The Planning Commission voted 6-2 to recommend approval of the Comprehensive Plan amendment for the rural west at its Monday, Aug. 28, work session. Commissioners Helena Syska (Sterling) and Suzanne Volpe (Sugarland Run) voted against the recommendation. There was no commission representative from the Dulles district since Commissioner Lawrence Beerman resigned at the beginning of the month. Dulles supervisor Stephen Snow (R) is expected to nominate Dulles resident Barbara Munsey at the board's first meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 5.
The recommendation comes after the commission voted to send the Comprehensive Plan amendment to a work session following a joint public hearing with the Board of Supervisors July 24 in order to give the proposal further study. Monday's work session was the first meeting held since the county government went on recess for the month of August.
The July 24 joint hearing was scheduled after the board decided at its June 20 work session on the proposed policies not to accept the Planning Commission's recertification of its recommendations and to send the proposed CPAM back to the commission.
The Planning Commission's original recommendations for approval came March 20 and the board needed to take action by June 18 in order to avoid recertification. Since the June 18 lapsed without a vote, the board decided to readvertise the downzoning and hold another public hearing rather than risk making themselves vulnerable to lawsuits. Since the Supervisors chose only to send the CPAM back to the Planning Commission, the board continued to work on zoning ordinances, or regulations, and other policies, completing its work at a work session July 5.
If approved by the board, the CPAM would restore a large amount of the 2003 zoning. The 2003 zoning, which was overturned by the Virginia Supreme Court in March 2005, was more restrictive and required lower densities than the current proposal. Following the court's decision, the Rural Policy Area reverted to A-3 zoning, which allows for one dwelling unit per three acres.
The proposal in question supports AR-1 zoning, which allows for one house per 10- or 20-acre lot, in the southern portion of western Loudoun, and AR-2 zoning, which allows for one house per 20- or 40-acre lot, in the northern portion.
The Board of Supervisors will hold its first meeting following the month-long recess Tuesday, Sept. 5, at 9:30 a.m.