With Loudoun’s elected leaders and planning staff eager to get started on work updating the county’s comprehensive plan, supervisors have begun to make their appointments to the citizen steering committee that will help guide the process.
That panel will ultimately have 26 members: two planning commissioners, 15 representatives from various special interests, and a resident appointed by each of the nine county supervisors.
Four supervisors have made their picks.
At-Large, Mike Turner
Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) has selected U.S. Air Force Colonel and nonprofit executive Mike Turner to be the at-large representative on the stakeholder committee.
Turner is a former Loudoun County Democratic Committee chairman and ran alongside
Randall for the Ashburn District seat on the Board of Supervisors in 2015. He serves as vice president of the Military Officers Association of America, an advocacy group, and as executive director of the Military Family Initiative, a nonprofit launched by MOAA. During his time in the Air Force, Turner was a pilot before serving as a strategic planner for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including work planning and executing Operation Desert Storm.
“The general focus of this rewrite is going to be the east and the Metro station buildouts, which we really have to get right,” Turner said. “It’s going to transform Loudoun, and we we have to get it right.”
Turner said transportation would be a major focus of the new plan, and that, too, will focus on the east. He would like to see more options bicyclists and pedestrians in the east, particularly around Metro stops.
“I think we have a pretty strong desire to keep the transition area sacrosanct western Loudoun’s pristine nature relatively intact,” Turner said.
Leesburg, Wendy Yacoub
Leesburg District Supervisor Kristen C. Umstattd (D) has appointed Wendy Yacoub, a government teacher at Tuscarora High School. Yacoub said she would bring that perspective to the stakeholders committee as Loudoun schools race to keep up with growth.
“Right now, I want to give them a perspective of what happens to schools as a community
is growing, so they can take that into consideration,” Yacoub said. She said Loudoun faces the threat of overcrowding and larger class sizes. “I don’t think they realize the impact. You only realize the impact when you’re inside the classroom. We still do a great job, but we can do an even better job.”
Prior to working in the schools, Yacoub worked for the Department of Defense. Now, she goes to great lengths in the classroom to get her kids interested and involved in local government, and wants to get more teachers involved in the county, too.
“I would love to see more people who work in the schools live in the county, because then we’re going to be more vested,” Yacoub said. “I feel like I’m going to be more vested because I live here.”
Broad Run, Lou Canonico
Broad Run District Supervisor Ron A. Meyer Jr. (R) has nominated land planner and engineer Lou Canonico to the committee. Canonico is also the current vice chairman of the county’s Zoning Ordinance Action Group, as well as a past chairman of the Loudoun County Economic Development Commission and past president of the Northern Virginia Building
Association’s Loudoun chapter. He is currently co-chair of the Loudoun subcommittee of the government relations committee for NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association.
Canonico is vice president of the christopher consultants’ Special Services Division and he oversees landscape architecture, land planning, and urban forestry. He also served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
He also said he wants to focus on the county’s suburban areas and transportation.
“To some extent, I think the plan needs to look at the transition areas, in terms of what the current plan tried to achieve in terms of protecting and/or guiding development in those areas,” Canonico said. He said the new plan is a good opportunity to look at redeveloping some of the county’s older developed portions.
“I think the plan needs to look at the overall transportation integration in the county, especially with Metro coming,” Canonico said. “I think it needs to continue to focus on roads, but I think it also needs to take a more detailed look at multimodal transportation connectivity between communities, whether that’s bus or hiker-biker.”
Algonkian, Chris Glassmoyer
Algonkian District Supervisor Suzanne M. Volpe (R) appointed Loudoun County Public Schools civil engineer Chris Glassmoyer, who is responsible for the engineering of all school construction projects. He also currently serves on the county’s Facilities Standards Manual Public Review Committee.
Before joining the school system in 2015, Glassmoyer worked as assistant director of design and construction and as transportation manager at the county Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure. Before 2011, he worked as an engineer in the private sector, including as director of design at christopher consultants.
Glassmoyer said he’d like to do “more listening and talking.”
“What it comes down to is, I want to reach out to a lot of folks,” Glassmoyer said. He also expressed concern that about the size of committee: “How are are we going to get anything done with like 30 groups? That’s my concern.”
However, Glassmoyer says his experience in both the public and private sectors gives him a good perspective on working with developers to move the county in the right direction. He said developers with projects in the south of the county have been forgoing the rezoning process, which allows the county to collect proffers to help offset the cost of infrastructure, and instead building by-right.
“I think if they’re going to build by-right, then we have to make sure that the zoning makes sense for what’s actually going to go where it’s going to go,” Glassmoyer said. On the other hand, he also said the county would have to be flexible with developers: “We can’t just say ‘no, no, no, you can’t have extra density because it’s going to tax public services,’ when if they’re going to provide public services then we should be more flexible.”
Five more board-appointed resident seats remain open, as well as those seats allotted to representatives of special interests such as Realtors or Dulles Airport.
See more information on the comprehensive plan update here.