Editor: Believe it or not, the Planning Commission has completely changed the draft plan presented to citizens over the past two years of Envision Loudoun. Citizens were concerned with that plan. But this one is ridiculous.
The proposed 2040 Comprehensive Plan is a massively pro-growth document with little regard for any priorities other than more housing. It proposes more than an additional 20,000 homes in the Transition Policy Area alone. While purporting to maintain the objectives of the Transition Policy Area and the Rural Policy Area, the draft plan, in fact, introduces suburban densities throughout the TPA, removes acreage from the Rural Policy Area. The proposed changes are absurd and an insult to every citizen group that has worked for two years to limit growth to sustainable levels. Nearly every undeveloped parcel gets up-zoned in some way.
Citizen input, via multiple forums and workshops, was strongly for protection of open space; more parks and trails (county-wide); and a commitment to control overdevelopment in the western part of the county. Nothing in the document—other than soft guidelines for developers to follow within each parcel—looks remotely like a master plan for parks, trails, and continuous habitats. The eastern part of the county is underserved by parks; there is still land nearby in the TPA that can be reserved. This is a defining lost opportunity and will haunt the county in the future unless addressed.
Finally, it appears that the county would be giving a tremendous financial gift to the development community, with no return. These rezonings should not happen.
Bill Carney, Aldie