Another Transit Center?

Another Transit Center?

Loudoun Station proposed as smaller Transit-Related Center near Dulles Greenway.

Long before rail arrives in Dulles possibly in 2015, developers are planning two transit-oriented developments at the last rail stop at Route 772.

One of the developments is on 600 acres and is proposed to include 6,000 units and a mix of office, commercial, civic and park space. In December 2002, the Board of Supervisors approved the rezoning for Moorefield Station from Countryside Residential (CR-1) to a Planned Development — Transit-Related Center (PD-TRC) that will be phased in as bus and rail services are brought online.

A second development known as Loudoun Station is proposed for up to 1,514 multi-family rental and condominium units on a 43-acre site. Developer Comstock Loudoun Station, L.C. submitted a rezoning application in August to rezone the property from Planned Development — Office Park (PD-OP) to PD-TRC. The property is to the northeast of the Dulles Greenway, or Route 267, and Moorefield Station to the southwest.

“It’s a constrained property,” said Van Armstrong, program manager for the county Department of Planning. “The mixed use of it is of such a vibrancy, it will make the transit stop function well.”

THE APPLICATION for Loudoun Station includes condominiums only, since it is located in the core area closest to the transit stop, where townhouses and single-family homes are prohibited and the highest density is allowed. Loudoun Station can include up to 3 million square feet of office and retail space and is proposed to include a hotel and a multiplex theater, along with other commercial uses.

County ordinance requires construction of Loudoun Station to be phased in as automobile, bus and rail services become available. The county requires the automobile phase-in to coordinate with the use of existing and improved roadways to allow 16 units per acre, or 484 units, and .6 million square feet of commercial space.

In the second phase, the number of units allowed would increase to 32 per acre, or 1,081, and the commercial space to 1 million square feet. In that phase, commuter bus services will need to be provided to the project site to and from Washington, D.C. using the Dulles Greenway. The final phase, which allows 50 units per acre and 2 million square feet of commercial space, would coordinate with the expansion of metro rail to Dulles through the Dulles Corridor Rapid Transit Project.

“I just feel it’s premature. We’re going to end up with residential units and no roads,” said Planning Commissioner Wendell Hansen (Dulles). “It’s 10 years too soon. They got to put the roads up front, not in the middle of it. We’re still working with them, [but] they don’t want to give in on it.”

Waxpool, Shellhorn and Ryan roads need to be finished before construction begins, Hansen continued. Among other proffers, Comstock offered to proffer several road improvements, including:

* Phase 1, widening sections of Shellhorn Road, or Route 643, from Loudoun Station Boulevard to Ryan Road, or Route 772, and constructing Loudoun Station Boulevard as a four-lane roadway from Shellhorn Road to Center Street.

* Phase 2, widening sections of Ryan Road from Shellhorn Road to the Dulles Greenway.

* Phase 3, providing additional improvements to Shellhorn Road and Loudoun County Parkway, along with land for a bus station and later for rail commuter parking.

SUPERVISOR William Bogard (R-Sugarland Run) considers proposed developments such as Loudoun and Moorefield stations to be Smart Growth developments.

“The density is triggered to the availability of mass transit and other transportation facilities, like roads,” Bogard said. “It’s Smart Growth in that Moorefield Station is located in an area where we plan to have transportation infrastructure. … It’s in an area planned for central water and sewer, and schools by that time should be in place. And it has a variety of housing options.”

The Planning Commission is scheduled on Oct. 8 to review Comstock’s proffer statement and concept plan for Loudoun Station and forward a final recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the application on Nov. 5.

If approved, construction of Loudoun Station can begin within the next two years with full build-out taking about 20 years.