Developers with land within the Transition Policy Area are moving forward with their development plans and rezoning applications, even after the denial of the Upper Broad Run/Upper Foley Comprehensive Plan amendment.
In a letter sent to Van Armstrong, who is the county's Greenvest project planner, Sally Gillette, an attorney representing Greenvest LLC, officially notified the county the development company would be moving forward with its four rezoning applications. Greenvest’s development plans represent the largest chunk of the applications that were combined to create the failed Comprehensive Plan amendment.
“Each of the four rezoning applications implements existing policies adopted under the Revised General Plan, bringing to Dulles South much needed utilities, infrastructure, capital facilities, recreational spaces and a diversity of housing types,” Gillette said in the letter.
THE FOUR applications, Lenah, Broad Run Village, Arcola and Greenfields will offer a 200-acre regional park, six public school sites, regional road improvements on Route 50, Route 659 relocated, Braddock Road and Evergreen Mills Road.
“Most of all, these applications provide the county with the opportunity to create a 20-year plan for an area of Loudoun that lacks the necessary infrastructure to meet the needs of its current residents,” Gillette wrote.
Although the rejected Comprehensive Plan amendment was intended to make approval of the rezonings easier, each of the four applications will still come before the Board of Supervisors individually. Each rezoning will also have to go through the public hearing process and to the Planning Commission.
IN ADDITION TO the Greenvest applications, there are three other rezonings in the Transition Policy Area, Braddock Village, Westport and the Kennedy property.
The county’s project manager for the Braddock Village application recently received a timeline extension for the project, Cindy Keegan, project planner for the Comprehensive Plan amendment, said. Keegan said the Department of Planning had not received any word from the developer of Westport, but that there is no reason to think the application is not moving forward.
“Nothing’s been withdrawn yet,” she said. “There are still seven active rezonings in that area.”
While the Van Metre companies had around 200 acres of land included in the Comprehensive Plan amendment, the company had not submitted a rezoning application.
“We were waiting for the decision on the Transition Policy Area before submitting a rezoning,” Roy Barnett, senior vice president for the company, said.
Since the board’s denial, Barnett said, Van Metre is moving forward with plans to development approximately 100 acres of land, known as Marwood, west of Route 659 relocated. The 84-home residential development is being developed under the current planned land use, or by right, which means Van Metre is not required to proffer any money for roads or schools to the county.
“We are working on our final construction plan,” Barnett said. Van Metre hopes to break ground on the development next summer.
LIKE THE DEVELOPMENT community, George Mason University, whose planned Loudoun campus became a part of the Arcola rezoning after Greenvest gifted the college 123 acres, is still making plans to come to Loudoun, Tom Hennessey, chief of staff of the university, said.
“It has always been a question of where and when,” he said. “When Greenvest proposed that gift, that answered where and when.”
Hennessey said the denial of the Comprehensive Plan amendment brought the university back to the beginning stages of figuring out where it would put a Loudoun campus and when the campus would be constructed. Greenvest has stated it will gift the 123 acres to George Mason only if the Arcola rezoning application is approved.
Hennessey said the biggest obstacle to establishing a full-service university campus in Loudoun was lack of money, stating the university only receives money from the state for academic buildings.
“Anything else is money you have to raise through your own means,” he said.
Hennessey said GMU would be willing to look at other sites in the county, but that it would need at least 120 acres to create a full-service university. Hennessey added that the university would like to be in an area where it could hook up to the existing or planned infrastructure.
“Somewhere where roads already are or are already approved and funded,” he said.
AT THE TIME of their denial, many Supervisors said they were committed to working with George Mason to find room for the university somewhere in the county. The board was scheduled to draft a resolution of support for the Loudoun campus during its Nov. 21 business meeting, but deferred the item to a later date.
As of press time, neither Hennessey nor GMU had received any calls from or spoken to any Supervisors or anyone from the county, but Hennessey said he was still confident in George Mason’s future in Loudoun.
“We are going to be out there,” he said.