What is Envision Loudoun?
Envision Loudoun is an eighteen-month initiative that will have a lasting impact on the Loudoun community, helping to promote a continued high quality of life in the county. Envision Loudoun is a rare opportunity to plan future growth, land use, transportation, community facilities and amenities, economic development, and fiscal management in Loudoun County. You can participate by sharing your thoughts through a broad range of community engagement opportunities during this process. Envision Loudoun will result in a New Comprehensive Plan that will serve as Loudoun County government’s guiding document for land use and development for the foreseeable future.
What is the Plan Charter?
The recommended first step in this initiation is to establish a “plan to do the plan” or a Plan Charter. This document contains pertinent background information and broad existing conditions, a preliminary list of the prominent issues the Plan should address, a description of the planning process and schedule, the organizational structure, a description of the community outreach and engagement strategy, and the role of consultants.
The steps to begin this significant planning project include:
- Development of a Plan Charter, a roadmap for completing the initiative, describing who, what, when, where and equally important, how theCounty will complete the new comprehensive plan;
- Board of Supervisors endorsement of the Plan Charter; and
- Staff preparation for the New Comprehensive Plan (e.g., selection of consultants, formation of a Stakeholders Committee, background research on the major topics).
The Plan Charter was presented to the Board of Supervisors on April 21, 2016 and was subsequently endorsed by the Board. The final version of the Plan Charter, which is guiding our planning process can be found at: https://www.loudoun.gov/DocumentCenter/View/120052.
What is a Comprehensive Plan?
A Comprehensive Plan is a community-based vision for the future development of Loudoun County. It is intended to guide future land use development decisions, guide provision of community amenities and facilities as well as guide the location and timing of infrastructure investment. Based on direction from the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, the new plan will outline policies for addressing the most pressing issues Loudoun faces, to include:
- Economic Development
- Transition Policy Area
- Residential Housing Choice and Diversity
- Suburban Policy Area
- Community Facilities and Supporting Infrastructure
- Quality Development
- Fiscal Management
Along with other topics that may be revealed through the process.
Comprehensive Plans are generally designed to plan for the next 20 to 30 years with regular review and updates every five years. The two major parts of our Comprehensive Plan that will be developed in this process are a new General Plan and a new Countywide Transportation Plan.
Why does Loudoun County need a plan?
Between 2000 and 2010, Loudoun County was the 5th fastest growing county in the country and we haven’t slowed down. Our last major revision to the Comprehensive Plan was the completion of the Revised General Plan 15 years ago, and as we know, a lot has changed since then. The new Comprehensive Plan will help to ensure growth occurs at a pace and in a pattern and locations that are fiscally sustainable for the county. It will set clear expectations for property owners, developers, residents and businesses to maintain our county’s high quality of life and fiscal security.
How will this affect me and my family?
Maintaining the quality of life we’re accustomed to in Loudoun County will require careful planning, careful stewardship, and deliberate action. We chose this community for a reason. Loudoun County is a great place to live, work, play and raise a family. This process is intended to gather your input so as to understand what creates the high quality of life residents expect of Loudoun and provide the new vision and guidance on how to retain that quality of life for future generations.
How can I participate?
Public participation in the Comprehensive Planning process will consist of a robust community engagement campaign including a series of community meetings held throughout the County intended to gather community feedback regarding the issues facing Loudoun. At each meeting, the Planning Team will provide attendees with multiple formats for sharing opinions and suggestions. The Meeting dates, times, and locations will be advertised at this website: www.envision-loudoun.org.
The Planning Team will also provide online opportunities for community engagement, including crowdsourced mapping, scenario planning, and open forum discussions.
How will the plan be used?
The Comprehensive Plan will establish a common vision, set of goals, and guiding principles that will jointly address land use and transportation, fiscal management, and other important community issues.
How will my input be used?
Your input is a driving force of the New Comprehensive Plan. The County is expecting to receive thousands of comments and ideas throughout the engagement process. Your voice, values, experiences and perspective will help the team develop a plan you can confidently stand behind and champion through implementation. We will record, document, and store all input received during the community engagement process. This feedback will be compiled and analyzed in the formulation of a community vision for Loudoun County and used in the development of policies that can realize our vision for the future. The Planning Team will also come back to the community frequently to see if we heard you correctly.
How will the plan be used?
The Comprehensive Plan will establish a common vision, set of goals, and guiding principles that will jointly address land use and transportation, fiscal management, and other important community issues. The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, appointed Boards and Commissions, and the County Staff will use this plan as a guide for decision-making to address land development applications, capital improvements planning, and developing regulations and programs that will implement the plan.
What was implemented from the last plan?
Much of the development that Loudoun County has become known for throughout the region can be attributed to the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan:
- high quality suburban neighborhoods with accessibility to local shopping needs,
- scenic rural lands of the western part of the County and its agricultural related economy,
- preservation and vibrancy of our charming and historic small towns,
- development of the County’s local economy and employment centers in strategic areas.
Are we addressing transportation?
Yes! With the kind of growth our community witnessed in the 2000’s and continues to experience today, it’s not hard to imagine the root cause of our congestion. To address these concerns the county has launched a comprehensive transportation planning effort that will become a new Countywide Transportation Plan the will be developed concurrently with the new General Plan and link to the key land use recommendations.
Who’s leading this effort?
As directed by the Board of Supervisors, Loudoun County staff and an experienced team of consultants will coordinate the plan development process to produce a document for review by the Planning Commission and adoption by the Board of Supervisors. In addition, a Stakeholder Committee composed of citizens from each of the magisterial districts and representatives of key stakeholder groups within the county, will also provide feedback throughout the planning effort. For more information on the Stakeholders Committee, including a list of its members, agendas, and past recordings of meetings, please click here.
The consultant team is led by Kimley Horn of Northern Virginia with special assistance from McBride Dale Clarion, Clarion Associates, planning NEXT, TischlerBise, and Nelson Nygaard.
Are the Comprehensive Plan Stakeholder Committee Meetings open to the public?
The meetings are open to the public to observe, however, these meetings are not a forum for public input. Public input opportunities will begin this fall (November 2016) with a number of outreach meetings being planned throughout the community. Join our mailing list to receive updates and announcements.
Where can I locate the current Revised General Plan and Maps and the Countywide Transportation Plan?
Where do I go for more information?
The best source of up-to-date information about this project can be found on this website. Additional background information can also be found at the Loudoun County Department of Planning and Zoning, Community Planning Website, located here.
To join our mailing list to receive updates and announcements about this process: click here
The Department of Planning and Zoning Staff can be reached at 703-777-0246.
Also, please call this number if you require any type of reasonable accommodation as a result of a physical, sensory, or mental disability to participate in the community meetings described above. Three days’ notice is requested.
Christopher Garcia, AICP, Assoc. AIA, LED GA, the County’s Community Planning Program Manager and Comprehensive Plan Project Manager, can be reached at the Department number above.