Dulles South News and
Editorial - 2006 Archives 2006 Archives (Old
6-19-2007: Loudoun BOS Approves Agreement to Extend Metrorail to Loudoun County...
From Loudoun Alerts
The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors today approved an agreement to help pay
for the extension of Metrorail to Loudoun County.
The Board has directed County Administrator Kirby M. Bowers to enter the county
into a three-party funding agreement with Fairfax County and the Metropolitan
Washington Airports Authority to fund the capital cost of construction of
Metrorail in the Dulles Corridor.
The funding agreement conditionally commits Loudoun to fund the rail project.
The major milestone for Loudoun's participation would occur if and when the
Board decides to become an actual funding partner. Under the agreement, Loudoun
will only begin funding after the Board has reviewed and approved the
preliminary engineering of Phase 2 of the project. That is anticipated to occur
in Fiscal Year 2009.
The project would extend Metrorail 23 miles from Falls Church to the airport. It
calls for eleven new Metro stations between the East Falls Church station -
eight in Fairfax and three in Loudoun, including one at the airport anticipated for 2016.
Loudoun County's share of the Metrorail project is estimated to be $240 million
or 4.8 percent of the total projected cost of $5.2 billion. County officials
expect the funding to be provided through growth in the county's Business
Professional Occupational License revenue to cover the debt service payments.
However, county staff is researching funding alternatives and will provide
recommendations before any final approval and debt issuance.
6-13-2007: Virginia State and Loudoun County Republican Primaries Concluded...Dulles South candidates are updated on the Dulles South Politics Page.
6-5-2007: Mark Herring responds to Dulles South queries via Gum Spring Regional Citizens Network (GSRCN)
- a recent meeting with Mark Herring and leadership from Families for Dulles South and GSRCN (per their newsletter) elicited the following response, when asked "what are you doing to attract large businesses and commercial investment (not just retail) into eastern Loudoun, to help with growing the commercial tax base and therefore easing our property taxes and quite possibly the commute for many (especially associated with the Federal Government/Defense contracting industry?" (Question submitted by Dulles South Online). His response included the fact that he "has been acting as an ambassador to attract more science and technology businesses to our area. What he learned from talking to these kinds of companies is that we need to fix the transportation problems first, which is what the state senate and the delegates focused on last year. Not sure what is needed now to attract these type of businesses and jobs."
This appears certainly to be a "call to action" for ideas and support from the Dulles South Business community and leadership, along with the regional Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development Authorities.
Note that Republican challenger for the Virginia Senate District 33 seat this Fall, Patricia Phillips, will likely be faced with similar questions, and also need support, about "improving commercial businesses problems and filling office space" other than retail, as expressed by local residents in the local Republican Primary held this past month.
DULLES DISTRICT SUPERVISOR STEPHEN J. SNOW ANNOUNCES FIRST WAXPOOL TASK FORCE MEETING
- Supervisor Snow will be hosting his first Waxpool Road Task Force meeting at Broad Run High School in the Library on May 22, 2007 at 7pm. The purpose of the meeting is to organize the Task Force and to identify problem areas of Waxpool Road. As part of the Waxpool Task Force, Supervisor Snow hopes to produce a long-term plan for improving traffic flow along Waxpool Road and identifying private and public solutions to the problem.
Supervisor Snow is encouraging the attendance of business leaders, landowners and private citizens, in hopes of creating a collaboration between businesses and citizens who are working to improve the Waxpool area. Mr. Snow is looking forward to this event and hopes to see everyone there.
4/20 - Phase II of the Dulles South Multi-Purpose Facility Approved at Thursday's BOS meeting. Under the initiation of Supervisor Stephen J. Snow (R-Dulles), Phase II of the Dulles South Multi-Purpose Facility will go to bond in 2008 and will be built ahead of schedule with a full recreational facility to serve the residents of southeastern Loudoun, located on proffered land in Dulles South. During last night's reconvened Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Snow received support from his fellow board members to include Phase II of the 83¸000 square foot facility in the County's Capital Improvement Program (CIP). The Board agreed to place the project in Y09 and it will go to voter referendum in November 2008. "This action accelerates the construction of the facility and officially secures its place in the County CIP", said Snow.
Additional CIP updates include accelerated construction of another High School serving the Dulles District, funding for purchase of books for the Gum Spring Library, and Fall 2007 referendums expansion of the Broad Run Recreation Center's pool from 37 to 50 meters.
