The Route 28 corridor is one of Loudoun’s strongest economic engines. So, the Economic Development Commission plans to chime in on the area’s Comprehensive Plan Amendment rewrite.
The commission voted unanimously to support the Loudoun Board of Supervisors’ eventual adoption and implementation of the plan’s amendment at its Jan. 7 meeting.
The plan supports higher density, class-A office and commercial development because it is critical for recruiting regional, national and international businesses to the county, according to the commission’s Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman, Ted Lewis. Class-A office space is the highest caliber of corporate office space because it is close to hotels and restaurants and commands the highest-paying leases.
The committee also supports the plan because it allows the corridor to be developed in a manner that maximizes the value of the real estate and commercial tax base generated by the land; it acknowledges the environmental and traffic impacts associated with higher density land use; and it supports and encourages sustainable development practices.
But, there’s still work to be done.
Route 28 was initially zoned as a keynote employment area, which specifically excludes housing, said Commissioner Kim Hart.
“Many said the zoning was out of date and hindering the development we’d like to see in that area,” he said.
While the corridor caters to commercial development, Hart said he’d like the commission to address the area’s need for workforce housing in its discussions with the supervisors.
Commission Chairman John Wood said he wasn’t sure whether it was necessary for the commission to state the reasons why it supports the amendment.
Loudoun is taking steps to turn Route 28 into a major employment corridor, including office-dominated uses and some mixed-use office campuses in the southern portion near the planned Metro station on Route 606.
Loudoun Supervisors on Dec. 13 voted to send a proposal for Dulles World Center, LLC, a mixed-use community planned for the Route 28 corridor to a subcommittee for further consideration, saying the developer hadn’t done enough to address traffic and residential impacts to the area.
With supervisors trying to stack the Route 28 corridor with major employers, some fear the center has too many residential units included in its plans.
Staff Writer Crystal Owens contributed to this report.
Contact the writer at email@example.com.
This article was first published by Hannah Hager on LoudounTimes.com.