Editorial: Stay Engaged

The community controversy over AT&T’s plans to expand its telecommunication center on top of Short Hill Mountain was perfectly timed for the future of Loudoun County.

Well, it was if the people now engaged in the nitty-gritty of Loudoun planning and zoning policies continue to pay attention as county leaders begin a comprehensive update of the General Plan.

Over the next year or so, committees will hunker down in small conference rooms to debate new visions for future development, comb through reams of reports, wordsmith countless paragraphs, and, in the end, recommend a collection of new policies that will shape our community for decades.

It’s not exciting stuff, but—as the neighbors in northern Loudoun have come to understand in recent weeks—it is important to their quality of life. This is where the community sets the priorities for preserving mountainsides and preventing high-intensity uses like data centers from dotting the rural landscape.

It also is where concerns that might be higher on your priority list are addressed: Traffic congestion, recreation opportunities, job centers, housing options. It is going to provide a roadmap for the redevelopment—or revitalization—of older neighborhoods. It will set the pace and scale of future development.

Staying involved now will result in fewer headaches for residents down the road. This is where backyard issues should be addressed. Too often when the development proposals roll in it is too late to get them right. That almost happened on Short Hill. It can happen in your neighborhood.

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