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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Jun 22

Planning Commission to Consider Amendments Related to Airport Impact Overlay District June 28

Posted to Airport Impact Overlay District CPAM by Nancy McCormick

At its June 28, 2022, public hearing, the Loudoun County Planning Commission will consider proposed changes to the county’s 2019 Comprehensive Plan and the Revised 1993 Zoning Ordinance that would amend the county’s policies and zoning regulations regarding airport noise impacts around Dulles International Airport. 

The Airport Impact Overlay District (AIOD) indicates anticipated noise levels and related land use regulations. The current overlay district was implemented by the Board of Supervisors in the early 1990s to prevent residential development in areas that would be affected by aircraft noise and to mitigate impacts to prospective homebuyers. The current AIOD is now outdated. 

Why is This Occurring Now?

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) updated the noise exposure maps for Dulles International Airport in 2019. The update reflects changes in the aviation environment over the last 30 years and prepares for future changes in airport usage. Based on the airport’s updated noise contours, Loudoun County is amending its 2019 Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Ordinance to update the policies and zoning regulations that are related to the AIOD. Over the last year, Loudoun County has been studying MWAA’s noise exposure maps and developing recommendations for consideration by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.

Who is Impacted?

The proposed amendments to the AIOD that are under consideration by Loudoun County potentially affect more than 50,000 property owners around and near Dulles Airport. The Department of Planning and Zoning distributed letters directly to affected property owners. Virginia law requires the county to provide notice to property owners any time new zoning designations are proposed as that action may impact future development on the property. The purpose of the letter is to notify affected property owners about proposed amendments to the AIOD that would impact their property and notify the affected property owners about the upcoming public hearing concerning the proposed amendments. 

Public Hearing, June 28

Members of the public have the opportunity to provide input to the Planning Commission that will inform its recommendation to the Board of Supervisors. The Planning Commission’s public hearing on this topic is scheduled for Tuesday, June 28, 2022, at 6:00 p.m. in the Board Room of the Government Center, 1 Harrison St. SE, in Leesburg. The meeting also may be viewed on Comcast Government Channel 23, Verizon FiOS Channel 40, and via livestream at loudoun.gov/meetings.

Members of the public may provide their comments to the Planning Commission by mail, email, in person, or virtually during the meeting. Instructions for providing input to the Planning Commission, including how to sign up to speak in advance, are posted on the county’s website here

What Do I Need to Know?

Loudoun County government cannot regulate airport noise or control flight paths and the construction of a fifth runway; however, the county can update its policies that regulate the use of land around the airport. The AIOD is a zoning tool to plan appropriate land uses in the areas where airport noise is known to occur.

There are three Aircraft Noise Impact Area designations within the AIOD that the county uses to indicate the level of impact. The designations indicate an approximate level of noise residents may hear from airport traffic. The AIOD regulations prescribe specific land use rules for each designation, which aim to mitigate the impact of noise. The county refers to these levels using the symbol “Ldn,” which stands for "yearly day-night average sound level." The Ldn is calculated using a specific formula specified in the county’s zoning ordinance. The designations are:

  1. One-Mile Buffer: Properties located within this area are farthest from the airport while still being located within the AIOD. This designation requires a disclosure notice to be included with each sale of residential property.
  2. Ldn 60-65: Properties located within this area are closer to the airport. Any residential development in this area requires disclosures at the time of sale; acoustical treatments for new residential construction and new additions to existing residences; and an easement established prior to construction of a new residence granting the right of overflight in the airspace above the property.
  3. Ldn 65 or Higher: Properties located within this area are closest to the airport. New residential development is not permitted in this area.

View the interactive map illustrating the current and proposed Airport Overlay Districts.

Understanding these designations will help property owners interpret how the proposed changes to the AIOD would impact their properties. Property owners in the impacted areas may want to note:

  • New residential development on properties within the Ldn 65 or higher is not permitted. As a result, any property moving into the Ldn 65 or higher area would see a reduction in development potential. This area is generally located west and south of Washington Dulles International Airport. 
  • Under the proposed amendments, approximately 600 existing homes that are not currently located within the Ldn 65 or higher area would become located within the new Ldn 65 or higher area. If the proposed amendments are adopted, the homes could continue as they existed on the adoption date of the proposed amendments; however, any additions to the property after the adoption date would be subject to the new zoning rules.

The letters sent to impacted property owners indicate their current AIOD designation and the proposed AIOD designation. 

What is Proposed to Change?

The current process is intended to update the boundaries of the overlay district based on updated maps of noise contours for Dulles International Airport. The currently adopted noise contours for the airport are based on a 1992 noise study. MWAA published an updated noise study in 2019 to reflect current airport operations and flight paths. No change is proposed for the Leesburg Executive Airport.

The county is also seeking to clarify the overlay district regulations. The proposed update would clarify that disclosures of the AIOD areas for a property are required for each sale of a home within the overlay district, not just the initial sale. The proposed update also clarifies that changes to the boundaries do not invalidate previously approved residential rezonings.

