What’s in the Loudoun 2019 Comprehensive Plan for the Real Estate Industry?

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors finalized the Loudoun County 2019 Comprehensive Plan on June 20, 2019. The plan includes policies on land development, transportation, capital improvements, and public programs in Loudoun County through the year 2040.

The new plan:

  • Includes policies that are designed to increase residential density in the eastern part of the county.
  • Includes a chapter dedicated to housing with the goal toward providing a continuum of housing options to accommodate a variety of households, incomes, needs, and preferences.
  • Calls for the development of an Unmet Housing Need Strategic Plan to help the county determine how to address the current and projected unmet housing needs.
  • Is formatted in a way to make it significantly easier to understand than the current plan.

The new plan also makes changes in the county’s “Policy Areas.” Here are the highlights:

New Urban Policy Areas around the Silver Line metro stations are created. These areas are envisioned to have high density, mixed-use developments and will be the target area for much of the county’s future growth in the immediate future. Most of the homes will be multi-family units or single-family attached, with the possibility of some small lot single-family detached homes, including accessory homes.

 

The Suburban Policy Area will have infill development and revitalization. This area will include most housing types – single-family attached and detached and multi-family units.

County staff estimates over 25,000 housing units could be built in the Urban and Policy Areas. Most will be multi-family units (16,000) with about 7,500 single-family attached units.

 

Transition Policy Area (TPA) is envisioned to accommodate more single-family detached housing in “inclusive community designs.” It will not permit townhome developments, rather relies on duplex/triplex/quadraplex developments, single-family detached on large and small lots, clustered subdivisions, and accessory homes. Two areas near the town of Leesburg were moved from the Rural Policy Area into TPA.

The Planning Commission estimated about 17,000 homes could be built in the TPA, almost 15,000 over the current plan. County staff recommended this number be significantly decreased to about 5,000, only 3,000 over the current plan. The Board of Supervisors made several changes, such as increasing density in a few areas while decreasing it in others. While the final residential numbers are not available at this time, county staff have indicated that the changes could result in only 2,100 more homes in this area as compared to the current plan.

You may learn more about the estimated number of homes that could be built under the new plan by viewing the county’s Residential Development Forecasts.

Next Steps
County staff will begin working on the Unmet Housing Need Strategic Plan and overhauling the zoning ordinances. The new plan will guide development of new zoning ordinances, something that county staff said might take 2-3 years. The length of time is because the new plan is formatted completely different from the old plan (the old plan focused on specific uses of land while the new plan focuses on types of neighborhoods and developments). County staff anticipates presenting a plan and timeline for completion of the zoning ordinance overhaul in September or October 2019, holding focus/stakeholders groups and outreach in the Fall/Winter 2019, and drafting concepts to present to focus/stakeholders groups and the Board of Supervisors in the Summer 2020.

Click to read the online Plan Overview. The final Loudoun County 2019 Comprehensive Plan will be published once its finalized.

Questions? Contact Brenda Morton, Government Affairs and Communications Manager, at (703) 777-2468 or bmorton@dullesarea.com.