4/20 - Loudoun County Republican Committee LCRC update from Jey Jeyanathan (candidate for Dulles District BOS); "This is the status of the Republican Convention to be held June 9th. The call for convention was ruled invalid last month and a new call is being voted on April 25th for which LCRC letters have been mailed... The new call will probably be in the Saturday April 29th Washington Post in the legal notice section...and will give an opportunity for new candidates to run and new delegates to be signed up. The pledge in this new delegate form will be less strict and allow anyone who had voted in a Democratic primary a one time exception to vote at the Republican convention. Also it will say something to the effect that you intend to vote Republican in November.
Everyone that signed up to be a delegate before is grand-fathered in and does not need to resign. Those of you who were not registered in the correct District or not registered in Loudoun need to register properly before May 1st and hand in a new delegate form between April 29th and May 6. If you got a letter from LCRC after March 4th saying you were not accepted as a delegate or not registered, you get a second chance to register to vote in Loudoun and sign a new delegate form..."
4/13 - BOS approves full funding for all 40,000 sq. ft. of the proposed Gum Spring library, per a recent email from Friends of the Gum Spring Library. A referendum will be on the November election ballot, asking voters to approve $7.13M in bonds. This will be in addition to an allocation of $3.37M in cash from the county for a total of $10.5M. Stay tuned for the upcoming groundbreaking this summer!
4/3 - BOS votes to approve tax rate of $0.96, per Supervisor Snow's recent email news update, covering this Tuesday's recent Board meeting. Following are the primary news excerpts from his notes:
The Board voted 5-4 (Delgaudio, Staton, Waters and Clem opposed) to adopt the operating budget and tax rate. Those opposed to the budget would only support a tax rate of $0.89 and this would have resulted in a cut to the schools of over $76 million. The final reduction to the school budget was $19 million. I believe that this budget does strike a balance between holding taxes down and providing adequate funding for the quality education of our children. In addition, I was able to win support for additional funding for the Gum Springs Library and the expansion of the pool at the Broadlands Recreation Center. The Board will meet again on April 19th to finish its review of the Capital Improvement Program (CIP).
The Board received an update regarding the Governor's amendments to the Transportation Bill (HB 3202). The General Assembly meets tomorrow to consider the Governor's amendments. If the House approves the amendments, then they will be sent on to the Senate for review. If they reject them, then the bill is sent back to the Governor for him to sign or veto.
The Board also voted unanimously to initiate a Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPAM) to consider revisions to the County's housing policies and consolidate the existing housing funds, establishing funding priorities and fund a dispersal process to support a variety of housing programs. Additionally, the Board voted unanimously to request that VDOT reduce the speed limit from 55 mph to 45 mph on Rt. 15 from 1/2 mile north of Oak Hill to Gilbert's Corner.
3/25 - Dulles South Multipurpose Center Update
This community center, located in South Riding, is expected to open in the Fall of 2007 (Phase 1). Construction bids for Phase 1 are due to the county by April 5. The site is located at 24950 Riding Center Drive, Chantilly, Virginia. The project site can be reached by traveling on Route 50 in Virginia to the Loudoun County Parkway, turn south on the Loudoun County Parkway to Riding Center Drive, turn right on Riding Center Drive and cross the intersection of Tall Cedars Drive. The project is located on the south west corner of this intersection past the storm water pond. A fairly recent Dulles South Multipurpose Center site plan details the three phases.
In the meantime, try out the new Claude Moore Park Recreation Center, Grand Opening scheduled for next Saturday, 10-1PM!
3/24 - Dulles South Community Update - (Steve Snow Email Newsletter)
In mid March, Utility Services Co., a contractor working for the Loudoun County Sanitation Authority will begin repainting one of the water tanks located next to the Broadlands neighborhood. The entirety of the process is expected to take from mid-March through late-May. Both blasting and painting require the use of large equipment that makes noise similar to what you would expect on a construction site. To minimize impact, the crew will work from 7.30am to 7.00pm on weekdays so they can complete the project as soon as possible. On weekends, the crew will not start work until 8.30am.
A signing ceremony occurred on March 22nd celebrating the launch of a historic project for Northern VA. Representative from more than 20 local governments signed a Memorandum of Agreement to develop a Regional Water Supply Plan; the first of its kind that will encompass all municipalities in Northern VA. The plan (expected to be completed in 2001) will include information on water sources; water use; water resource conditions; projected water demand; water management actions; and an analysis of alternatives, drought and contingency plans in the event of water deficits. The plan will also include water supply projections for the next 30 years. For more information about the Water Supply Plan, contact Doug Pickford, NVRC Director of Environment and Heritage Resources, at 703.642.4623 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Beginning in Spring 2007, construction will commence on a partial interchange at Innovation Avenue. This will entail the placement of a temporary barrier along right shoulder of northbound Rt. 28, the removal of a traffic signal at Innovation Ave., the temporary restriction of access to Innovation Ave., and the construction of a continuous weave/merge lane from the toll road to the Rt. 606 interchange, and ramps from and to northbound Rt. 28. Construction is expected to reach completion in the Fall of 2007.
