The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has set the course for how it will spend a lot of its time for the next two years: updating the comprehensive plan.
That plan is to guide development in the county for the next 20 to 30 years, and consists of the General Plan, last revised in 2001; the Countywide Transportation Plan, which was updated in 2010; and a number of strategic plans on specific topics and areas, such as the Bicycle and Pedestrian Mobility Master Plan, the Heritage Preservation Plan, and the Arcola Area/Rt. 50 Corridor Plan.
Supervisors unanimously approved the comprehensive plan charter—the plan to revise the plan—at their April 21 meeting. The charter directs that the comprehensive plan review look at nine major areas: economic development, transition policy areas, residential housing choice and diversity, redevelopment and reuse, the suburban policy area, community facilities and infrastructure, quality development, fiscal management, and growth management.
Supervisor Suzanne M. Volpe (R-Algonkian) chairs the board’s Transportation and Land Use Committee that recommended the charter. Volpe suggested adding the ninth topic of review—growth management. Vice Chairman Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn) agreed.
“What can we afford from a growth perspective, and over what timeframe?” Buona said. “I don’t think that question’s ever been answered.”
The charter also proposes help from a new place: a stakeholder committee composed of planning commissioners, supervisors’ appointees, and representatives from 15 special interests, including the Chamber of Commerce, the Dulles Area Association of Realtors, the Economic Development Advisory Commission, the Housing Advisory Board, Visit Loudoun, The Piedmont Environmental Council, and the Washington Airports Taskforce, among others.
The stakeholder committee will serve as an advisory group to the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission as the county develops the new comprehensive plan.
Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) said she is “excited” to start work.
“This is a heavy lift, but I am sure that we are the board to do this, and this is the time to do it, and I am confident that we have the right plan, the right charter, the right staff, and the right board to get it done,” Randall said.
With the new charter in hand, Planning and Zoning Director Ricky Barker was eager to get started.
“I can’t tell you how much this is going to be helpful to the process, because you’ve set a course for us as a staff and as a community on what we need to do to be successful,” Barker said. He asked the board to make its appointments to the stakeholders committee at its next business meeting to open the way for a first stakeholder committee meeting in June.