Planning Commission Letter to Supervisors

September 27, 2016

Honorable Phyllis Randall, Chairman
Loudoun County Board of Supervisors
1 Harrison St. S.E.
Leesburg, Virginia 20175

Re: Changes in Applications

Dear Chairman Randall,

I would like to make the Board aware of some concerns that the Planning Commission has regarding unsolicited changes made to applications after the Planning Commission review and recommendation. Specifically this relates to the One Loudoun application (ZCPA 2015-0013, ZMAP 2015-0007 and ZMOD 2015-0011). This application was discussed at three separate meetings of the Planning Commission where the Commission invested over 5 hours discussing an array of issues.

Specifically, during the July 19, 2016 Work Session the Commission supported this application based on an agreement to change their requested Route 7 setback reduction from their original 100-foot setback modification to a 245-foot setback modification. It stated that this set back would meet the needs of a prospective client. The Planning Commission had a very detailed discussion on this issue, and the applicant’s agreement to a 245-foot setback caused at least two Planning Commissioners to change their “no” vote to a “yes” vote; thereby changing the outcome of the recommendation going to the Board of Supervisors.

Once at the Board of Supervisors, the applicant changed their request to a 200’ setback along Rt. 7, which is not what the Planning Commission supported.

This is of significant concern on several levels. First, this applicant appears to have immediately discounted the Planning Commission vote,” Salmon wrote. “Secondly, the Board action without consideration of the Commission recommendation tells other applicants that the vote of the Planning Commission is not relevant to a final decision and they have free reign to change their application after the Commission review.

The Planning Commission respectfully asks that the Board consider returning this and other applications to the Planning Commission when unsolicited and substantial changes, whether in number or importance, are made by applicants subsequent to Commission action.

Respectfully submitted,

 

Jeff Salmon, Chairman
Dulles District Planning Commissioner

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