Ridgewater Plan Heads to Hearing

Ridgewater Plan Heads to Hearing

Planning Commission recommends approval to the board.

Loudoun residents will have the opportunity to weigh in on a Comprehensive Plan amendment that would move approximately 1,018 acres from the Transition Policy Area to the Suburban Policy Area during a public hearing before the board on Thursday, Feb. 15.

The proposal was created by the Board of Supervisors Nov. 21, when they directed the Planning Commission to review an amendment in the same area as a pending rezoning application known as Ridgewater Park, formally known as Creekside. The amendment covers the 736-acre Ridgewater Park site west of Goose Creek and a portion of Lower Sycolin Subarea, located just north of the Dulles Greenway and east of Leesburg.

If approved, the amendment would allow for residential development up to four units per acre and an increase in office, retail and business development. Under the proposed policy the minimum open space requirement in the area would drop from 70 percent of the total acreage to 30 percent in residential and 10 percent in business development. The designation of the Luck Stone Quarry, which is located in the northern section of the subarea, would remain unchanged.

THE RIDGEWATER PARK rezoning was submitted by the Lansdowne Development Group, who announced in May that a new 500,000 square foot Inova L.I.F.E. center would be at the center of the development. The center is planned to create a setting for scientists and doctors to work together on developing new practices in the health care sciences, medical education and patient-care technology, Lansdowne President Hobie Mitchel said at the time of the announcement.

“The whole idea was to create a bio-medical corridor,” Mitchel said. “This is the next level of Loudoun Inova.”

In addition to the L.I.F.E. center, the Lansdowne development plans include 1,985 residential units, up to 100,000 square feet in retail, and 250,000 square feet of office.

Lansdowne submitted a rezoning application for the area in April 2005 that focused on road improvement projects and moving the proposed location of Bolen Park so that Lansdowne could create a town center on the county land in the flight path of the Leesburg Executive Airport. Supervisors turned down the application later that year.

Currently, the Comprehensive Plan only allows for one residential unit per 10 acres and a is zoned for non-residential units, including golf courses, animal kennels, schools and churches.

At their Jan. 22 public hearing, the Planning Commission voted 6-2-1 to forward the Comprehensive Plan amendment to the board with a recommendation of approval. Commissioner Nancy Doane (Catoctin) and Kevin Ruedisueli (At-large) opposed the amendment and Nancy Hsu (Blue Ridge) was absent for the vote. Lansdowne’s rezoning application was forwarded to a work session for further discussion. The Board of Supervisors has 90 days from the Jan. 22 Planning Commission recommendation to take action.