3/23 - This past Monday, the Loudoun County Planning Commission voted to forward (to the BOS) the Braddock Village rezoning application for 860 houses in the southern end of the Transition Area with a recommendation of denial.
Per http://www.loudounsfuture.org/, the remaining major developer proposals in play for Dulles South include Crosstrail (Leesburg), Ridgewater Park (Ashburn), Kincora (Ashburn), Westport (near Stone Ridge), Greenfields (near Stone Ridge), Braddock Village (near Stone Ridge), and Gatherings at Cascades (Sterling).
3/20 - Ridgewater Park CPAM amendment rejected, 5-4 with BOS members Clem, Staton, Snow and Delgaudio dissenting. Per Snow's report on his side of the vote; "The process was not complete and there were a lot of outstanding issues for the Board to discuss and potentially resolve. I find it interesting that so many Board members are opposed to considering the area for development when the Greenway Plan is supportive of mixed-use developments. I support Supervisor Clem and his leadership for the Leesburg area. This CPAM would have provided an economic stimulus to the Town and provided a strong business base for the area. It is unfortunate that the planning process was not fully completed." According to the Leesburg Today's report and other reports, the changes to the original proposal failed to convince the majority of supervisors that enough attention was made to Goose Creek Reservoir impacts, and that opening up the area would sufficiently preserve enough of the intent of the existing Transition Area policy.
3/19 - Last chance to speak before the Board of Supervisors regarding the proposed Loudoun County school budget cuts! Cheryl Bacak forwards this message to all Dulles South stakeholders - reference also the news item from 3/11 below - the BOS hearing on the subject is March 20th in Leesburg, 9:30AM.
"As many of you know, the BOS plans to cut the school budget by AT LEAST $16M (97 1/2 cent tax rate), many of the supervisors are advocating cutting the tax rate to 95 cents, which would result in approx. $27million cut. As a point of reference, one cent equates to approximately $10M. Ideally, we should try to push for 98 or 99 cents, but I'm not confident that would gain us credibility with the supervisors. Additionally, some of the supervisors believe it is ok to cut many of the projects from the first year of the CIP. This would result in the further delay of MS-5 which will relieve our middle school (Mercer). Mercer is expected to be above capacity next year with no relief until 2010(provided the CIP is approved)".
It's good to see quick and strong support at the grassroots level for educational issues in the county.
3/13 - Lt. Governor Bill Bolling's visit to the Dulles South Business Alliance, as recounted in the Gateway to Loudoun County blog.
3/11 - Robert Dupree's Presentation on Loudoun School Growth to the BOS last Thursday can be found here; this is in support of fully funding all Education interests as proposed by the current Loudoun County budget proposal. Be sure to voice your support to the BOS!
3/7 - Greenvest withdrawing or putting on hold Dulles South applications - according to this article in the Loudoun Times-Mirror. This includes those developments called Arcola/George Mason University, Lenah, Broad Run and Greenfields.
3/5 - Found this nice rundown on the new Claude Moore Recreation Center in the Broadlands Forum;
$5.50/adults adn $3.75 for kids, to open around April 1st!
3/2 - Excellent summary of upcoming election year 2007 themes, from the Prince William County Republican viewpoint. "Citizen Tom" in Gainesville writes this summary on his blog; we especially like the comments from Bob McDonnell, Virginia Attorney General, on Internet Safety, a pet project of ours and the local children's computer training company Whizkids LLC.
2/28 - Are gangs and illegal immigration issues for the Dulles Region, and this year's elections? Many residents and election candidates seem to think so, according to the transcripts from the recently-held Help Save Loudoun Candidates' Forum. Candidates for Loudoun County Sherriff (Ahlemann and Simpson), plus candidates for Catoctin (Higgens, Bruton) and Broad Run Supervisor (Randall). Next Candidate's forum is on March 26, 7PM, at the Loudoun County Senior Center in Cascades.
