Veteran Loudoun County Planning Commission Vice Chairman Robert Klancher died Wednesday, May 4, after “very bravely” struggling with cancer for two years, leaving a noticeable hole in the county and commission. He was 57.
“As we all know, nobody’s irreplaceable, but Bob’s about as close as they come,” said county Vice Chairman Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn).
Klancher was first appointed to the Loudoun County Planning Commission in January 2004 by Supervisor Lori Waters and was reappointed in 2008. He was subsequently appointed by Buona in 2012 and again in 2016. His tenure included a three-year term as chairman. The Planning Commission provides recommendations to the Board of Supervisors on issues concerning land development ordinances, comprehensive planning, future land use policies, and the Capital Improvements Program.
His son, Bobby Klancher, serves as a staff aide for Supervisor Ron A. Meyer Jr. (R-Broad Run).
“This is a very sad day for Loudoun County,” said Planning Commission Chair Jeff Salmon. “Bob Klancher was a loving husband and father and a dedicated public servant; I am proud to have served with him. Bob was a mentor to me and many others, and taught me the ropes of being a Planning Commissioner. “Loudoun is better off because of him.”
Klancher’s service to the county coincided with a period of rapid growth in Loudoun, which had a population of 230,000 residents in 2004 compared to an estimated 373,000 residents today. A resolution of appreciation for Klancher adopted by the Board of Supervisors in December 2015 noted that he had helped to advise the board on more than 750 land use applications including such projects as Stone Ridge, Loudoun Valley Estates, Arcola Center, One Loudoun, Waterside and Lansdowne, as well as, updates to Broadlands, Brambleton, Kirkpatrick Farms and numerous other communities.
“Bob Klancher exemplified the qualities of a community servant,” said Algonkian District Supervisor Suzanne Volpe, after learning of Klancher’s death. “He was always able to put everyone around him at ease and work to resolve problems in a positive manner. He personified achievement, excellence and commitment. Bob was an example for others to follow. Loudoun County was blessed to have this tireless advocate for our community and his passing is truly heartbreaking for all of us.”
Volpe, who chairs the Board’s Transportation and Land Use Committee, served on the Planning Commission with Klancher from 2004 to 2007.
Klancher worked on dozens of Comprehensive Plan amendments and ordinance and regulatory amendments including such significant policy efforts as the Countywide Transportation Plan, Housing Policies Plan, Healthcare Facilities Plan, Heritage Preservation Plan, Route 28 and Route 50 Corridor Plans. He also represented the Planning Commission on the Housing Stakeholders Group.
“Bob was a dear friend who I loved like a brother,” Buona said. “He devoted his life to his family, his community and his church. Loudoun County has suffered a devastating loss and I ask that our community pray for his family as they deal with his passing.”