Airport Impact Committee
Brambleton Community Association supports economic development in and around Dulles International Airport (IAD) but believes a fact-based, holistic, comprehensive, and data-driven approach is necessary when revising Loudoun County’s Airport Impact Overlay District (AIOD). Loudoun County is revising its AIOD to align its zoning with IAD’s flight path changes over the last several years. This revision is occurring at the sole advisement and direction of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) which is attempting to fast-track its approval. No other stakeholders have been involved in this process.
The newly proposed AIOD negatively impacts future and existing Brambleton homes, including property values, property rights (due to the possibility of property condemnation for avigation easements), required and costly noise mitigation measures, and disclosure requirements when selling your home. The majority of issues center around the changes to the noise impact areas from Runway 30 at IAD, which are a result of FAA operational changes that were not communicated to Loudoun County until very recently. The legacy map showed two high-noise areas extending as “bunny ears” straight out from the existing and planned runways, headed northwest (see Existing and Proposed Tiers map). The change will eliminate those areas and instead create high-noise areas in multiple directions.
The BCA Board of Directors formed the Airport Impact Committee at their meeting on December 6, 2022. The purpose of this Executive Committee of the Board is to:
- Consider and take action to reduce the impacts to the community resulting from Loudoun County’s revision of the AIOD.
- Establish a roundtable of stakeholders to establish a comprehensive and holistic approach.
- Work to advocate, draft, and propose County, State, and Federal policies and legislation that reduce IAD’s impacts on Brambleton and other impacted residential communities.
- Work with elected officials, MWAA, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and professionals, such as consultants, attorneys, and specialists, to achieve stated purposes.
- Communicate BCA’s position, achievements, and progress on related matters to its residents and others.
Loudoun County is committed to updating the AIOD to ensure future economic development of IAD and the County, and revising the AIOD will impact future development. BCA supports future economic growth but not at a cost to its current property owners and residents. Loudoun County’s proposed AIOD revisions impact 47,000 property owners, including over two-thirds of homes in Brambleton. For these reasons, the BCA Board believes it is in the best interest of the entire community to act on this topic.
How Does the AIOD Impact Your Property?
There are three tiers within the proposed AIOD: LDN 65 or Higher, LDN 60-65, and One-Mile Buffer. Loudoun County’s overview of the impacts of the revised AOID is focused on new residential development; however, the reality is that it will also impact existing residential property owners.
This is Loudoun County’s statement found on their website:
The reality is that the revised AIOD significantly impacts 47,000 existing residential property owners. Most of Brambleton homes are being moved into AIOD tiers. If your property is relocated into one of the below tiers, this is how you, your home, and your property could be impacted:
- Ldn 65 or Higher: Property value is negatively impacted. Insurance premiums will increase, or homes could be underinsured by as much as 25%. Owner-funded noise abatement is required. Avigation easements may be required. Disclosure required.
- Ldn 60-65: Not significantly different from Ldn 65 or Higher tier. Property value could be negatively impacted, but not as much as in the higher tier. Insurance premiums are likely to increase. Owner-funded noise abatement is required for new additions or rebuilding after a disaster. Avigation easements may be required. Disclosure required.
- One-Mile Buffer: Increase to insurance unlikely. The negative impact on property values is unknown. Disclosure required.
Why BCA Opposes the Revised AIOD
BCA supports the smart economic growth of IAD but not at the expense of existing residential property owners. We oppose the revised AIOD because poorly written legislation unnecessarily impacts existing residential property in numerous ways.
BCA’s Position: Slow down the process to allow for roundtable discussions involving various stakeholders, including the County, MWAA, FAA, homeowners’ associations (HOAs), property owners, and other experts. Doing so will allow for the following:
- Development of short-term and long-term goals and legislation that do not drastically impact existing residential property owners.
- A comprehensive, inclusive, and balanced approach toward planning.
- Development of noise abatement programs.
- A better understanding of the AIOD’s impact on property values and property rights.
- An understanding of the impact on homeowners’ insurance premiums and coverage.
- Development of effective disclosure requirements that are within the County’s authority.
- The economic development of IAD that doesn’t adversely impact existing property owners
- Short-term legislation that only impacts future residential development within the proposed Ldn 65+ district (aka “White Zone” on map)
- Equitable distribution of flights over surrounding residential areas
- Keeping existing Ldn 65+ AIOD in place for future use. This allows options for future planning and legislation.
- Grants and subsidies for noise abatement
- Disclosure within requirements set by State Statute
- Airport and flight awareness and education for its residents
- Poorly written legislation
- MWAA being Loudoun County’s sole advisor on AIOD revisions
- Property rights being surrendered for IAD economic growth
- Homeowner-funded noise abatements required due to existing homes being moved to a more impactful and restrictive AIOD tier
- Increases to insurance and additional insurance coverage for homes being moved to a more impactful AIOD tier
- County disclosure requirements for HOAs that are outside of their authority
- Disclosures that place unnecessary exposure and liability on BCA and other HOAs
- Elimination of the current Ldn 65+ “bunny ears”