2/25 - The Virginia Transportation Bill passed the General Assembly House/Senate negotiations, now it's up to Governor Kaine to seal the deal - though he's rather unhappy about it (as are most Democrats), and plans major modifications if not outright veto. Voting was somewhat partisan, and mixed from our area. Rather than recount it here, read blogger news and opinion at sites like Gateway to Loudoun County and others listed on our Residents page.
2/14 - What retail's coming to Dulles South? We've started a collection of information on this topic (under the resident's links section); send more info you might know for us to add!
2/14 - Yesterday's Dulles South Business Alliance meeting
was extremely informative, covering the Rt. 50 Mixed Use Business District, the Loudoun County 2008 Budget, and the Rt. 50/Rt.606 Interchange planning. Notable information (please let us know of any inaccuracies or additional information):
The Rt. 50/606 Interchange project is well into survey and mapping activities, proffers are actively being solicited for construction funds, the first public hearing will be early March, and the first BOS public hearing to approve the general design isn't expected until December. Related to this, MWA's 606 widening project (now part of the Dulles Rail initiatives) is on the fast track, moving forward in the regional transportation plan, yet furthest from being completed (among the "Dulles Loop" initiatives). A "conceptual plan" for the overall Dulles Loop is funded, equally split at $50K between Fairfax, Loudoun, MWA and private sources. Rt. 50 widening westbound from the County line to Poland Rd. has private proffer funding sources, whereas eastbound funding is still "being facilitated".
The Rt. 50 "Mixed Use Business District" (essentially straddling Rt. 50 from the east county line, sandwiched by Dulles Airport and Arcola to the north, South Riding and Stone Ridge to the South, out into the Transition area) is well underway, moving towards preparation of an ordinance activities – the CPAM and Landscaping guidelines were adopted last fall, and architecture guidelines to be voted on next week. The zoning for this district is meant as an additional option for area landowners, in addition to existing zoning options and modifications underway. Public/BOS hearings aren't expected until Nov./Dec. this year.
The 2008 Loudoun County budget is ready for consideration, the primary issues including the continued growth of education operating and capital expenses requested (73% of local source revenue is directed to the schools!), switchover of public safety services from volunteer to professional, and increasing pressures to bring the county into the transportation business (because of lack of state funding), though already over the debt ceiling for capital projects. 97.5 cent real property tax, and assessment decreases anywhere from 3-5%. Interesting observations included the fact that tremendous growth of the student population overrides additional tax revenues from new homes (i.e. they don't pay for themselves any more), and recent and forecasted proffers for recent and new development infrastructure are far less on a percentage basis than in the past. "Expectations of platinum infrastructure and education services come with a hard-to-sustain price, and negatively affects the less visible human services", was the overriding theme of this year's very difficult budget process.
Next Month – Virginia's Lt. Governor will be present - get the word out to all small and large business owners!
2/7 - Today is a new day and a hopeful one at that. This morning's snowcover and Washington Post (plus the accompanying blogosphere) seem to indicate a healthy "scrubbing" is underway, to cleanse our county and Dulles region of the swirling and very public negativity around land use issues and the transportation quagmire. No doubt more pain, traffic and charges are to come, but full disclosure and partisan agreement is in the air (just in time for the elections!).
"Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney James E. Plowman announced a joint investigation with the US attorney's office in Alexandria" quotes WAPO, about the alleged public corruption activities surrounding Loudoun development projects." This is a good thing for the public, and gets the repair and refresh process underway. The Virginia House of Delegates passed a somewhat bi-partisan Transportation Plan down in the Richmond General Assembly (in a "stunning" turnaround from last year's mess); this is quite promising, though still may not pass through Senate voting. "Hopes" for a Tyson's Tunnel are revived, as the Dulles extension plan deadline's been extended to Spring 2008; long enough to allow the state to change its decision from an elevated track.
2/4 - Loudoun County News and Newspapers are reviewed each week (we read so you don't have to!) over at Loudoun County Blog, be sure to scan this regularly. Its another piece of the Dulles South Online content network, and you can find other examples of local resident blogs on topics we cover over in the resident section.
For example, this week:
"The Easterner wins...lots of good content, including new campaigns (Phillips and Andrews contesting the State Senate District 33 race), a review of the Greenway Toll-raising issue, an excellent update on Internet Youth Safety in Virginia (see Dadministrator's South Riding-based Blog), some very local and opinionated feedback in the Community Forum (anti-Republicans from the editor, and pro-cellphone-tax-to-raise-transportation-funds from a disgruntled citizen), a good bit of research concerning Loudoun's growth leadership in the state (Loudoun County added 100,000 residents since 2000!), and about 35 following pages of advertising. Hefty issue.
