In last week's Virginia Weekly, the party affiliation of Loudoun County Supervisor Andrew R. Bird III was incorrectly reported. Bird is a Republican supervisor representing the Sterling District.
The Sunrise Development Co., one of four firms vying for the right to build a regional shopping mall in eastern Loudoun County, has offered to build a million-dollar road to help ease traffic congestion if the county accepts its mall proposal.
The million-dollar offer was the more expensive of two presented to the County Board last week in response to its request that the four developers offer road improvements as part of their mall proposals. One developer did not attend the meeting, while the other firm said it was still developing its proposal.
The board's request had been prompted by county planners's fears that large-scale residential developments already under way would put tremendous pressure on Leesburg Pike (Rte. 7) and Sully Road (Rte. 28), eastern Loudoun's major roads, and that the board will be unable to convince the state to make necessary improvements.
The offer by Sunrise, which wants to build a mall on Leesburg Pike as part of its Cameron Glen development, received mixed reviews from the supervisors, who expressed everything from support to skepticism to outright opposition.
"This is the most generous proposal the county has ever seen," said Supervisor Andrew R. Bird, III (D-Sterling), in whose district the mall would be built. "We should amend the area management plan so that we can take a good look at it."
Carl F. Henrickson (D-Broad Run) was less enthusiastic. "It Sunrise's offer may appear on the surface to be more generous than it actually is," he said. "It could turn out to be more of a liability than an asset."
Opposed was Leesburg Supervisor Frank Raflo, also a Democrat. "One million dollars is more money than Loudoun County may get from the state highway department in a decade," he said. "But I am unalterably opposed to building a mall on Rte. 7."
Sunrise's proposal to build the 600,000-square-foot regional mall on Leesburg Pike, one mile east of its intersection with Sully Road, is part of the massive Cameron Glen proposal the company submitted for approval two years ago.
Stretching north of Leesburg Pike to the Potomac River, the full development would include 3,000 houses and a smaller community shopping center in addition to the mall.
The Sunrise proposal calls for the company to build a two-lane highway running south from Leesburg Pike to Sterling Road (Rte. 637). The proposed road would be about 1 1/2 miles long and would include a loop through the shopping mall.
Paul M. Goldberg, president of Sunrise, said the road would handle commuter and shopper traffic and would reduce congestion on Leesburg Pike and Sully Road by 22 percent.
But some board members at the meeting contended that two lanes were inadequate for an access road to a shopping center.
"Can you think of one regional shopping mall located on a two-lane road?" Henrickson asked the developer. "A two-lane road with the kind of traffic on it you are projecting would never be accepted into the state road system."
"We've already got too many roads that need four-laning. And we don't need another," Henrickson said. "If Sunrise won't four-lane their road, it doesn't make any sense from a practical viewpoint."
Though Goldberg would not promise to build a four-lane road, he said the company would construct a road that met state standards. If that meant four lanes, officials said, it could almost double the cost of the road.
"There are limits to what we can afford," Goldberg said. "The road would help the county and it would help us, but it's at the high end of our scale as it the proposal is."
The other road improvement offer presented last week, by Montouri Associates, was less extensive than that of Sunrise.
Montouri, which is proposing to build a shopping center on Sully Road at Church Road (Rte. 625), said it would build flyovers and two access points and would consider making four lanes the short section of Sully Road along its property.
"If they had said they would four-lane Rte. 28 from Rte. 625 down to where it will intersect with the Dulles toll road, we would have said, 'Great. Go ahead,' " Henrickson said. "That would only be about one mile, and the county already owns the right-of-way, so it is fair to compare such an offer with Sunrise's offer. But they didn't . . . ."
Camp Luckett Inc., which is proposing a mall at Kanfer, at Sully and Church roads, said it would present a transportation plan in two weeks. The Lerner Corp., the fourth firm, did not attend the meeting and has not offered any road improvements. Its mall is proposed for Sully Road and Leesburg Pike.
Goldberg said his company's proposal may ultimately win.
"We have a sense of where people's heads are at and they the County Board recognize we are serious, competent people," he said. "We are cautiously optimistic."