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Votes

Route 50 Makeover

Supervisors Approve More Than 600 Houses

Thanks to the Board of Supervisors approval Tuesday, Loudoun County’s Route 50 corridor will look more attractive in years to come.

Project developers Equinox Investments submitted an application to the Board of Supervisors to rezone approximately 79 acres of land south of Route 50 on the west side of Pleasant Valley Road to build 621 residential units and 202,958 square feet of office and commercial space.

The board voted unanimously to approve the rezoning of Dulles South land along Route 50 on Tuesday, Feb 21.

The project, known as East Gate, was created as part of Route 50 Task Force, a group formed by Supervisor Steven Snow (R-Dulles) to get public input on the future of Route 50, findings.

Supervisor Lori Waters (R-Broad Run) gave Snow "high remarks and commendations for bringing this all together."

"I think that you set out on a mission of upgrading this area and I think that you’ve done that," she said.

EQUINOX INVESTMENTS will build a third westbound lane on Route 50 from the Fairfax County line to Poland Road. Developers will also construct Tall Cedars Parkway from Route 50 to East Gate Drive and construct East Gate Drive from Tall Cedars Parkway to Poland Road. In addition, they will donate $2 million in public facilities contributions, including a 16-acre school site.

South Riding resident Lisa Freeman spoke in favor of the East Gate application. Besides the $2 million in Equinox Investments capital facilities contributions, she said she especially appreciates the road improvement to Route 50.

"There are so many by-right homes built in this area over the last several years with no accompanied proffers. These roads improvements will be greatly welcomed by existing residents," she said. "This application provides another piece of the puzzle that will eventually ensure that the road infrastructure is adequate for the existing residents in Dulles South."

SUPERVIOSR JIM BURTON (I-Blue Ridge) said he thought this was one of the better proffer packages he has seen in a long time.

"I compliment the applicant on that," he said.

Burton voted in favor of the Comprehensive Plan Ammendment (CPAM), to improve the Route 50 corridor, but voted against the structure of the Route 50 task force based on conflict of interest.

"I believe it is wrong for the segment leaders to be the developers who stand for a product that task force produces," he said.

Burton said he will not change position on the Route 50 project, but will explore the issue of conflict of interest and whether or not developers take part in the planning process.

Supervisor Jim Clem (R-Leesburg) said the developers on the task force are trustworthy, and he looks forward to a beautiful corridor that has been neglected for years.

Everything has been executed properly, he said.