The Board of Supervisors’ Transportation and Land Use Committee last week held the first of what promises to be many meetings on the massive Silver District West proposal, which would put a 3,706-home mixed-use development on 158 acres along the Dulles Greenway between Loudoun’s two future Metro stops.
Committee members sent county staff members and the applicant’s representatives away with a long list of questions.
The project envisions some of the county’s densest and most urban development ever proposed and the answers to some of those questions could come with complicated answers, county staff members said.
“If you’re looking to address the issue of urban development, you maybe need to look at urban standards, as we don’t have urban standards right now,” said Department of Management and Budget Director Erin McLellan. “That’s a process that was going to be a piece of Envision [Loudoun], and then come out of Envision and the Fiscal Impact Committee was potentially going to work on urban standards.”
Envision Loudoun, the project to update the county’s comprehensive plan, was bogged down and has fallen behind its original schedule. In addition, supervisors had at first planned to handle planning around the county’s future Metro stops separately, but ended up folding that work into Envision Loudoun. The first draft of the proposed new plan, which includes new policies to guide urban-scale development, will be presented for public review starting May 7.
Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles), whose district includes the Silver District West property, agreed that the county is in some ways playing catch-up to the development application.
“I think the intent was for that to be developed in sync with this type of application, and we were just too slow and this application got in front of that,” Letourneau said.
Committee Chairman Geary M. Higgins (R-Catoctin) asked for a forecast of the revenue the development would generate for the special tax district that the county created to pay its share of Metro’s Silver Line extension.
Supervisors Suzanne M. Volpe (R-Algonkian) and Kristen C. Umstattd (D-Leesburg) both requested more detailed maps, including from Umstattd a request for maps that better depict the county’s designated airport noise areas and the number of type of proposed residential buildings.
County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) repeated her earlier concerns that the applicant has so far offered only one school site, and that for an elementary school. She also asked questions about how the project would impact unmet housing needs, how tax revenues from the proposed development would compare to the businesses that would be allowable on the property today, and for updates about how the committee’s review is tracking with ongoing Envision Loudoun work.
The committee will take up Silver District West again at its meeting May 15.