And, if there are any locals who want to comment on the settlement before it is voted on, this Tuesday night's Herndon Town Council meeting is the chance.
The plot of land is on the very edge of the town's current western boundary. It is a small strip of Town-owned land located at the intersection of Rock Hill Road and Sterling Road.
The 2.5-acre, "Isosceles triangle-shaped" strip of land is all owned by the Town, and is used as the Town office building at 1481 Sterling Road, and an entrance to the Town’s Public Works Lot at 1479 Sterling Road, the former recycling center, and a grassy buffer strip. All land lies on the east side of Rock Hill Road.
If the proposed settlement between the Town and Loudoun County is approved, it means the Town's western boundary will actually shift over about 100 feet, and the strip of land would be officially incorporated into the Town of Herndon - but at the same time would also lie within Loudoun County.
Town Attorney Richard Kaufman said, "It would mean part of the Town of Herndon would be in Loudoun County, which is no big deal, but is something [noteworthy], because we've always been a town located in Fairfax County - now we'll be a town in both counties."
Town officials confirmed this shift does not affect any residents or businesses, since the only thing located on the land is a Town-owned office building. The shift will not affect school boundaries or taxes for any residents.
Kaufman said the matter of which municipality the land belongs to has caused some problems in the past - particularly because the office building located on the land, which the Town owns, houses many important Town offices such as parts of the Public Works and Community Development departments.
Kaufman said years ago, in 2005, the Town operated a temporary day worker site on the property, which Loudoun County was not happy about.
"Loudoun County issued a notice of zoning violation against the Town, stating the town couldn't have offices, or an entrance to the Public Works lot, or a day worker site there, and issued a restriction against it until it the property's zoning was properly straightened out," Kaufman said.
Kaufman said the Town fought that restriction for a while, and a lawsuit between the Town and Loudoun County even ensued, but the Town lost, during which time the day worker site was forced to close.
Eventually, the Town decided a better approach would be to try and go through the legislative process to straighten the matter out, instead of through litigation.
Kaufman said that approach helped significantly improve the relationship between the two municipalities.
"It's a good relationship now. We're on very positive and collegial terms now, with Loudoun County," he said. "And we hope to build on that, if that part of the town becomes part of Loudoun County."
Regarding the previous fights, including the lawsuits and restrictions, Kaufman said, "The purpose of this settlement would be to avoid all those issues; and it hasn't been acrimonious at all since that lawsuit was over, but it would be better for everyone involved to not have to go through that process anymore."
Kaufman said under the terms of the settlement, the land would be part of Loudoun County, but the Town's zoning policies would apply, so "we won't have to worry about land use issues or anything like that with Loudoun County anymore."
Kaufman said he thinks the terms of the settlement are good for everyone involved.
"We think it's a very good settlement, and I'm recommending it as a staff member," he said.
"Plus, with part of the town located in Loudoun County, it will make it even easier to partner with them on all sorts of exciting things going on in the area right now," he added, such as transit-oriented development with Phase 2 of the Metro coming soon, and many other things.
The Herndon Town Council will be hearing a presentation and reviewing the terms of the settlement at its meeting this Tuesday night, Oct. 8, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 765 Lynn St. The public is invited to make comments on the matter during designated portions of the meeting.
If the Council votes to approve the proposed settlement, it will move to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors for approval.
TELL US - What do you think about the town's western boundary shifting, and a small part of Herndon being in Loudoun County? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.
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