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Waterside From Chantilly Crushed Stone
The Loudoun Board of Supervisors on Wednesday formally backed the planned transformation of a Sterling-area quarry into a 5-million-square-foot transit-oriented development anchored by a 54-acre lake, a project one elected official described as a "lasting legacy of this board."
Waterside, from Chantilly Crushed Stone (an affiliate of the Gudelsky Group), will cover 335 acres north and south of Route 606, east of Route 28. It is immediately northeast of Dulles International Airport and within a mile of the future Innovation Center Metro station on the Silver Line.
"This is going to take an industrial area and turn it into an edge city," said Supervisor Kenneth Reid, R-Leesburg.
The board voted 6 to 2 to approve the ambitious, multi-decade plan, which will replace the 54-year-old Loudoun Quarries with 2,200 multifamily units, 395 age-restricted units and 3.8 million square feet of non-residential development — a mix of office, hotel, retail and civic spaces.
“This has come a long way, and it wasn’t there two years ago,” said SupervisorShawn Williams, R-Broad Run. “This is going to be a significant enhancement to this corridor.”
While the board praised planning staff and the applicant for collaborating over three-plus years to get the proposal to its final state, patience did wear thin as the review dragged on. By spring, Chantilly Crushed Stone was demanding a decision, saying if one didn't come by summer, it would open up more of the quarry to mining and continue that use for another 50 years.
“If the county isn’t smart enough to grab what’s here, too bad for them," Ed Hoy, president of Chantilly Crushed Stone, told the Washington Business Journal in May.
Williams, whose district includes the Loudoun Quarries, said he expects Waterside will be a “jewel” and “a lasting legacy of this board.” A walkable, urban, transit-oriented, tax-producing project, he said, “far outweighs continuing the rock blasting quarry.”
"I wouldn’t even consider it initially, because of the way it was designed, but now I think it’s an incredible package," said Supervisor Suzanne Clarke, R-Blue Ridge.
Supervisors Eugene Delgaudio, R-Sterling, and Geary Higgins, R-Catoctin, voted against the rezoning application. The high residential density and the increasing demand for public services, Delgaudio explained, was behind his opposition.
“We as a board are not ready for 2,200 residential units, even if it’s 30 years for now,” Delgaudio said.
Work on Waterside will not start for at least four years, as the quarry is the main stone supplier for the second phase of the Silver Line. Allowing the quarry pit to naturally fill with water, to form the centerpiece lake, is expected to take eight years at a minimum.
As part of its proffer package, Chantilly Crushed Stone has agreed to contribute 25 acres for future school and fire-rescue facilities, pay nearly $10 million to offset the impact of Waterside on public services and to partially fund a number of critical area road improvements, including the widening of Route 606 to six lanes and the extension of Shaw Road through the property.
"To its great credit, the Loudoun board just threw down the gauntlet and put Fairfax County on notice that it no longer enjoys a monopoly on this vibrant, transit-oriented, mixed-use market developing along the Silver Line," said Antonio Calabrese with Cooley LLP, the law firm that shepherded the project through the pipeline.
He added: "It's hard to point to a more prominent front door to Loudoun -- the visible confluence of Route 28, the Toll Road, the beginning of the Dulles Greenway and the entrance to Dulles International Airport."
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