As an invited speaker to a breakfast of Loudoun business leaders and developers, my message was simple: Loudoun County is going to be requiring more of developers than ever before—more proffered roads, public utilities, and schools.
Past boards have generally asked developers for roads and school sites; with our more than $80 million budget gap this next year, we will need some of them to invest not just in sites, but in the actual capital costs of building the schools.
That is what partnership looks like.
Is requiring a higher level of infrastructure investment than any Board in Loudoun history being cozy with supposed fat-cat developers, as your cartoon implies?
No, it’s quite the opposite. And, it’s the right thing to do. If you’re going to build here, you’re going to invest in public infrastructure here. Period.
Instead of just letting developers rezone commercial land into residential—leading to tax increases from additional drivers and kids in the school system—we need to focus any new development on building our commercial tax base.
Office parks are dead, and modern businesses want to move to mixed-use areas that combine retail, office, and millennial-focused residential. That is the type of environment we want to build near the metro stations and the Rt. 28 corridor.
But, while this mixed-use development attracts business, it still has a residential element. This is where the County should demand significant proffers to make sure our schools and roads are not overcrowded like they have been due to overdevelopment allowed by previous boards.
In fact, we need to use the proffers for these future developments not only to service the homes they build, but also to fill the gaps in our roads and schools left by previous under-planning.
That is our vision of partnership.
I love good humor, but let’s not fall into the Washington trap—where people on all sides ridicule one another and accomplish very little for the American people. After the publication of Loudoun Now’s cartoon and article, the good news is that multiple newly elected Democrats approached me and asked, “what’s wrong with partnership?”
Instead of picking fights, let’s get creative and turn the adversaries of the past into the partners of the future.
Ron Meyer, Ashburn
Supervisor-Elect, Broad Run District