As the countyÕs fastest growing area, the landscape of Dulles South, which stretches north and south of Route 50, is constantly changing. From new residential developments to the arrival of services that residents have long been waiting for, the southern portion of the county has changed the most throughout the past year.
<bt>South Riding, one of the cornerstone communities of Dulles South, is the home of the countyÕs first combined public safety center. Opened May 7, the 23,000-square-foot center houses the Dulles South Fire and Rescue Station 19 and a SheriffÕs Office substation.
"South Riding is a big, complicated community in much need of a quality facility to house our public-safety workers as they do their duty," Supervisor Stephen Snow (R-Dulles) said at the grand opening. "This center stands as a symbol of our commitment to you and your families."
The 12,000-square-foot fire-and-rescue facility includes an apparatus bay, bunk rooms, a training room, bath and showers, kitchen and dining areas, laundry and decontamination rooms, storage, offices and a repair shop.
The station will house 20 career firefighters, a 24-hour manned fire engine and ambulance and a hazardous materials unit.
The SheriffÕs Office substation uses the remaining 11,000 square feet and will include a complementary records department so deputies can look up accident reports, do background and criminal checks and fingerprinting without having to go into Leesburg. The substation also has holding cells for suspects awaiting transfer to the main jail in Leesburg. The building is outfitted with an itoxilyzer, for testing suspectsÕ blood alcohol level.
"This is only the third new fire and rescue station in Loudoun County since 1985," Doug Rambo, chairman of the fire and rescue commission, said. "And it is the first one thatÕs received substantial support from the local government."
The center is also the newest facility the SheriffÕs Office has received in decades.
<bt>When asked about their main concerns for Dulles South, many residents, especially parents, first mention the lack of medical services. In only the last few weeks, however, some of the those needs began to met with the opening of the Inova urgent care center on Route 50.
The 22,000-square-foot building will house the walk-in urgent-care center as well as a physical-therapy center and a radiology unit.
The Dulles South center will offer residents quicker services for nonemergency medical issues and illness. The physical therapy center will focus on orthopedics and sports rehabilitation and the radiology center is outfitted with a CT scanner, digital X-ray machine, ultrasound equipment and a bone-density analysis equipment.
In addition to the urgent care center, the Broadlands Regional Medical Center continues to be at the center of the medical services debate within the county.
In August 2005, the board voted against Hospital Corporation of AmericaÕs application for a special exception to build the hospital citing concerns about traffic and cohabitation with surrounding neighborhoods. The boardÕs denial caused Northern Virginia Community Hospital, owners of the property, to file suit.
The proposed hospital is a 164-bed facility located along the west side of Belmont Ridge Road and south of the Dulles Greenway in Broadlands. The location is less than five miles from the existing Inova Loudoun Hospital in Lansdowne. The short distance between the two locations has been the subject of an ongoing court battle between Inova and the Hospital Corporation of America, owner of the proposed Broadlands Regional Medical Center.
Currently the case between the Board of Supervisors and the hospital is in the discovery phase. Lawyers for the hospital asked for any and all communications that involved the Broadlands Regional Medical Center.
"We are asking for any communication between and among Loudoun Hospital and its entities," Mark Looney, one of HCAÕs attorneys said. "We are looking at were there any other communication about the [amendment] between those entities."
The case is expected back in court this summer.
<bt>One need only drive the streets of Broadlands, Brambleton or the Route 50 corridor to see how Dulles South is changing. And there are many more development projects on the horizon.
In an attempt to bring retail and services to residents, the Board of Supervisors recently approved two different commercial applications, The Shops at Arcola and Dulles Landing.
The board approved the Shops at Arcola, only one part of Buchanan Partners plans for the 400-acre Arcola Center, June 19. The 650,000 square-foot retail center sits on 75 acres north of Route 50.
"We were very surprised by the amount of interest from retailers in the area," Nicole Morrill, the projectÕs manager, said. "Almost all of [the interested retailers] have a Loudoun location, mostly on Route 7, but people are starting to realize that people on Route 50 need these resources as well."
The center of big-box retail, such as Target or Lowes, will be combined with smaller and more specialized retailers in a Main Street setting.
The Dulles Landing center will develop almost 80 acres on the north side of Route 50 and west of Loudoun County Parkway for a commercial center that will include a Wal-Mart.
Supporters of the project say it is an important part of the new Route 50 corridor.
"We cannot continue to not look at this as part of a picture or puzzle where you have these piece that bring together a total package," Supervisor Stephen Snow (R-Dulles) said.
Dulles South is also going to be home to many new residential and mixed-use developments. In the coming months construction will continue on expansions to the Broadlands and Brambleton communities, as well as beginning on the East Gate and Moorefield Station mixed-use com