The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors reversed course and will not allow a proposed development along a scenic stretch of Goose Creek.
Members of the community rallied outside of the board meeting Tuesday to oppose the major development in Ashburn, Virginia.
The county board previously approved a mixed-income housing development south of the Dulles Greenway and that would have been split in half by Sycolin Road.
They board reversed that decision in a 7-2 vote after the public outcry. The two supervisors who stuck by the plan said the project would have brought much-needed affordable housing to the area.
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Through resident Ted Lewis’ backyard, one can walk right up to Goose Creek. He’s opposed to the proposed 238-unit townhouse and apartment complex, which would sit across the water.
“This is Goose Creek right here. All of the area we're in here is a floodplain, it's down in the hundred year floodplain," Lewis said. “It just doesn't fit to put 238 homes in a 60-foot apartment building in this area. It's a state scenic river.”
Currently the land is zoned for "single-family residential." The developer wanted the county board of supervisors to rezone it for its development, which would include 75 affordable housing units.
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An online petition demanding the board reverse course on the approval had more than 4,500 signatures.
“There are no other Goose Creeks,” Lewis said. “There are other places we can develop, but Goose Creek has to be protected."
News4 spoke to the developer by phone. He said he was shocked that the board was reconsidering, and said the plan built in some environmental protections that wouldn't be required if they built single-family homes instead.
However, if the county board shuts down the current plant, the developer said single-family homes might be the next step.