Planning Commission’s Comp Plan Draft Simplifies, Maximizes

Loudoun County planners have released the latest draft of the county’s new comprehensive plan, which they say maximizes the potential for residential development in the suburban and urban policy areas.

The new plan includes a new emphasis on urban development, with several types of urban place types—one of which, in the latest draft, is condensed from previous versions to simplify the plan. Those place types, which emphasize the look and layout of an area rather than the types of businesses and residences that can go there, are a signature of the new plan—although suggested uses remain in the description of those place types. The latest draft of the plan combines several categories of similar place types into fewer sections with longer, more detailed descriptions and illustrations.

And Deputy Director of Planning and Zoning Alaina Ray said the latest draft implements the Planning Commission’s direction by maximizing the potential for residential development in the county’s suburban and urban areas.

“You will see additional housing options such as compact residential development in the suburban policy area, and you’ll see the infill and revitalization,” Ray told the Planning Commission. “We have targeted those a little heavier in the plan, and tried to provide some additional guidance on those.”

The latest draft also adds language calling for a new Potomac River crossing, incorporating renewed discussions among supervisors and Planning Commissioners over the last few years. It also reflects a vote by supervisors in September favoring a specific route for a new crossing: a connection on Rt. 7 from the interchange at Rt. 28 or at Loudoun County Parkway. A new river crossing—likely a bridge—already appears in the county’s current Countywide Transportation Plan, part of the county’s current comprehensive plan.

The new plan also answers some concerns around planning around Dulles International Airport by standardizing maps to show the centerlines of the airport’s runways, along with depicting street names and landmarks. It also adds a policy encouraging installation of electric vehicle charging stations, a first for Loudoun.

Not in the plan: a section on quality development and design-related guidelines, which is expected after a workshop with consultants in November.

A public hearing on the latest draft is scheduled for Nov. 7. The full draft can be seen at loudoun.gov/Loudoun2040.

rgreene@loudounnow.com

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