Leesburg Airport Leaders Concerned About County Noise Policy Changes

Proposed changes to the Loudoun’s comprehensive plan regarding noise buffers around airports are motivating Leesburg leaders to convene a working group to state the case to county supervisors on why such a change is a bad idea.

Airport Commission Chairman Dennis Boykin briefed the Town Council on the concern Monday night. He said a comprehensive plan amendment that will be up for review by county supervisors by early 2022 seeks to remove the one-mile notification zone around both Dulles Airport and Leesburg Executive Airport. That notification requires potential homebuyers to be informed of their proximity to an airport, and the resulting potential noise impacts, ahead of a sale.

The proposed change, Boykin said, is based on projected changes in the 2019 Washington Dulles International Noise Contour Map Update. While he said he has not spoken directly with the county staff to understand the motivation for the change, Boykin said based on discussions that he and Airport Manager Scott Coffman had with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, with the noise contours at Dulles changing substantially, county leaders may be concerned that “existing homeowners would be subsumed by the [notification] requirement and it would be a mess for them.”

Boykin said members of the Airport Commission recommend that a more formal agreement be put in place between the town and the county that states that the town must be consulted should a change to the Airport Noise Impact Area, or in Leesburg the Airport Impact Overlay District, be proposed.

He also suggested creating a working group to formalize its recommendations to the county. It would be similar to a previous one put in place in 2004 when the controversial proposed Crosstrails residential development by Peterson Companies sought to place thousands of residential units along the airport perimeter. The working group then, both he and Mayor Kelly Burk recalled, had a council member, airport leader and a constituent take county supervisors one by one on a tour of Leesburg Airport and explain their concerns.

The approach this time around is expected to be similar, and comes at a time when another proposed residential development, the Village at Clear Springs, is up for county review. While Developer Hobie Mitchel has proposed some changes to his application, including providing a navigation easement to the airport, Boykin said the proposed development still includes age-restricted housing, which is a concern.

“Residential projects don’t mix with airports,” he said.

Boykin also that a second proposed residential development near the airport is coming around the bend, although he did not have any details.

The council was expected Tuesday to vote to configure the working group.

krodriguez@loudounnow.com

One thought on “Leesburg Airport Leaders Concerned About County Noise Policy Changes

  • 2021-11-09 at 3:58 pm
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    The removal of the one-mile notification zone around both Dulles Airport and Leesburg Executive Airport can be chalked up to one thing–Democrat corruption on the BoS. Why in the world would you remove this notification unless your development cronies were pushing you to do it?

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