Representatives of the Sunrise Development Co. from Cleveland met with the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors this week to defend their proposal to build Cameron Glen, a massive shopping and residential development being planned for eastern Loudoun.
The proposal, which calls for building 4,200 homes north of Route 7 just west of the Sterling area and a 600,000-square-foot regional shopping mall with 200,000 square feet of anncilary commercial office space south of Route 7, is wending its way slowly through the county's approval process. The board has scheduled a public hearing Sept. 27 and a vote on the proposal Oct. 1.
But despite what one board member called "progress" in the negotiations with the developers last week, other members say that they have seen so few details about the proposed Cameron Glen development that they will ask to have the vote delayed until they know more about what they are voting on.
"With most developments you get a whole packet of information about what the proposed development will look like," said Supervisor Carl Henrickson (D-Broad Run). "With the people from Cameron Glen they just sit across the table and say, 'Okay we can do that,' but they don't put it on paper. It makes it very difficult for the planning staff to analyse the details of their proposal when it is all done over the table."
The proposal is the first to include a regional shopping mall on Route 7 since the board approved a change in the master plan last spring that allows a mall there. The original master plan said that a shopping mall should be located on Route 28, the road that connects Route 7 with Dulles Airport to the south.
The issue of putting a shopping center on Route 7 is still controversial in Loudoun County, particularly among residents who use the road to commute and are unhappy about the impact a shopping center would have on already sluggish traffic flow. But one board member said recently that he wonders whether the Cameron Glen developers will actually build their shopping center.
"My concern is that if the shopping center is not built they certainly won't build Nokes School Road to the south," said Supervisor Frank Raflo (D-Leesburg), chairman of the Board's Public Facilities committee which is conducting the negotiations. "I think that there has to be a direct linkage between the density of housing allowed and whether or not they plan to build that road."
Nokes School Road, a mile-long road that would provide access for the shopping center from Route 28, was first proposed by the developers last spring when the Board of Supervisors indicated that they would have to see some road improvements before they would consider such a massive proposal. Paul Goldberg, president of Sunrise Development, promised the board that the company would pay for the construction of a two-lane road and donate right-of-way for four lanes.
But Cameron Glen's representatives said last week that they now will agree to build all four lanes of the roadway, an offer that will boost their cost for the road from $1 million to possibly as much as $2 million. Nokes School Road, as proposed, would also link the shopping center with the residential development to the north, by providing a grade-separated interchange at Route 7.
But if there is no shopping center and no Nokes School Road, the residential section of Cameron Glen would feed straight into Route 7 without the grade-separation, a layout most of the board members say they dislike because it would add slow traffic on the county's major commuter route.
Raflo said that he would try at the next work session to tie the density of the residential section to a commitment by Cameron Glen representatives to build the Nokes School Road, at least the section over Route 7.
"Without out that, 4,200 units is unacceptable," said Raflo. "We will need to see more specificity, an overall concept plan for the ancillary commercial development south of the shopping center and agreements set on paper if we are to get on with this at the next meeting."
Cameron Glen representatives said they would have a detailed concept plan available at the next work session, scheduled now for Tuesday.