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Three new plans released in Ashburn and Dulles North re-zoning saga

In a lengthy briefing and public hearing April 4, the Loudoun County School Board introduced three more plans for the Ashburn and Dulles North re-zoning.

The plans are the fourth, fifth and sixth plans introduced by the School Board in what has already been a contentious month-long process. The re-zoning could impact students from as many as six high schools and six middle schools.

Plan 4, introduced by Bill Fox (Leesburg), largely models Plan 3, introduced by Kevin Kuesters (Broad Run).

“I used Plan 3 as a starting point because it did a better job of keeping HOAs together while still staying true to cluster alignments,” Fox said. He noted, however, that some changes were necessary to prevent overcrowding in certain schools.

Unlike Plan 3, Plan 4 separates Belmont Country Club, sending only the portion inside the gates as well as DN39 to the new HS-8 (opening 2015-2016 in Lansdowne). DNs 46.1, 46, 45.1, 44.2a, 44.2, 24, 24.1 and 23 also move from Briar Woods to HS-6 (opening 2014-2015 in Loudoun Valley Estates). Unlike Plan 3, DN4 stays at Broad Run. Fox also noted that despite the map, he has DN15 as attending HS-6, not John Champe.

Plan 6 was introduced by Thomas Reed (At Large) and is a synthesized plan based on parental input and walk-zones. Reed's plan keeps the Belmont Country Club within the gate at Stone Bridge, while moving DN10.2 to HS-8. It also leaves part of Broadlands at Briar Woods, placing some portions at Broad Run and HS-6, while splitting Brambleton into Briar Woods and HS-6. Broad Run's sheer square mileage is decreasing, leaving Discovery Elementary to feed into Stone Hill and HS-6 and Steuart W. Weller to feed into Belmont Ridge and HS-8.

Jill Turgeon (Blue Ridge) proposed Plan 5, one of the more controversial plans. Designed with input from a group of Brambleton parents, Plan 5 keeps all of Brambleton at Briar Woods while moving the Broadlands to Stone Bridge, Briar Woods or HS-6.

“The feedback that I've been getting from the community is a feeling that Briar Woods is within the community of Brambleton and that the amount of support that the HOA has offered this school and the community, this was a sincere desire from that community,” Turgeon said.

Plan 5 also has all of Belmont Country Club at HS-8.

Much of the debate during the public hearing portion focused on Policy 2-32, which states that facilities, proximity, community and demographics are the initial considerations for adopted attendance zones.

Homeowners Associations, especially Ashburn Village, Ashburn Farm and Brambleton cited community when voicing their displeasure at plans that split their respective HOAs.

But the April 4 hearing offered dissension.

“Who declared HOA as the definition of community? This definition makes people feel entitled to a school,” Ashburn resident Tracy Bongianino said.

Many parents expressed concern that the HOAs were being kept together at the expense of forcing them to travel longer distances to schools.

“We keep hearing HOA as the definition of community and it's really hurting the process at times,” parent and Ashburn resident Ruth Kapusta said. “Using HOA as the definition of community throws proximity out the window.”

With close to 100 speakers, April 4's public hearing proved to be one of the longest yet, exceeding more than three hours as area parents jumped at an opportunity to voice their grievances.

The School Board will issue attendance zone recommendations at its April 9 meeting. There will be a final public hearing April 15 before the School Board formally adopts new attendance zones at the April 23 meeting.


This is the worst process in LCPS(next to yearly budget). How come more areas close to these school aren’t included? Easy to see where school board members(Jill) are leaning with the plan they put out, even though it doesn’t affect their area. Some of the plans are flawed big time because the schools reach capacity within a year or two. And there is no way everyone in brambleton can go to briarwoods with all the new housing in that area, another HS will have to be build within a few years and the boundaries will be re done once again. Poor planning is another issue in Loudoun. They won’t have to worry about attracting the FBI and other companies….. Who would want to move into Loudoun and not know where their kids will go to school in 3+ years.

Acccording to policy 2-32 ALL the initial primary considerations are met by leaving all of Ashburn Village at Farmwell. (proximity, efficiency, facility usage, walking, student safety, community and even demographics) Even LCPS acknowledged the walking cocmmunity to Farmwell by installing pedestrian controlled lights. LCPS installed multiple bike racks to accomodate many students who bicycle to Farmwell via Ashburn Village paths & the W&OD; which abuts Farmwell.
Ashburn Village has two elementary schools which logically feed to Farmwell all with extensive developer provided walking paths within one community.
If there is no case where Belmont Ridge Middle School would not have Landowne students attend it then under what planetary interference would Farmwell not receive the same consideration?
On the high school boundary issue howy cain over 600 students be taken out of Tuscarora yet the Tuscarora community not be considered as part of this regional school boundary decision? How does one meet the Va code 22.1-79.4 mandate that boundaries be redrawn to contribute to efficiency yet ignore the communities north of Route 7 which are extremely close to HS8 yet commute to Heritage well south of Route 7.  How can Heritage and Tuscarora be ignored while both these contiguous districts to Ashburn have excess capacity over the next 5 years? 
What we do know is every element of the law and S.B. Policy 2-32 supports Ashburn Village students attending Farmwell Middle School. 
Ashburn. I remember how convincingly The Farm community was by arguing that Stone Bridge was “IN” the community which clearly applies to Farmwell in the exact same way.
I urge the board to agree on addressing Policy 2-32 wherever it applies completely such as Ashburn Village staying at Farmell and then try to solve more challenging boundary decisions. Perhaps these student population problems would not be so dramatic if someone would audit the student generation forecasts that advised the Supervisors how many students a higher density development would generate against what actually occurred! If such high density developments were made to proffer what they really caused in higher student generation perhaps our school budget problems would be lessened as well.

With housing developments filling up, come growing pains. Newer developments experience change in boundaries almost on an annual basis, while older fully developed communities look back at all the changes in boundaries they endured while growing and breath relief they are past that stage and have finally achieved stability. Yet, the school administration seems to ignore the pains the more established communities endured in favor of newer developments that still are stretching out. Once a development like Ashburn Farm has matured to the point where there is no more substantial growth, it is inconceivable they would be shackled with more boundary changes when lesser developed and still growing developments remain intact? Part of growing up as a development are the ever changing school boundaries, but once a community has reached maturity like Ashburn Farm, they are much more entitled to stability than their newer and less developed counterparts.

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