Envision Loudoun Process Yields Draft Comprehensive Plan for Public Review

By May 14, 2018News

Following more than 18 months of work by the Envision Loudoun Stakeholders Committee, which is comprised of various citizens and representatives of key groups within the county, and input from thousands of residents, a draft of a new Comprehensive Plan has been developed. The plan will be published next month, launching a series of community open houses in May that will help finalize the plan.

The new plan, to be titled Loudoun 2040 Comprehensive Plan, will include the General Plan and the Countywide Transportation Plan. It will serve as the county government’s guide for land use and transportation policy for the foreseeable future.

“This is a major milestone in the Envision Loudoun process,” said Deputy County Administrator Charles Yudd, who oversees the project. “A draft plan has been produced through a collaborative effort that included extensive public participation and careful deliberation by members of the Stakeholders Committee; however, there is still work to be done.”

Members of the Stakeholders Committee will discuss the draft plan during their regularly scheduled meeting at 6:00 p.m. on April 30, 2018, in the Loudoun County Government Center. Following that review, the draft plan will be published on May 7, 2018, and members of the public will be encouraged to provide input on the draft plan during open houses and online.

“The plan is being shaped by many ideas collected online and in person from more than 2,500 members of the Loudoun community who have participated in the process over the last year and a half,” said Department of Planning and Zoning Deputy Director Alaina Ray, who serves as the Envision Loudoun project manager. “While not every suggestion could be included in the plan, we believe this working draft balances the priorities of the community at large. Now, we need to reconcile some issues to produce a final plan that incorporates the best practices in planning for the county’s long-term needs.”

The draft plan covers a broad range of existing and new policy areas and addresses various issues that are important to the community, including:

  • Urban Policy Areas: The draft plan establishes new Urban Policy Areas to support growth, offer housing choices to meet changing housing needs and allow for innovation and changing market demands over time. These proposed Urban Policy Areas are located around the Silver Line Metro stations and along Route 7. The draft plan emphasizes appropriate density and walkable or transit-oriented mixed-use development in these areas, shaping urban communities near Metro or near access to Routes 7 and 28.
  • Natural and Heritage Resources: The draft plan recognizes Loudoun’s desire to protect the unique network of natural and heritage resources in the county. Draft polices focus on preserving and enhancing this network as well as creating high-quality, publicly accessible open spaces and connecting new and existing trails.
  • Housing Choices and Diversity: A complete, inclusive, and enduring community requires a wide range of housing types and costs. In Loudoun County, demand is increasing for affordable housing within an urban environment. Draft policies support increasing residential density in targeted areas and encouraging a greater diversity of affordable housing types near jobs and transportation facilities.
  • Transition Policy Area: Development in the county’s Transition Policy Area has been discussed at length during the Envision Loudoun process to date. While some initial suggestions called for 18,000 residential units in this area, the draft plan allows for up to 1,500 newly-planned residential units in the transition area over the next 20 years. In addition, the draft plan does not support increasing density or new land uses with the exception of several areas adjacent to the boundary of the Transition Policy Area. The draft plan calls for any new development in the transition area to be located proximate to existing roads, service amenities and public facilities.

The draft Comprehensive Plan will be posted at www.envision-loudoun.org on May 7, 2018, and members of the public may begin providing input online on May 14. In addition, the county will host six open houses between May 14 and 24, 2018 to provide the public with opportunities to comment on the new draft plan. Each open house will follow the same format: participants can drop in to meet with county staff, learn more about the new Comprehensive Plan and provide feedback on the draft plan.

The following open houses will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.:

  • Monday, May 14, 2018, Harmony Middle School, 38174 W Colonial Highway, Hamilton
  • Wednesday, May 16, 2018, Harper Park Middle School, 701 Potomac Station Drive, Leesburg
  • Monday, May 21, 2018, Eagle Ridge Middle School, 42901 Waxpool Road, Ashburn
  • Tuesday, May 22, 2018, Cascades Senior Center, 21060 Whitfield Place, Sterling
  • Thursday, May 24, 2018, John Champe High School, 41535 Sacred Mountain Street, Aldie

The following open house will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.:

  • Monday, May 21, 2018, Loudoun County Government Center, Dulles Room (first floor)1 Harrison Street, SE, Leesburg

If attendees require a reasonable accommodation for any type of disability in order to participate, please contact the Department of Planning and Zoning at 703-777-0246, TTY 711. Three business days’ advance notice is requested.

Following the public review at the open houses, the final draft plan is scheduled to be presented to the Board of Supervisors in July 2018, concluding the work of the Envision Loudoun Stakeholders Committee. The plan will then move to the Planning Commission for review and public comment. The Board is slated to adopt the Loudoun 2040 Comprehensive Plan in early 2019.

Information about the Envision Loudoun process and the work of the Stakeholders Committee is posted at www.loudoun.gov/envisionloudoun.