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CHRIS PHILLIPS AND STERLING NEIGHBORS CONDEMN DENSITY PACKING

May 11, 2019
CHRIS PHILLIPS AND STERLING NEIGHBORS CONDEMN DENSITY PACKING
Dear Connemara Woods (and Sterling) neighbor: 22 April 2019

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors will consider approving the Montebello Farms development proposal on May 15.

The Planning Commission reluctantly agreed to NOT use Connemara Dr. as an access-point for Montebello Farms. The plan to change the zoning from 1 house per acre to allow for high-density development remains intact. (see attached Developer's Lotting Presentation)

In December, eight Connemara Woods residents and several Sterling Park residents attended the Planning Commission hearing and spoke out against the proposed development. After the proposal was sent back to staff to address several issues, one of the Planning Commissioners noted that while the CWHA Board had endorsed the proposal, the residents oppose it. So we can have an impact, even at this late date, IF WE SPEAK UP.

Sterling Supervisor Koran Saines' e-mail: koran.saines@loudoun.gov

Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis Randall's e-mail: Phyllis.Randall@loudoun.gov

E-mail entire Board: bos@loudoun.go

Comment Line: 703-777-0115

Below are some of the reasons

I oppose the proposed development and I urge you to write the Board of Supervisors to express your opposition to packing 406 housing units on to approximately 85 acres.

TRAFFIC:

Packing 406 homes into around 85 acres, with access only onto Potomac View Rd. and W. Frederick Dr., will further congest Potomac View Rd. and ALL of the roads in Sterling Park around W. Frederick Dr., Sterling Blvd., Church Rd. and Route 7.

And the development will be gated, so CWHA residents don't even benefit by being able to drive through to Sterling Park without going onto Rt. 7. Don't forget, the Mount Sterling development across from the Corrado property (Montebello Farms) was just approved; changing the zoning from a fully age-restricted community to a 316-unit subdivision with only 98 age-restricted units; and the 125-unit extended-stay hotel on Benedict Dr. was also given final approval.

These developments alone will put even more commuting traffic on Potomac View and Route 7. Numerous analysts suggest the Pulte-claimed advantage of having a age-restricted 55 and above community (minimizing commuters) will be limited in the near-term and ephemeral at best in the long-term as people are living longer and consequently working well past 55, with the trend expected to accelerate in the future. (see references below)

SCHOOLS: To entice the Board of Supervisors to approve the project, Pulte, the developer, proposes to make this an "age-restricted" community, i.e. no kids.

This takes the pressure off of the Supervisors to improve our local schools, like Park View. Keep in mind the Mount Sterling development was just changed from completely age-restricted to less than 1/3 age-restricted. More kids and more $$ going to Potomac Falls, not Park View. That's not good for our kids or our property values.

ESTHETICS: The current development will crowd housing on every available piece of land right up to the minimum setbacks. (see attached Developer's Lotting Presentation) The proposal even includes a request to reduce lot sizes, consequently pushing development right up to the edge of the 50' buffer between the existing communities and the proposed one.

VIEW SHED: The Corrado property is one of the last "green spaces" in Sterling. Developed with its current R-1 zoning (78 homes), much of the trees and green space could be saved, lessening the visual impact of the development. Abutting the Claude Moore Park, the proposed intense development will also negatively impact visage from the undeveloped portion of the park on two sides. The developer's 50' buffer will do little to reduce the visual impact of this densely developed subdivision.

LANDOWNER'S EXPECTATIONS: The people that bought land adjacent to the Corrado property did so with a reasonable understanding that eventually the property would be developed, with roughly one house per acre, as the property has long been zoned as R-1. In changing the zoning to allow intensive development, Loudoun County would be breaking faith with every adjacent landowner that had that reasonable expectation, by now allowing more than five units per acre, which is even much denser when the open spaces are taken out of the equation. The proposed development radically changes the character of the neighborhoods of Connemara Woods and Sterling Park.

ENVISION LOUDOUN 2040: The Planning Commission approved the plan based on the proposed "Envision Loudoun 2040" Comprehensive Plan, which has not even been passed by the Board of Supervisors. Montebello Farms conflicts with the current Comprehensive Plan and thus should not be approved by the Board of Supervisors.

Changing the zoning to maximize profit through intense development is NOT a right either Pulte or the Corrado family are automatically entitled to, especially when such a change will be injurious to existing adjacent landowners and the residents of Sterling.


Sincerely,

Chris Phillips

305 Tramore Court

Chrhph@hotmail.com

P.S. I have sent this by e-mail to those neighbors for whom I have an e-mail address. Please feel free to forward it on to your neighbors, as I may not have their e-mail address.

References addressing current & future retirement age trends

CBS story December 12, 2018

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/retirement-age-changing-why-millions-of-americans-are-working-past-65/

Pew Research Center assessment June 20 2016

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/06/20/more-older-americans-are-working-and-working-more-than-they-used-to/

Motley Fool Investment Magazine assessment May 15, 2016

https://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2016/05/15/the-scary-real-reason-people-are-working-beyond-65.aspx

Bloomberg assessment May 13 2016

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-13/-i-ll-never-retire-americans-break-record-for-working-past-65

Forbes assessment May 5 2015

https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurashin/2015/05/05/why-the-new-retirement-involves-working-past-65/#3aebe4c93f04

Ric Edelman financial planner assessment September 18, 2013

https://www.edelmanfinancialengines.com/education-center/articles/will-you-still-be-working-at-90

Ric Edelman assessment March 2012

https://www.edelmanfinancialengines.com/education-center/articles/80-is-the-new-65

Do we want this kind of crowding in Sterling? NO!

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