Letter: Emily Houston, Paeonian Springs

Editor: “Bravo, Bravo” I say to the Board of Supervisors for sending the message loudly and clearly to the Envision Loudoun Stakeholders’ Committee that the idea of putting 18,000 new homes in the Transition Policy Area demonstrates that they are, in the words of Supervisor Letourneau, on “a completely different planet.”

Consider what 18,000 more homes would mean to the TPA in terms of traffic. VDOT, when evaluating the impact of new development, assumes that each home generates 10 vehicle trips per day on the roads providing access. That may seem high until you consider the daily lives of a typical Loudoun household.  Perhaps two parents commute to and from work. Perhaps two children are taken to and from various after-school activities. A UPS truck makes a delivery. A lawn service company arrives and departs. A friend is driven over for a play date and picked up again later. There’s another trip to (and from) the grocery store. Before you know it, vehicles have come and gone from that household 10, or possibly more, times per day.

The math is simple: 18,000 more houses means 180,000 more vehicle trips per day on surrounding roads.

Much of the TPA is already in gridlock. At last week’s meeting, Supervisor Letourneau, whose district includes parts of the TPA, was clearly exasperated. “It took me 51 minutes to get from my house to the Greenway” to attend the Board meeting, he said, “at an average speed of 13 miles an hour.”

Supervisor Ron Meyer, in addressing the issue, asked, “Are we going to invent flying cars?”

Bravo to Supervisor Higgins for telling the Stakeholders’ Committee that their recommendations are “going in the exact wrong direction from what the people in the county have told us.” BRAVO to Supervisor Buffington who said that the options presented were “way off track and I am concerned we are not listening to the public.”  Bravo to Chair Randall, who described the recommendations as “illogical.”

And thank you to Supervisor Umstattd who reminded everyone that such growth also burdens the county with school needs. But that is a whole ‘nother story.

Emily Houston, Paeonian Springs

2 thoughts on “Letter: Emily Houston, Paeonian Springs

  • 2017-10-09 at 4:02 pm
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    Seems to me that the nice people of the west are forgetting that there are 25,000 by-right lots in western Loudoun. Leaving the Transition Policy Area “as-is” at 2,000 remaining lots will only hasten the time when residential growth will flow into the west. Even with the County’s lower estimate of required new dwelling units, Suburban and TPA lots will soon be depleted. Owners in the west will begin to heed the siren call of money for land from developers who need more dirt on which to build new homes. The growth around the metro stations, which is primarily condos and town homes, will not fulfill the demand as the millennials start families and start looking for single family housing. The logical approach might be to bite the bullet now, expand lots in the TPA and further postpone the inevitable march to the west.

    • 2017-10-12 at 3:17 pm
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      Fear monger much?

      Your logic makes no sense. If you build the 18,000 additional homes, then they will build the 25,000 homes in the West next. So, we will get 43,000 houses instead of 25,000. That’s a no-brainer. We’ll take the smaller.

      The motivation is obvious. High density means developers can buy a small parcel of land and put many houses on it for maximum profit. If they build out west, then can build by-right, but that will be 1 house on a large tract so profit nosedives.

      Your boogeyman tactic is badly flawed.

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