The National Conference Center is asking for Loudoun County Public Schools’ help as part of its plans to build 27 age-restricted townhouses in Lansdowne.
The NCC has requested that the school system exchange about 16,090 square feet of land on the Riverside High School campus to provide a public access point for residents of those proposed townhouses.
The NCC’s initial application had traffic from those townhouses running on Charlena Beth Drive between the high school and the conference center. The new option proposes to convert the existing emergency access, located across from Thomas Lee Drive, north of Charlena Beth Drive, to a public street. That would allow for the NCC access road to Charlena Beth Drive to be converted into an emergency-only access road.
School system senior staff members are recommending that the School Board approve the land swap at its next meeting Sept. 12. They said it would eliminate the mixing of residential traffic with school traffic, and the associated concerns for on-site traffic conflicts, liability and setting a precedent.
Kevin Lewis, assistant superintendent of Support Services, told the School Board at its Aug. 8 meeting that keeping Charlena Beth Drive the access point for the townhouses could cause problems.
“We felt like it was not a good situation there and the additional traffic would cause some concerns in terms of risks of accidents,” he said.
School Board member Eric Hornberger (Ashburn) said he and his colleagues will likely support staff’s recommendation to allow for the land exchange because it is a benefit for Riverside High School.
“I do think many in the community will be opposed to the broader application because it will be more traffic on the roads,” he added. “But that’s probably an issue for the Board of Supervisors.”
NCC still must get the final green light from the county government to build the townhouses. The conference center plans to submit a revised development application to the county Board of Supervisors for approval. Its initial application, which was opposed by county planners, requested approval to rezone eight acres for 32 townhouses. The new application will request 27 townhouses.