Lansdowne Village Greens, a town center project, would essentially complete the Lansdowne on the Potomac development. The proposed project has divided current residents, however, who turned out in force to two public meetings this week on the subject.
A town hall meeting hosted by Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run) drew more than 150 people on Monday evening, while a Board of Supervisors public hearing held on Tuesday evening was still running as of the Connection's press time.
Residents spoke both for and against the project, which proposes 598 residential units and 2 million square feet of office, commercial and retail space. The town center would be the first planned development in Loudoun to have live-work spaces — three-level buildings with business on the first floor and apartments above.
Lansdowne Village Greens is a project of Lansdowne Community Development.
Residents of Leisure World, an upscale retirement community within Lansdowne, were in favor of the project.
Seniors like to walk a lot, said Francis Gros Lewis. "Approval of the Village Greens plan will result in additional trails and walking paths," he said. It would also result in safer walking, since traffic lights on Lansdowne Boulevard and Riverside Parkway are part of the proffers agreement.
Ryan Cox agreed.
"I look forward to being able to walk to the grocery store," he said.
RESIDENTS WHO OPPOSED the development worried about western parts of Lansdowne having to bus children to other schools when new population forces them out of Selden's Landing Elementary.
"Our children will have to risk being ostracized," said Richard Loucks.
To offset the estimated 93 new children created by the new population, part of the proffers includes adding rooms to Selden's Landing Elementary, but a representative for Lansdowne Community Development, attorney Benjamin Tompkins, was quick to point out in his presentation that the opening of Newton-Lee Elementary next year will lessen the load on Selden's Landing.
Nearly 300 students are already expected to live in Lansdowne in the near future due to other pending development, in addition to the estimated 93.
Loucks, like others, was concerned about the traffic implications as well.
"Lansdowne will undoubtedly be known as a traffic nightmare," he said.
A study by the developer showed that traffic will increase by three to five percent in the area.
What had riled some speakers, however, was comments made at the September Planning Commission public hearing, where people spoke out against the multi-family units that would house the people working in the new town center.
"This is pure snobbery, and I am offended," said Brad Rush.
Waters, a Lansdowne resident herself, has spent many hours negotiating with Lansdowne Community Development president Leonard "Hobie" Mitchel. Between her talks with him, the number of houses has been reduced by nearly 40 percent and the village green area widened. She had planned to present a motion to send the application back to the Transportation/Land Use committee for further discussion, but the decision had not been made by the Connection's press time.