June 12, 2024: Final Decision on Prime Agricultural Soil Zoning Ordinance

As REALTORS® our voice is loud, and we need your help in defeating ZOAM-2020-0002, Amendments to the Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance: Prime Agricultural Soils and Cluster Subdivisions.

This item amends the Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance (Zoning Ordinance) and aims to preserve prime agricultural soils, improve cluster development design, and ensure the success of the rural economy uses in the Agricultural Rural-1 (AR-1) and Agricultural Rural-2 (AR-2) Zoning Districts in the Rural Policy Area (RPA). This Zoning Ordinance requires that 70% of prime agricultural soils on a parcel be preserved, which will reduce the number of Residential Cluster Lots leading to reduced land value.

As of February 2022, a total of 72,806 acres have been placed in Conservation Easements within the AR-1 and AR-2 Zoning districts. Of the 72,806 acres, 20,209 acres are Prime Farmland Soils. These conservation easements consist of the following classifications: Development, Gift, PDR (Purchase of Development Rights), and TDR (Transfer of Development Rights). In comparison, as of February 2022, a total of 3,649 acres have been developed with cluster subdivisions within the AR-1 and AR-2 zoning districts. Of the 3,649 acres, 1,120 acres are Prime Farmland Soils.

Linda Culbert, Chair of DAAR’s Government Affairs Committee states, “The Government Affairs Committee of DAAR has opposed the Prime Ag Soil Zoning Change due to the impact it will have on the value of the property. Many local landowners have farmed these properties for decades. We need to speak out to protect them from devaluing their investments. The change presented will decrease the number and quality of the lots while increasing engineering costs. Homeowners Associations in the existing cluster communities do not usually allow farming due to liability. Prime Soils should be set up as a voluntary program similar to conservation easements with advantages in putting your property in this program if it would be advantageous to the landowner. It should not be a Zoning Ordinance requirement forced on property owners. I strongly urge members to be against the Prime Ag Soil ZOAM. The risks and cost to property owners greatly outweigh a non-guaranteed benefit.”

This Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance will be voted on next week on June 12, 2024, at the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Public Hearing. We urge members to let their voices be heard and urge the BOS to vote no. You can do this by contacting your Board of Supervisors representative, attending the public hearing, and signing up to speak at this Public Hearing.

See here for more information on this Zoning Ordinance.


Public Hearing Details

June 12, 2024 at 6:00pm

Loudoun County Government Center

1 Harrison St. SE Leesburg, VA 20175

Sign up to speak by calling 703-777-0200


Email your Board of Supervisors at bos@loudoun.gov


If you’d like an example of what you could send, see below:


Dear BOS,

As a member of the local Real Estate Community, I have serious concerns about the BOS making a zoning change that would greatly alter what a property owner could do with their property. This is an extreme measure that should only be taken under the most dire of circumstances. This change would impact farmers whose property may be their financial security. The owners should be allowed to do what is best for them and their families. Many experts in land values have made it very clear that their land will be negatively impacted by the Prime Soil Zoning Change. I urge you to vote: NO.