Loudoun’s ever-growing town center at the junction of Rt. 7 and Loudoun County Parkway is launching the next phase of its development.
On the same day it broke ground on nearly 400 new apartments, scheduled to be completed by 2021, One Loudoun’s developers also faced a public hearing on their proposal to rezone the area once planned for a minor league baseball stadium. With those plans having fallen through despite years of effort, the development is switching back to something more resembling of the original approvals when it was first proposed. That includes up to 620,000 square feet of nonresidential development; 13.4 acres currently designated as open space switched to office park zoning, with no development proposal on the table yet; 2.8 acres rezoned from commercial center zoning to residential uses for 27 townhouses; and another 16.3 acres in the central park open spare area rezoned from office park to town center, again with no proposed development.
Also among the new zoning requests: allowing a 25,000-square-foot brewery and tasting room with frontage on Rt. 7.
The proposal, which faced opposition during the public hearing and some concerns from county planners, has been sent to a Planning Commission work session for further discussion. County planners were concerned about the lack of affordable housing units in this and previous rezoning cases at One Loudoun, which is not providing the recommended number of open space easements, unmet housing needs contributions, or affordable dwelling units.
Planners also expressed concern about the lack of detail in the proposals for town center development and for the brewery. And they recommend the developer provide a stoplight at the intersection of Russell Branch Parkway and Northpark Drive, which the developer has not done.
Commission Chairman Fred Jennings (Ashburn) said the application may take some time to work through, given its outstanding issues, but dismissed concerns from residents that it would impact their property values. He pointed to reports indicating the demand for housing units in Loudoun far outpaces the supply.
“I would say that’s part of a much broader, macro event going on, but there is no shortage of need for housing of various sizes in the county,” Jennings said.