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Re-thinking School Sites

The Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission will be holding a joint public hearing Tuesday, March 23, on a proposed zoning ordinance amendment to allow schools in commercial and industrial districts by special exception. The amendment was initiated by Supervisor Stephen Snow (R-Dulles).

Currently schools are permitted in more than 30 different zoning districts within the county. Under the proposal, four more would be added: planned development-office park, planned development-research and development park, planned development-industrial park, and planned development-general industry.

"Schools are permitted in several different districts. It depends on the type of school, public or private; the capacity and type of district," said Amy Lohr, a staff planner with the Department of Zoning Administration. "If passed, this would allow schools in four specific districts in addition to what is already allowed. It is not a by-right use, but a special-exception use."

The joint hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m., at the Harper Park Middle School, 701 Potomac Station Drive in Leesburg.

BEFORE THE JOINT HEARING, the Planning Commission will be holding a pubic hearing on seven applications Monday, March 15, beginning at 6 p.m., at the County Government Center, 1 Harrison St. S.E. in the supervisor's meeting room.

Among the agenda items are:

* Belmont School Site, Broad Run election district. The Loudoun County School Board is asking to amend the concept development plan and proffers approved with an earlier application to permit an elementary school instead of the proffered middle school on a 36-acre site within the Belmont development. The site is on Stubble Road, north of the W & OD Trail, southwest of Glouceser Parkway, east of Belmont Ridge Road and west of the planned extension of the Clairborne Parkway.

* Stone Ridge Comprehensive Sign Plan, Dulles election district. The Stone Ridge Community Development is seeking a special exception to modify its comprehensive sign package, including changes to the permitted number, location, size, height, type and illumination of signs. The property is located on both sides of the Tall Cedars Parkway, south of John Mosby Highway and west of Gum Springs Road.

* Cameron Chase Village Center Comprehensive Sign Package, Broad Run election district. ServiceStar Property Advisors is seeking a special exception to modify the comprehensive sign package including sign area, number, height, design, materials, color, location, mounting, landscaping and illumination. The property, Ice Rink Plaza, is at the intersection of Smith Switch Road and Farmwell Road.

* Restoration of the Western Transportation Corridor to the Revised Countywide Transportation Plan. The amendment could restore the proposed western bypass to the countywide transportation plan. It was removed from the plan in 2001. The corridor is described as one mile wide and generally running north-south along the Dominion Virginia Power north-south power line.

* Dulles Trade Center IV, Dulles election district. The application is seeking to rezone approximately 20 acres from planned development-general industrial to planned development-commercial center. In addition, there is a special exception permit request for a automobile service station with a car wash, a bank with a drive through and restaurants with drive-through facilities. The property is located on the west side of Old Ox Road opposite Beaver Meadow Road.