We've recently also added a blog by Tom Reed (at large Loudoun School Board rep.), and a Loudoun Fire and Rescue MySpace site in our Resident's directory. Contact us to add your blog, wiki, or MySpace content!
1/30 - Too Much, Too Soon and Unfair to literally everyone, was the consensus tally at last night's Dulles Greenway toll increase public hearing. About 70 citizens, business owners and public officials from both sides of the aisle showed up in front of a single Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) representative to voice their opinion on the proposed rate hikes by the Greenway owners (representatives also in attendance). Several complained this hearing hadn't been publicized well enough, the announcements arriving only through email and newsletter networks, and limited reference in local news outlets. However, our Richmond delegates (Poisson, Herring and May) made it back up to condemn the plan, and Purcellville's Mayor, a School Board representative, and several candidates for the upcoming BOS and State Delegate elections all checked in with a resounding vote of "No". The "No Toll Increase.org" folks were out strong, contributing a petition list and stickers (supported by John Andrews, candidate for the upcoming State Senate elections, 33rd District).
The fundamental consensus was that Greenway drivers should not have to pay additional, exorbitant taxes for bad financial management and investment strategies, nor should the best customers (i.e. heaviest users) pay a single fee regardless of which exit they use. Additionally, the magnitude of the cost increase would drive down population influx, drive away business, and cause the roadway to be unusable by large classes of middle and lower income drivers already dealing with elevated housing and gas costs. The justification for the proposal appears not to meet any VDOT or SCC thresholds, and appears in many ways a re-justification already used in past toll rate hikes. Needless to say, nobody was handing out "Raise my Taxes to Park on the Greenway!" stickers in support of the measure.
1/27 - The Flu Season doesn't end till March, and Dulles Urgent Care Center has a limited number of Flu shots available for free to Loudoun County residents. You must make an appointment, and bring along proof of residency.
1/20 - Caputo, Herring, Homer discussed transportation at the Chantilly Regional Library this morning, with about 75 constituents attending. Pierce Homer, Virginia's Secretary of Transportation, gave a comprehensive overview of the drivers and bills underway for this upcoming year's transportation challenges, and Senator Herring and Delegate Caputo each provided their own perspectives on the issue, their bill support in the current General Assembly, plus additional information on community issues.
Salient points from Secretary Homer (nearly a quarter of the room had questions for him):
- Homer's priorities for our region include the widening of Rt. 50, Rt. 7 improvements, Dulles Rail (the Metro's "Silver" Line) extension into Loudoun County, a Rt. 66 "Hot" lane, and the Metro Orange Line extension out to Centreville.
- In the bill issued yesterday by the Speaker of the House, was fine-print language blocking transfer of the Dulles Toll Road management to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority; Homer strongly advised this move was not in the interests of NOVA constituents and businesses interested in rapid solutions to transportation issues.
- "Jurisdictional boundaries shouldn't matter" to Virginia's transportation leaders in creating clear, regional performance standards for development decisions, though ultimately zoning decisions are made locally
- Dulles Airport is the fastest growing airport in the Eastern US
- the "philosophical debate has sharpened" among those seeking sustainable, predictable funding for long-term transportation infrastructure programs, including a mix of user fees, new debt and very careful re-appropriation of general funds (balancing between NOVA/Hampton Roads transportation priorities and other Virginia education, healthcare, and public safety needs).
Herring and Caputo provided support of Homer's views, and provided some insight into other areas of interest to them and their constituents:
- Herring - bills to encourage businesses to support teleworking, to establish impact fees on by-right development impacting transportation infrastructure, to address a rapidly-growing underage drinking issue.
- Caputo - bills to extend rush-hour shoulder use on Rt. 66, to extend community college tuition rates to cover 3rd and 4th-year transfer to a 4-year program, tax credits for energy-efficient equipement, adoption costs and senior programs, and a bill asking for live TV coverage (and hopefully live Internet!) of the House and Senate.
1/19 - Dulles South Community Meeting - held this past Thursday evening by Supervisor Snow at Mercer Middle School was fairly well-attended, with about 150 residents representing South Riding, Gum Spring, Stone Ridge, Arcola - no Brambleton representation, however. Quite a detailed and comprehensive presentation of the status of Board of Supervisor activity, funding and prioritization of community issues for the area. The presentation can be downloaded here. Following are some interesting tidbits (relayed directly by Snow or otherwise indicated):
- There will be a Feb. 7th meeting complimenting this one, for the Northern area of the district, in Ashburn.
