Friday, Sep 15, 2023

Further Update on Loudoun County’s Zoning Ordinance Rewrite

The firm’s Leesburg Office has continued to work with industry partners such as the Loudoun Chamber of Commerce, NVBIA, and NAIOP to engage the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors and County staff as they continue their work on updating Loudoun’s Zoning Ordinance (see previous update here). When the proposed Zoning Ordinance is adopted, it will be the controlling document for all development in the County as the primary implementation tool for the Loudoun County 2019 General Plan, a policy document that provides guidance for elected officials and other governmental decision-makers as to where and how the community will continue to grow over the coming years.

Following completion of the Planning Commission’s review earlier this year, and a Board of Supervisor’s public hearing in July, the next step in the County’s process is for the Board to conduct a series of work sessions to go chapter-by-chapter to review the remaining outstanding issues within the Zoning Ordinance. The Leesburg Office has worked, and will continue to work, hand-in-hand with our clients and industry stakeholders to provide solutions and options for resolving as many concerns that remain with the current draft Zoning Ordinance as possible.

The Leesburg Office has worked specifically with the industry partners to provide redline edits for each chapter to facilitate potential motions adopting these proposed changes by the Board at each work session. The first submission of these efforts was sent via the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce earlier this month and can be viewed online here.

We remain committed to engaging with the Board and County staff throughout the coming months to empower the adoption of a Zoning Ordinance that meets the vision of the 2019 without being overly prescriptive and burdensome.

The Board’s work sessions will be held at the Loudoun County Government Center, located at 1 Harrison Street SE in Leesburg. All of the Board’s public meetings are televised on the County’s cable channel, Comcast Government Channel 23 and Verizon FIOS 40, and livestreamed online. The complete text of the Draft Zoning Ordinance being considered by the Board is available for review on the county website.

Current Schedule of Work Sessions

The Board’s first work session was held on Thursday, September 7, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. Documents prepared for the September 7 meeting are posted online here. All subsequent work session documents will be posted on the county’s website.

The sections and chapters reviewed during the September 7 meeting were: 

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Zoning Districts (All)

The Board’s second work session was held on Monday, September 11, 2023, at 6:00 p.m. and covered:

  • Chapter 3: Uses (w/in Urban, Suburban, Office & Industrial Zoning Districts)
  • Chapter 4: Use Standards (w/in Urban, Suburban, Office & Industrial Zoning Districts)
  • Chapter 12: Definitions

Watch the Board’s September 7th work session by clicking here.
Watch the Board’s September 11th work session by clicking here.

Leesburg Office Land Use Planner Matt Leslie has played a critical role in the industry’s efforts to shape the outcome of this process. As one of three speakers chosen to participate during the Board’s Committee of the Whole at the September 11th meeting, Matt has placed our firm at the forefront of those within the industry working to facilitate solutions that result in the best possible outcome for the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite process.

The remaining schedule of work sessions is as follows:

  • September 26: Chapters 3,4, & 12 – Uses/Definitions (w/in Rural, Transition & JLMA)
  • October 2: Chapters 5 & 6 – Overlay Districts and Natural & Environmental Resources
  • October 12: Chapters 10, 11, & Appendices – Procedures, Officials, & Modifications
  • October 16: Chapter 7 – Development Standards
  • October 23: Chapter 8 – Signs
  • October 30: Chapter 9 – Attainable Housing & Chapter 12 Definitions

Our Leesburg Office stands by ready to assist our clients and stakeholders in providing information and updates, in an effort to protect individual property rights, and safeguard against unnecessarily prescriptive and burdensome regulations which may limit Loudoun’s land use and economic potential. While we are hopeful that a substantive and thorough review by the Board will result in the necessary changes, the time and opportunities to provide further input are not limitless. For this reason, we would highly encourage anyone with specific questions or concerns to reach out to J. Randall Minchew so that we may begin to assess your case.