Loudoun Supervisors to Consider Central Water Extension to Rural Public Sites

Supervisors have begun work amending the county’s comprehensive plan to allow central water and sewer service to connect to government-owned sites in the Rural Policy Area, but bordering the Transition Policy Area.

Central water and sewer provided by Loudoun Water are not permitted outside of towns in the county’s rural policy area, stopping at the western edge of the Transition Policy Area—which divides it from the Suburban Policy Area to the east and cuts the county roughly in half at Leesburg, then follows the county’s southern border to the east.

Supervisors voted unanimously June 16 to begin amending the comprehensive plan to make an exception for publicly owned facilities that border the transition area, potentially saving the county government some money on new sites. Western supervisors Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) and Caleb A. Kershner (R-Catoctin) were cautious.

“We hear a lot from our constituents when folks start talking about bringing public water and sewer past the Transition Policy Area, where it’s currently allowed, into the Rural Policy Area,” Buffington said. “Because that brings pressure—whether you want to admit that or not—that absolutely brings pressure for development of other things such as homes, cluster development, anything near that area, because the water’s already there.”

Buffington proposed and found support for a motion to begin work that specifically targets publicly owned facilities bordering the transition area, and excludes any other connections to that water and sewer extension.

But the work of crafting the new comprehensive plan language is still ahead; beginning a comprehensive plan amendment kicks off a process that includes draft language by county planners and public hearings at both the Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission before coming back to supervisors for a final vote.

The proposal comes after the Loudoun County Public Schools staff identified potential sites for future school buildings at the border of the Rural Policy Area.


2 thoughts on “Loudoun Supervisors to Consider Central Water Extension to Rural Public Sites

  • 2020-06-25 at 9:14 pm

    Supervisor Buffington is right to be concerned here. Even if it is just “right on the border” extended public water and sewer into the RPA is going to be very hard to “undo” when someone asks “well its right next door at the school, why can’t I have it extended to my new development, and since there’s public utilities, can we re-zone it to higher density as well? Just seems like an incredibly slippery slope. It might save the school system a little bit on the purchase price for a lot, but the additional infrastructure and maintenance costs over time don’t seem like it lead to much savings.

  • 2020-06-28 at 11:43 am

    This began as a way to get public water and sewer to a 173-acre school site. Then it turned grotesque. Imagine hundreds of miles- or more – of water and sewer lines latticing western Loudoun. Developers will eventually find some way to tap into that system, and western Loudoun will be lost.

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