- There are 6 county supervisors focused on the Rt. 7 development corridor, and only 1 (Snow) on the Rt. 50
corridor - this means tons of support is necessary from residents and businesses.
- 2 more buses were recently obtained from Toll Brothers; the hope is to add them to the existing 2 bus commuter pool currently servicing Loudoun County from the Stone Ridge park and ride lot.
- Up to 6 million square feet of local office space is coming to this region in the next few years.
- The Dulles South area of Loudoun County represents approximately 42,000 households, more than any other county district.
- Breaking ground on a 3rd westbound Rt. 50 lane from the Cadillac dealership will happen soon this year.
- The new regional library at Stone Ridge will break ground this year, to be completed by end of 2008 (the closest libraries now are in Ashburn, Centreville and Chantilly) .
- Plans and agreements are underway for new stoplights at Pleasant Valley Road and Poland, and at Braddock (though this requires more regional agreements with Fairfax County) .
- Little River and Hutchison Elementary, according to Robert Dupree (School Board Chairman), will need to "hunker down" this upcoming year with respect to crowding, until the South Riding Station E.S. opens in 2008. (this will be a struggle, paired with some level of expected attrition among the teaching staff and management).
- There's an active Senior Center at the Arcola Elementary School - check it out.
- A new South Dulles Airport Terminal is in the works, with entrances from Rt. 50; hotel chains are beginning to circle the area.
- This area can claim the highest percentage of woman-owned businesses in all of NOVA.
- Supervisor Snow is actively pursuing a Loudoun Gateway tourist center of sorts, focusing on the Slave Quarters historical site in Arcola.
1/19 - We Read, So You Don't Have To! - be sure to check out regular interpretation of the stack of Eastern Loudoun newspapers that arrive each week, along with other blogger news in the Dulles South Residents area.
1/9 - Snow: "This is the year of Business", per his statements at today's Dulles South Business Alliance meeting. DSO attended the meeting, which was chock full of very important news. The Dulles Loop efforts gain momentum, helping to establish a limited access highway scenario around the airport - this includes focused efforts to achieve a consolidation of funding timelines and sources for the approximately $50 million required (focusing on the Rt. 6060 and 50 areas left to improve). Snow announced formation of a task force specifically for Rt. 606, to analyze and consolidate planning information for residents and businesses. What's unclear is how these efforts will stave off Fairfax county's reluctance to allow any MWA dollars associated with the metro extension into Loudoun County, to flow into local road improvements (606 specifically). Several persons noted that the Dulles Loop is absolutely essential to maintaining the economic viability of the airport itself, which is a regional growth engine for all three counties.
Regarding Rt. 50 itself, VDOT's agreed in concept that Rt. 50 east widening from Rt. 606 will happen in the median, vs. widening into private property. On the other hand, a bill has been introduced in the General Assembly (HB 1667) ostensibly without representation of this group or most others in southeastern Loudoun, that seeks to tie Rt. 50 improvements to VDOT impact analysis and fees - this quite possibly contradicts the whole notion of "by-right" privileges in Loudoun County.
Barbara Munsey (Dulles distric Planning Commissioner) provided some background regarding what the Planning Commission is doing about "our very unfortunate state", including implementation of a new Loudoun County website (there's a comments section!) which will shortly contain a new "traffic deficiency" analysis. She remarked that this analysis had many errors and required significant improvement; that which would come hopefully from a lot more county official coordination and public/business involvement in the hearings.
1/4 - Loudoun's officially "slow-growth" per the Examiner's Report of the BOS voting 8 to 1 to halt consideration of new residential rezoning requests for the next year (Snow dissenting). A largely symbolic gesture, since most requests take a year anyway to deal with, this vote nonetheless sends a clear message to the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond - "Richmond has to do its job" (Lori Waters).
Dulles South Online notes that this is even more imperative to local business owners to take advantage of this forum to establish a broader customer base and visibility on the Internet, to make up for the apparent slowdown to come in potential newcomers moving to the area.
1/3 - BOS consideration to defer rezonings itself deferred until a later date; the board member initiative entitled "Getting Our Fair Share: Deferral of Consideration of Residential Rezoning Applications and Initiation of Comprehensive Plan Amendments to Increase Residential Density until the 2007 Updates to the Countywide Transportation Plan Are Adopted or the 2007 General Assembly passes a Comprehensive Transportation Plan" was officially deferred for future consideration at yesterday's BOS regular Tuesday business meeting.
