Leesburg Council Weighs Courthouse Parking Alternative

The Town of Leesburg and Loudoun County government appear to be considering an option to avoid adding a fourth level to the planned courthouse parking garage.

The Town Council entered into closed session Tuesday night to discuss a proposal to authorize Town Manager Kaj Dentler to pursue an agreement with Loudoun County to provide additional public parking spaces in downtown Leesburg. The closed session came two months after the council approved several applications related to the expansion of the Loudoun County Courthouse complex, the most controversial of which paved the way for the erection of a four-story parking garage at the Pennington parking lot property off North and Church streets.

Dozens of neighbors signed a petition opposing the fourth level of the garage, which they said would make the facility out of character with the neighborhood. Council members, too, looked for ways to lower height for the garage, which county representatives said was needed to provide additional parking for the Loudoun County Government Center. Contributing to the government center’s parking shortage at the county garage was the loss of spaces county staff members had used in the former Loudoun Times-Mirror parking lot, which is part of the Courthouse Square development.

County Administrator Tim Hemstreet and Bob White, of Landmark Commercial, the leasing agency for the Courthouse Square, were among those who joined council members in the closed session.

The approved Courthouse Square project includes about 200 spaces of structured parking in its five-story main building.

Five council members attended the 45-minute closed session. Councilman Marty Martinez was absent for Tuesday’s council meeting and Councilman Bruce Gemmill has previously recused himself from all matters relating to the Loudoun County Courthouse expansion project because of a business relationship.

The council emerged from the closed session without taking a vote on the proposed resolution. Instead, the five council members voted on a motion to adjourn Tuesday’s council meeting.