Public Hearing on May 11
Your voice is needed to protect JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary from a potential western bypass of Lucketts. Public comments on Item 13 Route 15 North Comprehensive Plan Amendment (CPAM) can be given at the Board of Supervisors’ May 11 public hearing at 6:00 pm at the Government Center at 1 Harrison St. SE, Leesburg, VA 20175. The CPAM includes allowing the widening of Route 15 north of Montressor Road, safety improvements along the Route 15 corridor, and a potential bypass of the Village of Lucketts. A potential western bypass option would go through JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary and negatively impact the sensitive environmental resources of the property.
The Planning Commission narrowly voted 5-4 to recommend approval of the CPAM at their March 11 work session, but the Planning Commission did not make a recommendation on a potential bypass of Lucketts alignment. Many of the dissenting commissioners noted that the most important safety improvements along the corridor such as wider shoulders and roundabouts could be completed without a CPAM. Despite the Planning Commission forgoing making a recommendation on the bypass alignment, the staff recommendation remains to prioritize an eastern bypass alignment, or other such bypass option that avoids impacts to the JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary.
There are many residents in and around the Village of Lucketts who have grave concerns about the CPAM. Rather than approving the CPAM now, the Board of Supervisors should delay their vote on the CPAM until a Small Area Village Plan for the Village of Lucketts can be completed with the input of the residents, businesses, and organizations that comprise the Lucketts community.
What Can You Do?
This is your opportunity to raise your voice to ensure the globally rare wetlands and valuable natural resources at JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary remain protected. Read our comments and analysis from prior to the Planning Commission’s public hearing.
- Contact your supervisor via phone or email. You can email the full board at email@example.com, or you can click here for contact information for your supervisor.
- Sign up to speak at the May 11 public hearing. You can call 703-777-0200 to sign up to speak in person or remotely.
- Help us amplify our message by sharing emails and social media posts with your network of friends, family and neighbors.
Loudoun Wildlife’s Key Concerns
- Approving a CPAM before a Small Area Village Plan for Lucketts is complete would be detrimental to the Lucketts community. This CPAM vote should be delayed pending further analysis.
- Key safety improvements to Route 15 can be completed sooner, and with fewer costs, without the need for a CPAM. The Planning Commission recommended action on safety improvements within 24 months.
- More analysis is needed to understand the impacts on local businesses and farms, and whether a bypass is needed at all.
- A western bypass option through JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary would destroy globally rare wetlands, and severely fragment the habitat. Say no to a western bypass through JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary.
- JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary is protected by a conservation easement held by the Land Trust of Virginia to preserve the unique habitats and wildlife found there. Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy is committed to studying the flora and fauna residing at the wildlife sanctuary, and educating the public about its value and importance.
- A western bypass option would have greater impacts to the Floodplain Overlay District, and it would negatively impact a $4 million wetland mitigation project underway with The Nature Conservancy, which would create additional wetlands at JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary.
We want to thank the members of the public who spoke up and overwhelmingly responded to protect JK Black Oak Wildlife Sanctuary during a survey in June 2021. Your continued support is vital for protecting the Sanctuary.
- Read the full survey results here
- Documents and other materials for the Public Information Meeting on June 23, 2021 on the CPAM project website.
- Read Loudoun Wildlife’s previously submitted comments on the potential bypass options.
- Journey Through Hallowed Ground’s additional concerns impacting the National Scenic Byway and Village of Lucketts.