character of our county in jeopardy.


Quotes from County officials regarding taxes

Supervisor Lori Waters, July 2005 BOS Meeting:
“There’s a conflict between two Republican principals: lower taxes and property rights. We can’t have lower taxes and less government spending if we have a very rapid pace of growth with more citizens coming in that need these services.”

Ben Mays, Loudoun County Budget Officer July 25, 2005:
“Based upon the recently adopted tax rate, residential uses do not pay for themselves until they reach an assessed value of approximately $1 million. That is to say that the tax revenues generated by a residential unit do not entirely cover the cost of the services provided by the County to that unit, the school and non-school operating costs.”