Supervisors debate including transition area in plan’s vision statement

A narrow swath of land between eastern and western Loudoun County dominated the discussion as the Board of Supervisors wrestled recently with the wording of the vision statement for a new comprehensive plan that will guide development in the county for decades to come.

On May 2, six months into the 18-month process of creating the plan, supervisors began discussing a draft vision statement and goals that had been developed by a committee of stakeholders after a period of public input.

Most of the discussion focused on the “transition policy area,” which was zoned to serve as a buffer between rapidly developing eastern Loudoun and the rural west. Supervisors disagreed over whether the vision statement should include the word “transition” as one of the primary types of land areas in the county, along with “rural, suburban and urban.”

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The Washington Post, May 14, 2017

School Board accepts budget reduction

When the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors adopted a budget for fiscal 2018 on April 4, it handed the school board the task of trimming its expenditures by $5.5 million.

On Monday, the school board completed the budget reconciliation process by approving a list of reductions recommended by Schools Superintendent Eric Williams. That list avoided cuts to the school board’s key initiatives, such as expanding full-day kindergarten, boosting employee salaries and buying new school buses.

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The Washington Post, April 30, 2017

Loudoun Supervisors adopt budget

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $2.5 billion budget for the county government and school system for fiscal 2018.

The spending plan provides funding to open several new facilities, give pay increases of 3 percent or more to county and school employees, and add hundreds of government and school staff positions. By lowering the real property tax rate 2 cents, to $1.125, the supervisors also reduced tax bills for most Loudoun homeowners.

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The Washington Post, April 9, 2017

Records document a century of segregation

Carolyn Nicholson and her grandson, Adonis Taylor, 10, of Ashburn, look at some of the records displayed at the open house.

An open house at the Loudoun County Courthouse on Feb. 11 highlighted the century of segregation in Virginia that followed the Civil War and the abolishing of slavery.

The Clerk of the Circuit Court’s Office displayed records that document the separate and unequal treatment of African Americans in the county during that time. Documents reveal how segregation pervaded all areas of life, including the education, public services and land transactions.

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The Washington Post, Feb. 26, 2017

Loudoun proposes $2.5 billion budget

Loudoun County Administrator Tim Hemstreet kicked off the county’s annual budget review process Wednesday by presenting a proposed spending plan for fiscal 2018 that funds almost all of the school system’s request and provides staffing for several new facilities while holding property tax bills steady.

The $2.5 billion budget complies with the Board of Supervisors’ demand for a plan that avoids increasing the average homeowners’ tax bills. It would boost local funding by $61 million for the school system and $27.7 million for the general county government.

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The Washington Post, Feb. 19, 2017

More homes near Dulles Airport proposed

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority officials have raised alarms about a comprehensive plan amendment under consideration by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors that would allow new homes near runways at Washington Dulles International Airport.

At recent meetings of the board’s Transportation and Land Use Committee, airport officials expressed serious concerns about an option in the Silver Line comprehensive plan amendment — known as Alternative A — that would change the designation of two parcels currently zoned for nonresidential uses to “urban mixed use.” If approved, the change would allow retail businesses, offices and homes in those areas.

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Washington Post, Nov. 20, 2016

Residents share their hopes for Loudoun

About 150 Loudoun County residents gathered at the National Conference Center in Leesburg on Monday evening to share their hopes and priorities for future development of the county.

The participants discussed topics that included transportation and taxes in the first of four “listening and learning” sessions organized by the county government to kick off “Envision Loudoun,” an 18-month process of updating Loudoun’s comprehensive plan. Three similar sessions will take place in the county this week.

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Washington Post, Nov. 13, 2016

Banquet facility in horse country draws fire

A plan for a banquet and events facility in the middle of horse country sparked an outcry from residents of western Loudoun County who attended a public hearing in Leesburg this month to voice their objections.

Nearly 30 people spoke against the proposed business at Catesby Farm, about five miles west of Middleburg, arguing that the noise and traffic it would generate would disturb neighboring farms and overwhelm the narrow roads in the area. Some said that the traffic would also disrupt nearby Willisville, a small village settled by freed slaves after the Civil War.

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Washington Post, Oct. 23, 2016

Turf battle over athletic fields

Turf battles between the Loudoun Board of Supervisors and the county school board are nothing new, but now the boards are tussling over the turf itself, as they debate whether artificial and natural turf athletic fields at high schools should be tested for potentially harmful chemicals.

The supervisors have expressed interest in testing three synthetic turf fields, but the school board has insisted that an equal number of natural turf fields also be examined so as to make a comparison. Supervisors have responded that testing the natural fields is unnecessary and that the additional requirement was concocted by the school board to kill the initiative altogether.

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Washington Post, October 2, 2016

Help for domestic violence victims

Derek Summers Jr. wants victims of domestic violence to know there are people who can help them. They just need to know where to go for assistance.

Shortly after the violent death of Christina Fisher of Leesburg in April, Summers joined with friends and family members to form the Citizens Committee Against Domestic Violence. The group had a community meet-and-greet expo Aug. 27 in Leesburg, for people to learn about resources available for domestic violence victims. The plan is to make the expo an annual event.

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Washington Post, Sept. 4, 2016