News Articles
UTTERBACK LANE RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT
Posted on 02-09

UTTERBACK LANE RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT
 
A proposal is being submitted to the County Board of Supervisors (“BOCS”) to re-zone the area along and north of Utterback Lane and south of Lightner Road, adjacent to sections 1 and 5 in Piedmont, from agricultural to planned mixed residential – adding 240 homes on approximately ¼ acre lots.  It is our understanding that these homeowners may get access to our amenities through an existing agreement with the Piedmont Club.  We’re concerned about the strain this will place on our facilities.  Given the potential negative impact on our community, we are opposed to this development absent guaranteed and legally enforceable protections for Piedmont.
 
A similar proposal was submitted in 2016 and was opposed by area HOA’s, including Piedmont.  At the time, we were supported by our county Supervisor because of the negative effects this development would have on traffic, schools, parks, etc.  The application was consequently withdrawn.  There are already approved home sites in Dominion Valley that have yet to be built out.  Once they’re occupied, they will add stress to our schools and infrastructure, which are already over-burdened.  For example, with the opening of the new high school in Gainesville, Battlefield High School will come DOWN to 100% capacity from 125% capacity – without the already approved homes.  Any new development would negate that progress and stretch our resources thin.
 
In their modified proposal, the developer proffers more than $40K per lot sold (after the first 50 lots) to the county in a one-time payment to offset the development’s impact on parks, libraries, schools, etc.  This does not adequately support the cost of adding any new facilities (none are in the works), but simply increases the demand on existing ones.  Nor does it have any impact on potential increased traffic at our Association amenities, like the Athletic Club, pools and tennis courts.  Moreover, this development will also adversely impact Piedmont lots bordering it.
 
To gain his support for any new development, our Supervisor, Pete Candland, asks developers to first gain community support.  However, he only has one vote.  In the past the BOCS deferred to local Supervisor on developments in his/her district.  Whether that policy is followed by the new board majority remains to be seen, but we believe the developer has the votes necessary to obtain approval.
 
The Association’s Government & External Affairs Committee will continue to monitor this situation and provide information regarding opportunities for us all to weigh in with the county planning staff (rthornton@pwcgov.org or 703-792-6920), the Planning Commission, and eventually the County Board of Supervisors (BOCS@pwcgov.org).  
 
We strongly encourage you to get engaged and protect our community.  Please contact Patrick Heelen at gm@piedmonthoa.com and he’ll direct you to the Government & External Affairs Committee. We hope to be contacted by the developers, as we were during the run up to the earlier submission, but at this time we have yet to hear from them.