1/3 Update, news from the hearing - BSO attended the somewhat sparsely populated meeting (about 50 attendees), presided over by Delegates Marshall, Caputo, Poisson, May and Sen. Herring. Residents and community leaders spoke on a variety of topics, about evenly split between traffic/development concerns and other issues. Some interesting points: Loudoun county is the only regional county with no numbered state highway; most localities could use extended polling hours because of the traffic delays for those returning home from work; there's been a 74% increase in the child poverty rate in the past year; Rt. 15 is the deadliest road in Loudoun county. The Loudoun delegation has plenty of issues and concerns to consider and run with at the upcoming general assembly, and if the public hearing had been moderated with speakers perhaps limited in time, perhaps a broader range of topics may have landed on their plates. Nonetheless, there's plenty of true work to be accomplished in Richmond to the direct benefit of businesses, organizations and residents of Loudoun county and the Dulles region, at least before the 2007 campaigning swings into full action.
1/2 - Loudoun General Assembly Delegation heads to Richmond - and will hold a public hearing on 1/3, at 7PM at the County Government Center, per the Leesburg Today. All representatives will be on hand, including Sens. H. Russ Potts (R-27) and Mark Herring (D-33), and Dels. Joe T. May (R-33), Robert Marshall (R-13), Tom Rust (R-86), David Poisson (D-32) and Chuck Caputo (D-67).
12/28 - INOVA Medical Center/Dulles South - is scheduled to open in the Spring of 2007, offering a mix of urgent care, physician services, and radiology services including a CT scanner. This very needed facility will be located south of Rt. 50 in the Avonlea/Pinebrook Village area adjacent to the Northwest corner of South Riding.
Resident survey - what are the best urgent care centers to use at this time? Closest, best hours? Send us an email with your suggestions!
12/27 - Quicklink - the Washington Post today had an interesting article on proposed legislation in Richmond gathering steam, to shift accountability for managing state transportation funds back to local supervisors - this picked up by a Broadlands HOA forum contributor.
12/20 - The new Dulles South Online is coming! - Our
new look and services are coming 1/1/2007, as we reflect our role as
Loudoun County's Internet Chamber of Commerce. Services include
free Dulles South directory listings for businesses and
organizations; the ONLY online directory of Loudoun county
large and small businesses that's totally optimized for Internet Marketing
and Search Engines. This service is complimentary from KME Web Design, Loudoun County's
premier website maintenance and Internet marketing company.
you'd like to get in early on this great opportunity for your business,
large or small, contact us today. We'll be regularly accepting articles,
photos and announcements from Loudoun's businesses, concerning the Dulles
South region and other related topics.
12/17 - Happy New Year! (It'll be a fun one) - 2007
promises to be quite an active and fun-filled year for those interested in
Loudoun County commerce, development and political issues, if this past
week tells us anything.
Toll Brothers suit - Toll Brothers
builders has filed suit on Dec. 8th concerning 591 acres along the south
side of Rt. 50 west of Stone Ridge; they contend the BOS vote to reject
the area CPAM changes requires independent consideration, and that the
county neither properly analyzed the merits of their request nor provided
proper legal notice. Merry Christmas!
to defer consideration of residential rezoning applications and
Comprehensive Plan amendments that increase residential density until the
2007 updates to the countywide transportation plan are adopted or the 2007
General Assembly passes a comprehensive transportation plan will be
considered by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors at their next
business meeting on 12/19/06. This initiative is being put forward by
Supervisor Burton in an effort to show solidarity with Prince William
County and to send a message to Richmond/our state elected officials that
Loudoun wants its fair share back from the state for Transportation
improvements. The agenda for this meeting and some background information
can be found on the Loudoun
County web site. Happy Hanukkah!
Policy Agenda for Loudoun County was released by the
Chamber of Commerce on 12/6 (sorry, we picked this up late) -
"Delivered to Loudoun's General Assembly delegation this week, the Public
Policy Agenda continues to emphasize the desperate need for the
Commonwealth of Virginia to make significant and sustainable investments
in Virginia's highway and transit systems." The policy agenda is an
especially important position for the county this coming election year, as
Richmond lawmakers re-group to consider Northern Virginia regional
transportation woes. Happy Late
Route 50 may finally be completed to
three lanes across the Fairfax County Border thanks to a recent
proposal by our Governor Timothy M. Kaine - he recently proposed $500
Million in a one-time spending activity using General Fund budget surplus
monies for the most critical Virginia Transportation projects. Read the
press release here.
