County supervisors have voted to start wheels turning on a study of ways to improve a section of Ashburn Road.
County staff members will now look in the county’s budget for funding for a study of Ashburn Road between Gloucester Parkway and Ashburn Farm Parkway, a 1.7-mile stretch that crosses the W&OD Trail in Old Ashburn.
According to a staff report, much of the development along Ashburn Road has been by-right—meaning builders did not need to seek permission from the supervisors, nor did they have to negotiate agreements such as building sidewalks. That meant there are gaps in the road’s curbs, gutters, and sidewalks.
The road section also has two residential developments under consideration, which could bring more traffic; the W&OD trail, which crosses the road; and other places of worship, education, business, and the Ashburn Fire and Rescue Station. The road draws frequent complaints about drainage problems, traffic congestion, and the lack of pedestrian facilities.
That same area was part of the reason that last year county supervisors and Planning Commissioners rushed to update the rules for a zoning district that allowed housing but had no upper limit on how densely it could be built—meaning, essentially, a developer could pack in as many townhouses as could fit on the lot. Supervisors capped development at four units per acre, similar to neighborhoods of single-family homes.
Supervisors voted 8-0-1 to start that work, with County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) absent.