Commission Looks at Nonresidential Development

Commission Looks at Nonresidential Development

In a public hearing that ran late into the night, the Planning Commission voted to recommend the Board of Supervisors approve a series of nonresidential development applications throughout the county.

Among the proposals were two applications for the Brambleton area near Ryan Road and Route 659. The Brambleton Group submitted an application to make amendments to the Brambleton Golf Course application. The proposal includes the realigning of the golf course itself and the relocation of the two proposed elementary school sites.

The other proposal for the Brambleton area is a 35-acre Brambleton Town Center, which staff members recommend be sent to committee following concerns about traffic impact.

VODT has questioned the traffic analysis for the entire Brambleton area, but has not expressed concern over the town center specifically. Staff members said they believed the applicant would have time to work out any issues.

"[The process] depends on how the applicant works with VDOT on their outstanding issues," Michael Elabarger, the project's manager, said. "his application will not come before the board until September."

IN ADDITION to the Brambleton projects, the commission recommended approval for the Ritz Carlton and Creighton Farm Country Club, which will be located along Route 15 near Oak Hill.

While golf courses with a clubhouse are allowed by right on the location, the applicant Juno-Loudoun LLC needs a special exception to build the type of clubhouse it want.

The applicant's representative said they hope to provide a clubhouse, which would include amenities such as a spa, up to the standards of Ritz Carlton.

Commissioners showed their full support for the proposed country club.

"I hope that this will become an example for others to follow," Commissioner Suzanne M. Volpe (Sugarland Run) said.

The Broad Run Business Center was also recommended for approval. The application would convert an existing industrial building to office space, a use that is permitted under the concept plan for the site.

The first aspect of the revitalization of the Route 50 corridor was approved, when the Planning Commission recommended the Board of Supervisors approve the Route 50 Task Force's recommendations for landscaping. The proposed landscaping includes the inclusion of a 100-foot buffer from the road and stone-faced features and fencing along Route 50.

THE ONLY nonresidential application that received opposition from a member of the public was the Ridges at Ashburn Neighborhood Center. If approved by the board, the rezoning would allow for the creation of a commercial center on the northeast corner of Claiborne and Gloucester parkways in Ashburn. The center would include a drive-through bank and pharmacy.

"This proposed property is not only adjacent to our neighborhood swimming pool, but is also adjacent to our neighborhood playground," Ridges at Ashburn resident, Y. Thompson said. " feel quite strongly that these modifications open up what I believe to be a potentially unsafe environment."

Thompson asked the commission if they did recommend approval of the Ridges at Ashburn center, that they require the installation of Children at Play signs along the streets.

"My concern is safety, safety for our children," she said.

TWO SPEAKERS at Monday's public hearing were directly at odds over the proposed Erickson Retirement Community. The 123-acre retirement community, which would be located south of Route 7, west of Route 28 and north of the Dulles Greenway, includes four different residential neighborhoods as well as health-care facilities on an integrated campus.

Ashburn resident John Nicholas told commissioners about a flier he had received in the mail and seen around his neighborhood, speaking out against the retirement community.

"I find this offensive," he said, referring to the flier's claim that the community would be a strain on the county's rescue services and would negatively impact traffic.

"Most of these people are bussed around," Nicholas said. "It is probably a ratio of 5- or 10-to-1 than the rest of the population."

Nicholas called on the person responsible for the flier to come forward and take ownership of what he called a "cheap, underhanded, political hatchet job."

Nicholas was answered immediately by Gina Pisoni, the legal representative of Ashburn Residents for Responsible Growth, the group responsible for the flier.

In addition to presenting a petition from Ashburn residents opposing the retirement community, Pisoni said that, while her group knows most of the residents of the Erickson community will not be driving; there is still traffic issues associated with the application.

"There are all those people that will work there who will increase to the traffic," she said. "There is going to be a burden to fire and rescue and just adding money to add one more ambulance is not going to add to the staff."

The Planning Commission voted unanimously to forward the application to committee for further discussion.