12/1 - Rezonings spinning up and on - The Loudoun
Connection writes in its recent issue that Greenvest continues to move
forward with their development plans and rezoning applications, even after
denial of the recent CPAM. Each of the four major rezoning applications
(Lenah, Broad Run Village, Arcola and Greenfields) will need to be
approved by the BOS - expect a bit of community spin up in anticipation of
From a very local, but no less important perspective,
Sandra Chaloux of the Gum Springs Regonal Citizens group updates us in her
newsletter that the Centex/Shah Rezoning proposal - increasing their
construction density from 24 to 95 homes directly south of Mercer Middle
School on Gum Springs Road. Centex is hosting an informational meeting
December 6th at Mercer Middle School at 7PM - the BOS expects to hold a
public hearing by March/April.
Finally, please excuse our slowdown
in reporting and site updates at this time - we're working on some major
site updates and additional content, to be rolled out in the new year. All
to help residents and businesses of our very volatile Dulles South region
clearly understand what's going on, who they can talk to, and what
services can help.
- 11/12/2006 Editorial
- The battle is over, the war continues, and the
townspeople continue to be buffeted by direct and collateral damage.
Though the Transition Area CPAM is essentially DOA, the money and time
invested is still an open wound for those who've invested, fought, made
promises and to whom were made promises. Not only were business and
political rifts clarified, but feelings were genuinely hurt.
time to regroup and re-plan, focus on immediate pressures and issues, and
examine the process from the ground up. For example, BOS member Lori
Water's concern that county CPAMs should be initiated at all by
developers, vs. citizens and their elected representatives. Let's
prioritize the issues, make wise and collaborative plans for the future,
and see if our immediate lack of traffic control, low-cost housing and
county business growth incentives can't be improved, under the strategic
context already in place. A healthier community, traffic and business
environment can be created with the resources and leaders we've got, the
better to attract strategic initiatives such as GMU. Lay the groundwork
this next year, and if the "system" needs correction, we can start with
the elections next November.
For now, lets give thanks that we've
got such an attractive problem, drawing many of the greatest minds in the
region and State to address. This was clearly in evidence during much of
the public discourse in the past year, both online and off. Let's also not
forget thanks to our troops, for ensuring we're able to practice our
democracy in this manner.
11/11 - It's not over till it's over... - In a "Dear
Neighbor" letter from Loudoun BOS member Jim Burton, he states "Clearly,
however, Greenvest and others will not give up. The history of the last
decade demonstrates their willingness to retreat, regroup, and continue to
pursue their agenda in a variety of forms...There are three probable
arenas in which this strategy may play out: the courts, the Board room,
and the polls. Already yesterday, lawyers for two of the major developers
in the Transition Area, Greenvest and Toll Brothers, contacted the Board
and began laying out a legal strategy against the Board's actions. I
believe they are likely to follow up on these statements by filing
lawsuits. As of this morning, rezoning applications for Transition Area
properties remain in the County pipeline. Supervisors Waters and Tulloch
both requested that the applicants withdraw these applications. However,
so long as they remain in the pipeline, you will need to keep an eye out.
Finally, we are now just a year away from Board elections. In politics
money talks - however, voter education and participation in the electoral
process always talks louder."
Stay tuned, and stay
involved....catch all news and updates regarding transportation,
development and community issues here at Braddock South Online!
11/09 - "Officially" Dulles South CPAM quashed -
Yesterday's 6 to 3 vote canceled all current plans for an
increase of thousands of homes in the Dulles South area, as well as
rescinded the transfer of property from Greenvest to GMU for building a
new campus. In essence, the vote boiled down to "we can't afford it", "it"
being the county support costs, reduction in quality of life, and
As Sandra Chaloux put it (President of the
Gum Springs Regional Citizen's Network), "What a huge victory for Loudoun
11/08 - Dulles South CPAM killed - Per the "Too Conservative" blog,
the Loudoun BOS effectively killed the Dulles South CPAM last night,
voting to end discussion and cancel future work sessions. Basically a 5 to
4 vote (2 presumed "no's" absent). BSO had contributed a "NO" vote to the
BOS (and received a very nice note back from Lori Waters!), mainly on our
premise that there are simply too few facts, not enough regional
collaboration, and altogether too much rush to judgement in the face of
very strong citizen feedback. It's a smart course of action at this time,
though opens a new can of worms regarding the continued viability of this
area of the county for a new GMU campus (along with supporting local
infrastructure and neighborhoods). On a truly positive note, the local
transportation bond referendums passed, and therefore some desperately
needed Eastern Loudoun traffic issues may be ameliorated.