The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York and Broad Run Supervisor Shawn Williams recently visited the Ashby Ponds retirement community to share updates regarding budget spending as well as the status of various transportation and development issues.
Smith Switch Road improvements
Supervisor Williams reports that improvements to Smith Switch Road are on track and that all necessary permits and approvals have been received.
Some residents at Ashby Ponds would like to see a traffic signal at the intersection across from Smith Switch Road in front of their community on Gloucester Parkway. Williams said that results from VDOT traffic studies do not yet warrant a new signal. Suggested considerations from residents also include a four-way stop or a blinking signal on off-hours.
Loudoun County Parkway widening
Widening of the portion of the Loudoun County Parkway in front of Redskins Park is required to be completed by July 2015. However, Chairman York reports that construction is expected to begin this year and will likely be completed prior to that deadline.
Loudoun Hounds location
The proposed location for the Loudoun Hounds stadium has been moved from the Kincora development to the One Loudoun development. The location being considered for that stadium is currently at the corner of Loudoun County Parkway and Route 7. Chairman York and Supervisor Williams indicated that there is concern from neighboring residences regarding noise, lighting, and traffic. They have invited the public to two upcoming meetings to further discuss these and other issues:
Planning Commission Public Hearing
February 19, 6:00 pm
Loudoun County Government Center
Board of Supervisors Public Hearing
March 25, 6:00 pm
Farmwell Station Middle School
Ashburn Senior Center
Five acres of public use land is available off of Marblehead Drive. The site is being considering for an Ashburn Senior Center, which would be a closer alternative than the Cascades Senior Center for Ashby Ponds residents.
Concerns were raised regarding panhandlers at various intersections and along roadways. Supervisor Williams indicated that there is an initiative this year to outlaw panhandling. There is a public hearing in April to assist the Sheriff in determining if there is enough support to prohibit the action in order to establish an ordinance. The volunteer fire and rescue department would be affected by this ordinance during their annual fundraising drives. Chairman York indicated that the Board is looking into other ways to assist the department with their drives. One way cited to provide support to the local volunteer fire department is to attend their monthly pancake breakfasts. The next Ashburn Volunteer Fire & Rescue pancake breakfast will be held on Sunday, February 3 at Station 6 (20688 Ashburn Road).
Budget and spending
Supervisor Williams indicated that steps are being taken to keep the tax rate equalized; in order to do so, he is looking into inefficiencies within the school system. Williams noted that there are approximately 2500 new children in the system every year and that the cost per pupil has gone up 5% each year. Chairman York suggested that the Loudoun County School Board and the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors should work together to remove inefficiencies, such as consolidating the same services used like construction departments.
Also addressed was the issue of “e-comments” for senior centers, which allows a video-recorded comment to be sent to the Board of Supervisors directly from area senior centers. The “e-comment” system is longer being utilized, but Supervisor Williams indicated that he supports any mechanism for communicating with the Board and that there will likely be a motion this year to bring “e-comments” back. Chairman York does not support the initiative, indicating that it requires more spending where it is not needed considering other available communication methods - postal mail, email, voicemail, and by using hotline services.
About Ashby Ponds
Ashby Ponds, one of 16 retirement communities managed by Erickson Living, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia (approximately 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.). The community is home to over 700 residents and is filled with fascinating people and fantastic opportunities. With over 100 resident-run and resident-driven clubs and groups, an indoor pool, a fitness club, transportation services, 24-hour security, and flexible dining options, life at Ashby Ponds offers a true sense of community and is an exciting alternative to the typical retirement community. More information about Ashby Ponds can be found at: www.ericksonliving.com.