County Soil Types
During the past several decades, Loudoun County soil scientists, working with others, have developed a detailed record of soil types in the county. The continued maintenance and updating of the county's mapped soils information has produced some of the nation's best digital soils data as illustrated in the map above. Using this information, the Loudoun County soil scientists assist with plan review and field review of proposed development and provide technical expertise to other county government departments.
Because the county has emphasized the rural economy as an important part of its overall economic health, prime farmland and agricultural soils are especially valuable. Prime agricultural soils account for approximately 19% of Loudoun County's soils, and are usually found in areas that are level to mildly sloping and naturally well drained. Areas with good agricultural soils are also well suited to residential development since the soils have excellent drainfield potential. But soil erosion from development and improper soil management is a significant threat to this resource.
Special soil and geologic conditions result in potential problems for some types of land use. County staff having expertise in geology, soil science, geotechnical engineering, or hydrogeology review development proposals in these areas to help minimize environmental impacts and assure public health and safety.
The Loudoun County Geotechnical Engineer provides review and guidance to the general public seeking to build on or alter the terrain, to staff in the Department of Building and Development's Engineering Division, and building officials. Continuing efforts are being made to coordinate with other jurisdictions on regulation and policy revisions to yield better building standards and safer structures. The Geotechnical Engineer also provides an expert opinion on problematic and sensitive issues regarding health and safety related to soils and building structural integrity. This information is particularly critical for development on karst areas.
The Locational Clearance program is designed to ensure that development applications conform to the health, safety, and environmental standards set forth in the Zoning Ordinance. These areas include the Mountainside Development Overlay District (MDOD) and Steep Slopes. Contact the Department of Building and Development Engineering Division at 703-777-0397 for additional information on the Locational Clearance process.
For questions or more information about soil types in Loudoun County, please contact the Building and Development Department at 703-777-0220.