The next step in the Zoning Ordinance Rewrite process is the Planning Commission’s review of County staff’s second draft text. The Planning Commission is hosting a public hearing on August 30th at 6:00 pm at the Government Center in Leesburg to address portions of the draft text. (Click here for a “clean” version of the draft text, and click here for a “redlined” version, which illustrates the revisions made to the draft text between April and August 2022.) A second Planning Commission public hearing will be conducted tentatively in December for the remaining sections of the Staff’s second draft text.
Here is information on how to comment:
- Send written comments to the Planning Commission
- Via email: email@example.com
- Sign up to speak at the August 30th public hearing
- Via phone: 703-777-0246
- Via online form: https://lfportal.loudoun.gov/Forms/PCPH-Speaker-Sign-Up
- More information on Planning Commission public hearings can be found here.
The following are Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s priority recommendations to the Planning Commission on the latest released draft text of the Zoning Ordinance rewrite. Most of our initial recommendations have not been incorporated into the proposed draft text. (A full list of recommendations for this portion of draft text can be found here.) Many of the sections with areas of concern for Loudoun Wildlife will be reviewed at the future Planning Commission meeting, and we will post additional updates at that time for those sections.
Note: chapter numbers have changed since the previous version released for public comment.
7.03 Tree Planting, Replacement, and Preservation
- (7.03) Invasive plant species should be removed during the development process, and the planting of native vegetation along corridors that provide connections to other natural, environmental, and heritage resources should be prioritized. Additionally, there should be a 100% native trees and shrubs requirement for new vegetation.
7.04 Landscaping, Buffer Yards, and Screening
- (7.04.07.A) Landscaping requirements should include reference of sustainability measures and support for wildlife corridors that can be further described in the FSM. Applications should note the location and prioritize protection of exemplary and high-quality habitat communities on adjacent parcels to protect areas critical for maintaining connectivity between high value habitats. Additionally, exemplary or high-quality wildlife areas should be mapped, and protection prioritized, as part of wildlife corridors, to ensure barrier-free movement between identified wildlife corridors. Necessary conditions should be maintained to provide habitat function for species along wildlife corridors and species of greatest conservation need as identified by the VA Wildlife Action Plan.
7.05 Light and Glare
- (7.05) International Dark Sky Association Standards should be more fully incorporated including the establishment of light zones to determine appropriateness of lighting, especially for rural areas. Exemptions should be more limited and/or greater standards should be in place for homes, roads, all types of athletic fields, and public monuments as these items create some of the greatest amounts of light trespass and sky glow.
Chapter 11: Procedures
- (11.06) As part of site plans, native plant communities should be mapped and ranked according to their ecosystem functional value, and applications should note the location of mapped exemplary and high quality wildlife and habitat communities on adjacent parcels to protect areas critical for maintaining connectivity between high value native plant communities. Language should be added to ensure future updates to LSDO and FSM.
More detailed information on this process, including in-depth input and analysis from members of the Loudoun Coalition can be found on the Loudoun Coalition’s Zoning Committee webpage.