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    Some residents not so happy about ballpark in their backyard

    There has been a lot of excitement since the announcement of a new ballpark for the Loudoun Hounds and a professional soccer team coming to the much hyped One Loudoun mixed-use development.

    However, not everybody is excited about the news.

    Several neighborhoods are very unhappy about the change, which was announced on Oct. 1.

    The Potomac Green neighborhood, which sits approximately a half a mile from the site of the proposed ballpark has been leading the charge.

    Potomac Green is a 55 and older community with 1,400 single-family, condo and attached homes.

    The community held a town hall meeting with Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York (R-At Large) and Supervisor Shawn Williams (R-Broad Run) at the Potomac Green Community Center Nov. 14 to discuss the concerns of the citizens. Approximately 240 community members attended.

    Also tagging along with the Supervisors was VIP Entertainment President and CEO Bob Farren and Bill May, vice president of Miller and Smith – who operate One Loudoun.

    The meeting got a little heated at times, according to a two residents, and the crowd remained animated throughout the interaction, frequently booing and cheering when they agreed or disagreed with an answer.

    According to one resident who asked not to be named the community’s main concerns include traffic, parking, noise, lights and security.

    Traffic has been a concern of many after this announcement, based on the existing traffic volume on Route 7 during rush hour.

    In an interview with the Times-Mirror, VIP Entertainment spokesman David D’Onofrio noted they don’t foresee traffic to be an issue.

    “The thing that is better about Loudoun is the multiple ingress and egress points right in the middle of putting in a new entrance to the town center off Loudoun County parkway,” D’Onofrio said. “At Kincora, we didn’t have has many points to work with. It will actually flows better.

    “Now, everybody sees Route 7 and the backups and that is here today. Hopefully, by the time we get there that will be solved,” D’Onofrio said. 

    According to a traffic study conducted when the site was at Kincora, during the commuter peak hours approximately 20 percent of baseball traffic will arrive. An hour before game time, 70 percent of baseball traffic will arrive. Also in the hour following the game, 90 percent of ballpark traffic will be leaving the area.

    Given the move, these traffic studies will likely need to be updated before VIP goes before the Board of Supervisors for final approval.

    Residents of Potomac Green are also worried about people coming into the neighborhood and parking for games and then walking over to dodge paying for parking.

    As a result, safety issues have been voiced about people walking back to their cars under the influence and causing damage to the neighborhood because it is not a gated community.

    Noise is also possible issue, because concerts, baseball and soccer games have the potential for a high noise volume. Fireworks is another frequent noise concern.

    During the Summer Concert Series, which was held at Landowne Resort,approximately 2.5 miles away from the Potomac Green Community Center, the concert was heard according to residents. Residents also claim events at the Ashburn Village Community Center can be heard inside their homes well.

    D’Onofrio noted that they will be doing everything in their power to meet the concerns of residents surrounding the new ballpark.

    The residents of Potomac Green have set up a website nostadiumon7.org. For more information email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

    Comments

    I agree with the entertainment aspect and a civic pride in local teams but studies have shown stadiums not to be economic engines. They just garner disposable income from other sources actually hurting small business except for the area surronding the stadiums.


    “We don’t like noise and traffic” says the people who bought homes in a planned community adjacent to a world trade center and a major transportation artery in a major metropolitan area.  Real smart.

    I think the office space and high-density housing that will be between your houses and the stadium will be enough of a buffer.  If you are like my 55+ parents, you can’t hear anyways. 

    The Atlantic League is a 35 game home schedule.  Some of which are weekend day games, so traffic isn’t really a concern.  And a max 7K fans per game, many of which will be carpooling, will not clog up the roads enough to warrant losing a great economic and entertainment opportunity like this.


    Hmm. If I was retired and living in a retirement community, I think I would welcome being able to walk to a baseball game several times a week !  Something to do.  As for the hooligan drunks messing with your car - that’s what insurance is for (Geico and Smith & Wesson).  Heck, you live in the wealthiest, fastest-growing part of the country.  It’s to be expected.


    I highly doubt many people will attend so it shouldn’t be a traffic problem. And if the economy doesn’t improve, I could see the team going under or moving to another town. If the Nats can’t fill their ball park while tickets are given away for practically nothing, who’s going to pay to see the Hounds?


    “Now, everybody sees Route 7 and the backups and that is here today. Hopefully, by the time we get there that will be solved,” D’Onofrio said.

    There you go.  The mantra of land use planning in Loudoun County.  “Oh that will get fixed.”  Did the developer and York turn to each other after that statement and try to hold back the laughter? 

    When will the BoS finally stop and ask who is actually fixing this?  Are they now going to use this as an excuse to approve more homes off Belmont Ridge Rd?  David D’Onofrio certainly doesn’t care about Route 7 traffic, but the Board of Supervisors is supposed to, and they’ve been failing us on that for years. 

    And traffic studies are just about worthless.  I’ve looked over plenty of development applications in my professional life and every single one figures out a way to say the level of service will be barely impacted.  Do you think any of the problematic developments we have today projected awful traffic issues when they went in for approval?  Barely anything seems to be done by-right around here, so someone had to look at it.

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    Loudoun Business Journal - Summer 2014

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