Next Steps

Following the Planning Commission’s June public hearing, the commission will submit its recommendations to the Board of Supervisors for consideration. Pending any additional work on this initiative that the Planning Commission chooses to conduct, the Board of Supervisors could consider the proposed AIOD and associated policies as early as September 2022.

More Information

To learn more about the proposed changes to the Airport Impact Overlay District, including to sign up for email and text updates on the project, visit loudoun.gov/airportdistrict.

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Apr 05

Design Work Continues for the Aldie Fire and Rescue Station Project

Posted to Aldie Fire and Rescue Station by Heidi Kellum

Over the last several weeks, the project design team reviewed and approved a revised mechanical system design for the Aldie Fire and Rescue Station, which is currently 35% complete. The new 23,000 square-foot station will be constructed in Aldie, Virginia to replace the existing building, providing an updated and accessible facility for the Aldie Volunteer Fire Department. The Aldie Volunteer Fire Department was established in 1955 and their station (Station 7) currently houses a fire engine, heavy rescue, tanker, brush truck and advanced life support ambulance.

A turn lane waiver request, made by the project design team, was recently approved by The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the design consultant is currently developing the construction documents for the project. The estimated completion of the project’s design process is fall 2021. Construction is currently estimated for completion in winter 2023, weather permitting.   
                                                                                 
The future site of the new Aldie Fire and Rescue Station is an existing undeveloped property located along the Route 50 corridor, west of the roundabout intersection with Route 15. In addition to the new facility, site improvements for this project include two entrances off Route 50, access and parking areas, a well and septic field, lighting, landscaping, and a storm water management pond.  

For more information about the Aldie Fire and Rescue Station project, including a link to sign up for updates about the project, visit the project page.  

Jul 19

New Loudoun County Animal Services Facility to Open July 30

Posted to Animal Services Facility by Heidi Kellum

Loudoun County invites members of the public to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony and a series of grand opening events for the new location of the Loudoun County Animal Services (LCAS) facility located just outside Leesburg adjacent to Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park. The ceremony marks the conclusion of more than two years of construction.  

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, July 30

The county will host a ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday, July 30, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. The ceremony will take place on the grounds of the newly constructed facility located at 42225 Adoption Drive, Leesburg. Members of the Board of Supervisors and other guests will celebrate the opening of the new facility. 

Tours of the new facility will be offered to the public following the ribbon cutting beginning at 1:00 p.m., and continuing at the top of each hour with the last tour beginning at 5:00 p.m. No pre-registration for a tour is required.

Grand Opening Events, July 31 – August 1

The animal shelter will be open for regular business hours July 31 – August 1. Adoption hours will be 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

In addition, throughout the weekend, LCAS will host a series of grand opening events that are free and open to the public. Some events require pre-registration. 

  • 11:00 a.m. - Noon, Touch-a-Truck: Meet a Humane Law Enforcement Officer, learn about their vehicle, equipment and how they help animals in Loudoun County.
  • 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Guided Tours: Guided tours of the new facility on the hour.
  • 12:00 p.m., Busy Buddies: Join LCAS staff for animal enrichment activities and learn about the importance of keeping pets’ minds busy! Volunteers of all ages are welcome.
  • 4:00 p.m., Critters & Crafts: Kids of all ages are invited to the community room for a fun craft and animal activity! 

For more information about the grand opening events and to pre-register for activities, visit loudoun.gov/animalsgrandopening

Directions to the New Facility 

All visitors to the new Loudoun County Animal Services facility must access the site from Sycolin Road in Leesburg. From Sycolin Road, drivers should enter on Crosstrail Boulevard, pass by Segra Field and Bolen Park to Kincaid Boulevard, and finally to Adoption Drive. Guests are asked to park along Kincaid Boulevard.

NOTE: The new facility currently cannot be accessed via Kincaid Boulevard from Battlefield Parkway because the road is not yet open to through traffic north of Adoption Drive. GPS may direct you to this unopened route and therefore visitors are encouraged to follow the directions listed above and access the new facility from Sycolin Road. The Waze app provides correct guidance via Sycolin Road.

About the New Facility

The new, 21,450-square-foot facility includes an animal shelter, replacing the existing shelter in Waterford. The new facility will serve as the operational headquarters of LCAS and will be the first public shelter in the United States to meet 100% of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians Animal Shelter Guidelines, the gold standard for animal sheltering. 

The new facility also expands many of the existing services provided at the current animal shelter, including pet adoptions; humane law enforcement; housing of stray, abandoned, or relinquished companion animals; dog license sales; volunteer opportunities; dispatch services; educational programs; and pet retention counseling. In addition, for the first time, the new facility will feature a veterinary clinic and surgical suite for medical treatment of shelter pets. 

More Information

To learn more about Loudoun County Animal Services, including which pets are available for adoption, visit loudoun.gov/animals.