County supervisors on Tuesday approved a 224-apartment development at Ashburn Village Boulevard and Waxpool Road that also came with a land swap adding to plans for a park and putting more land in the county’s Metro real estate tax district.
The development is on land across Ashburn Village Boulevard from Regency at Ashburn, where developer Peterson Companies plans the apartments. They include 11 units for the county’s rent-controlled Affordable Dwelling Unit program.
In exchange for the approval, in addition to contributing to the county’s capital facilities fund, Peterson will give the county just over 71 acres at Commonwealth Center, the still largely-undeveloped project on the south side of Rt. 7 across Loudoun County Parkway from One Loudoun. That parkland will join more than 160 acres of land proffered by Kincora for a 230-acre park in the heart of Ashburn.
Supervisor Ron A. Meyer Jr. (R-Broad Run) called it “a terrific deal for the county” and “a huge net positive for the county in this deal, because of the complicated easement swap that we’ve pulled off.” He said negotiating that deal took more than three years.
“For the last real action move, other than the public hearing, this is one that I’m really happy to finish on when it comes to our board term,” Meyer said. It was the second-to-last meeting of the current Board of Supervisors term.
Meyer also announced the action with a press release the night of the vote.
“To balance out the rapid growth in Ashburn, our residents need permanent and accessible green space to enjoy with their families,” Meyer stated in that press release. “This new park in the heart of Ashburn will be a massive improvement for our quality of life. I am proud to cap off my service on the Loudoun Board with this incredible deal for our County.”
“Eastern Loudoun needs connected parks and greenspace—that’s why Kincora was proud to dedicate more than 160 acres for this park, which includes one of the region’s largest Blue Heron rookeries,” stated Michael Scott, co-developer at Kincora, in a press release the night of the vote. “We are thrilled to see more acreage and bridge connections added to our dedication. It will be a jewel for Loudoun County and a great start for the County’s Emerald Ribbons initiative.”
The park will connect to the planned Broad Run Stream Valley Park, which is planned with trails along the Broad Run from the Potomac River to Hal and Berni Hanson Memorial Regional Park. Peterson will also build a soccer field along Loudoun County Parkway and a pedestrian bridge over Beaverdam Run. That, Meyer noted, will also mean a direct trail connection between two of the county’s major planned developments, from One Loudoun and Commonwealth Center to Kincora.
“This innovative collaboration with Loudoun County will not only provide wonderful new walking trails, greenspace and ball-field for residents to enjoy, but will also help deliver a mix of housing options proximate to the new Metro station as envisioned in the recently adopted ‘Loudoun 2040 Comprehensive Plan,’” stated Taylor Chess, President of Development at Peterson Companies. “It is representative of how we put into practice our Peterson Companies Mission Statement, ‘to positively impact the communities we serve and create exceptional destinations that enrich the local economy.’”
By adding that land to each of the county’s nearby special Metrorail-area tax districts—the Metrorail Service District, which covers both stations, and the Ashburn Station Service District, which covers the nearest station—supervisors can charge an additional real estate tax on that land, up to $0.20 per $100 of assessed value above the normal county real estate tax. Currently, the Metrorail Service District is set at that rate, while the Ashburn Station district exists in county code but for now charges no additional tax.
Supervisors approved the developer’s application 7-1-1, with Supervisor Kristen C. Umstattd (D-Leesburg) opposed and Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) absent. Umstattd expressed concern about switching commercial land to residential land, and that except for the Affordable Dwelling Units, the board does not know whether the development will be priced to serve the county’s attainable housing needs.