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Protect Dulles Airport

This page provides access to papers opposing efforts by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to develop residential communities close by Dulles airport. Occupants of these developments will risk exposure to intense aircraft noise similar to the levels so many find untenable today around Washington National airport. Earlier Boards have protected residents and Dulles from this fate with land use policies discouraging residential developments nearby the airport. Over the past three years, the current Board recklessly has abandoned these policies.

Paper One dated 9 Mar 2022:  A 21 Jul 2020 Meeting of the Board’s Land Use Policy Committee discussed two pivotal elements of past land use policies protecting the airport.  A 9 Mar 2020 paper addressed to Supervisors and Planning Commissioners and available here documented the abundance of misinformation that had been presented in the meeting as well as the critical omission of testimony from local aviation industry experts who had strongly recommended against the Board’s dismantling past policies.

Paper Two dated 6 Apr 2022:  County staff is preparing an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan, PA 2020-CW-3CP, which would provide guidance for residential developments between the 60 and 65 DNL noise contours close by the airport.  The proposed guidance is utterly lacking in effective noise protection for residents.  On 7 Apr 2020, this paper was send to the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission pointing out the deficiency and opposing adoption.

Paper Three dated 12 May 2022.  This paper effectively summarizes the conclusions of the two papers above to argue that Plan Amendment 2020-CW-3CP should not be adopted.  The amendment would allow residential development in a 5-square-mile area bordering Dulles airport with little assurance that aircraft noise in homes would be effectively mitigated or that developments would provide viable neighborhoods for families given the noise.  The Board of Supervisors and Planning Commission received copies of the paper on 12 May 2020.  Hearings are scheduled for 18 May (PC) and 28 June (Board).

Planning Commission Hearing Testimony dated 18 May 2022.  18 May 2020 testimony before the Planning Commission argued that PA 2020-CW-3CP should not be adopted because (1) the proposed guidance for mitigating interior aircraft noise levels is inadequate and (2) the proposal to allow residential uses between the 60 and 65 DNL contours is based on out-of-date 1993 contours that were superseded by current contours three years ago in April 2019.

Additional Information for Planning Commission dated 1 Jun 2022.  On 1 Jun 2022, follow-up information was provided to the Planning Commission in an effort to clarify the 18 May testimony.  The objective was to make clear the need for an effective standard for interior noise mitigation.  An example of 45 DNL aircraft noise at Dulles was included.

Paper Four dated 14 June 2020.  The health and welfare of future occupants of the homes the Board is recommending between the 60 and 65 dNL contours is the first priority.  The county is responsible for establishing and enforcing effective, realistic standards for interior noise mitigation.  Without such standards there is no reason to hope that the homes will support viable family life.  The purpose of this  paper is to demonstrate that the Board has abdicated this responsibility.  Instead, the Board has adopted the tenet that home occupation at Dulles is a “buyer-beware situation.”  The paper was distributed to the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission.

Board of Supervisors Hearing Testimony dated 28 Jun 2022.  This testimony is a five-minute summary of Paper Four.   A copy of the additional information distributed to the Planning Commission on 1 June was attached to the written testimony.

 

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