In this week after Thanksgiving, I want to let you know how thankful I am to represent you on the Board of Supervisors. So far, my (almost) year of service has been very fulfilling, as we work to improve our community. I am also very thankful to live here in Loudoun County, where our vibrant and diverse community offers so much.
Earlier this month I received the proposed Capital Improvement Plan from Loudoun County Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Ed Hatrick. I am very concerned that the latest projections have Briar Woods 665 students over capacity in the fall of 2014. Currently, a new high school for the Dulles North Planning Area, HS-6 (located in Loudoun Valley Estates), had been planned to open in the fall of 2015 to relieve overcrowding. At Tuesday’s School Board meeting, our representative, Kevin Kuesters, put forward a resolution (passed unanimously) to move up construction of HS-6 with a projected opening in fall 2014. I fully support the possibility of opening HS-6 a year ahead of schedule. The bonds to build HS-6 were approved by the voters in November and the funds for construction have already been allocated by the County. I fully support the School Board's resolution. I will work with my colleagues on the Board and with County staff to expedite the review and approval of HS-6.
One of the first actions this Board of Supervisors took last winter was to initiate a study of ‘missing links’ in our road network in Eastern Loudoun. The first phase of this study (Waxpool Road north to the Potomac River) was completed in late October and presented at the Board’s November meeting. This study and the diligent work of the Office of Transportation (OTS) has already led to the identification of funding for a number of important projects, including the improvements to Waxpool Road at the intersection of Pacific and Broderick, the paving of Smith Switch Road, and widening Loudoun County Parkway in front of Redskins Park, just to name a few. The next phase of this study will examine the Dulles North/Dulles South area. As part of this study, I have encouraged OTS to look very seriously at how to complete Westwind Drive, a connection between Loudoun County Parkway and Route 606 south of the Greenway. The Board is currently working to find a funding solution to widening Route 606; I would like to explore building Westwind Drive when Route 606 is widened. I plan to use the information derived from this study to find creative ways to improve our road network.
I’m sure many have noticed that a good bit of residential construction is taking place in the Broad Run district. Through August, there have been 669 building permits issued in Broad Run, half of which are for apartments. This development is either ‘by-right’ or was approved before I was on the Board; I have not voted to approve any residential re-zonings in the Broad Run District to date. Some of the residential development taking place now was approved over a decade ago. With the economy picking back up, developers are now finally moving forward with these projects. One of the reasons I ran for office is because there has been too much residential development without commercial development to offset the tax impacts. Additionally, this residential development has left us behind on critical infrastructure – roads and schools. My goal is to have residential development slow down to allow for the necessary community infrastructure to keep pace.
I enjoyed meeting with the Potomac Green community and the Ashbrook HOA earlier this month to discuss the proposed Loudoun Hounds’ ballpark. As many of you know, the current stadium proposal is to move the stadium from where it is currently approved at the Kincora development to about a mile west at the One Loudoun development. The application has been submitted by the Hounds and One Loudoun, and the County is currently in the process of reviewing it. It is tentatively planned to go to a public hearing before the Planning Commission in February and to a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors in March. The Board will then vote on whether or not to approve the application.
I have heard many of your concerns about noise, lighting and traffic at the new location proposed at One Loudoun. As the application goes through the land use process, my goal is to work to mitigate these issues. As is proposed in the application, One Loudoun will be converting about 325,000 square feet of office use (out of about 2.7 million total square feet office space currently approved at One Loudoun) for stadium use. According to their traffic study, the office space that has been removed would have produced the equivalent amount of traffic that is anticipated to be produced by the stadium. I am awaiting analysis by our County staff on that traffic study so I can understand it further. There is no proposed change to the retail or dining plans for One Loudoun. Once the application completes the review process I will have a much clearer picture of the impact on the community before I cast my vote.
I do support the idea of baseball coming to Loudoun County; I believe it will benefit the County in the long-term to become more of a ‘destination.’ This will allow us to keep money Loudoun residents spend on entertainment (currently spent in places like Fairfax County and DC) in Loudoun. At recent community meetings, some have asked me what my definition of a destination for Loudoun County is. Quite simply, a destination for Loudoun is something that draws people from both inside and outside the County to spend money within our local economy. I think this will help spur our commercial tax base, lowering the burden on residential property owners. We just need to make sure this specific location proposed for the ballpark will work for the community. I will strive to get the best package possible for the community that mitigates the noise, lighting and traffic concerns.
As always, please feel free to call me at 703-771-5088 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season!
Transportation Project Spotlight:
Waxpool Road Improvements
Last month I let you know that the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) announced that the Governor’s office has agreed to fund $7 million towards Waxpool Road improvements. This new funding will allow for a new project on Waxpool in addition to the current project underway improving the intersection at Pacific and Broderick, which is currently under design. Since my last update, I held a meeting with VDOT and the County’s Office of Transportation to see where we could most effectively use the funds. Currently, we are evaluating improvements to the intersection with Loudoun County Parkway, especially looking at solutions to the traffic flow from eastbound Waxpool to southbound Loudoun County Parkway and the reverse for the morning commute. I would certainly appreciate your feedback as I work with VDOT and County staff to move forward with ideas for this project.
Community Events and Information
Ashburn Volunteer Fire & Rescue Pancake Breakfast: The next monthly breakfast will be from 8:00 a.m. to noon on Sunday, December 2nd at Station 6 on Ashburn Road (Happy Holidays). For more information, including cost, please click here.
Athletic Revolution: Grand Opening December 8th. Check out the facility. They will have moon bounces, demos, contest and prizes. Free Red Robin Kids Meals for first 100 kids. There are discounts for early registration; sports enthusiasts click here for more information.
Street Smart Event: A Street Smart public awareness and enforcement campaign sponsored by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board was held on 14 November at the W&OD Trail crossing at Belmont Ridge Road. This was a perfect location for a regional coalition to announce its program aimed at reducing pedestrian/bicycle accidents and fatalities. During the event, it was noted that last year there were more than 430 crashes in the region involving pedestrians in November and December alone.