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Votes

Belmont Glen Wins Approval

The new subdivision will garner over a million dollars in proffers for the county.

After three years of negotiation, another chunk of Loudoun County land will become the site of a residential development.

Belmont Glen L.C., a McLean developer, submitted for rezoning a 143-acre tract on the west side of Belmont Ridge Road just a half-mile south of the Dulles Greenway. The parcel was rezoned to Planned Development-Housing by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

By altering the zoning from Single Family Residential, the board paved the way for a community that could include up to 196 single family detached dwellings.

While another planned development is nothing new in Loudoun County, Belmont Glen has been rejected three times by the supervisors. Supervisors cited environmental concerns in a vote held last October, when they decided to send the proposal back to the Land Use Committee.

Belmont Glen fronts Goose Creek and sits in close proximity to the Goose Creek and Beaverdam reservoirs.

NOW, WITH A REVISED set of proffers that total $1,135,000 in cash contributions, Belmont Glen is a go.

"They're meeting all the requirements that are asked of them," Sugarland Run District Supervisor Mick Staton said.

In addition to the cash contribution, the proffers include a playground with $10,000 worth of equipment, a 14-foot-wide public access easement for a walking trail along Belmont Ridge Road and a 61-acre open space along Goose Creek for recreation and conservation purposes.

Still, Blue Ridge District Supervisor Jim Burton isn't satisfied.

In the past three Belmont proposals, according to Burton, the cash contribution proffer has steadily increased by approximately $300,000 each time — until this new rezoning request, where it dropped back to the original $1,135,000 offer.

"It's all very confusing," he said. "I just wish that they would have contributed more. I think they are able to contribute more."

He added, "I voted against this three times before, and I will be opposed to it the fourth time."

"I JUST DON'T GET IT," Potomac District Bruce Tulloch said. "I don't understand when an applicant comes forwards and meets all expectations."

He asked Burton, "Are we voting no because there's nothing anyone can do to meet your level of service?"

Proffers are guidelines, Dulles District Supervisor Stephen Snow stressed.

"There is no obligation in the state of Virginia for the developer to pay a proffer. There is no loss, there is no obligation," he said.

Proffers, or a deal where a developer offers cash and building contributions in exchange for development rights, help fund public projects.

Without proffers, "we had no money for schools, roads, health and human services, " Snow said. "We had nothing. Zero. I do not consider that to be smart growth."

Despite the once-again rewritten proffers, the rezoning of Belmont Glen passed by a 6-3 vote, with Burton, Chairman Scott York and Catoctin District Supervisor Sally Kurtz opposing.

According to the developer, construction on the property will not begin for at least a year.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, the supervisors voted to declare Feb. 5 "President Ronald Reagan Day." They also voted to send the water and sewer system construction proposal for Tall Oaks, a Sterling subdivision, to the Loudoun County Sanitation Authority to request financing.