Lawsuit Filed Over Denial of Crescent Parke Rezoning

The would-be developers of the Crescent Parke project have filed a court challenge to the Leesburg Town Council’s failure to approve its rezoning application. However, the group holds out hope that it can build support for the project.

The lawsuit was filed in Loudoun County Circuit Court on Thursday, meeting the statutory deadline to challenge the council’s July 26 vote. At that meeting, a motion to approve the rezoning failed on a 3-4 vote. However, the council did not take a formal vote to deny the project. Town Attorney Barbara Notar said such a motion was not necessary. The developers disagree and part of the lawsuit is a claim that the application remains pending.

The application sought to rezone 53 acres of vacant commercial land to permit a mixed-use development that would include 198 townhouses, 96 stacked townhouses and 96 multifamily dwelling units. Nonresidential uses would have included a maximum of 110,550 square feet of office space, 137,000 square feet of retail, an area for a future hotel, and a 2,000-square-foot community room. The land stretches from the end of Gateway Drive to Davis Drive along the edge of the Leesburg Bypass.

Attorney John Foote, representing MREC LD Leesburg Crossing LLC, said Thursday there are no plans to press ahead with the lawsuit at this time, but the filing preserves the developers’ right to appeal should future talks fail.

In addition to the procedural issue, the lawsuit claims the council’s denial was arbitrary and capricious and left the landowners without an economically viable use.

Acting on the belief that the rezoning application remained pending following the July 26 meeting, the developers submitted revisions to the project Aug. 19 seeking to address some the concerns cited by the project’s four opponents. Those changes included excluding a 2.34-acre parcel from the rezoning, reducing the number of residential units requested, designating some units as age-restricted housing for residents 55 and older, and adding a phasing requirement to ensure commercial development occurs. The revised application also provides for a $1.05 million payment for off-site transportation improvements if the town opts not to accept the gift of Olde Izaak Walton Park as part of the proffer package.

The town staff declined to accept the revised application for consideration, citing the July 26 council vote as closing the case.

3 thoughts on “Lawsuit Filed Over Denial of Crescent Parke Rezoning

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  • 2016-08-29 at 2:28 pm

    Cry me a river. I just bought a 1987 Chevy Blazer and expect the elected body to upgrade me to a new Escalade. Don’t worry, the taxpayers will fund it.

    For too long developers have been buying tracts of farmland and then demanding the Board or respective Town Council to give them an upgrade in the form of rezoning. If the farmer doesn’t want to sell, no worries. The Government will just take whatever land is needed to run a road to the other developments.

    Developers will cry that the denial prevents them from maximizing the use (profit) of the land. The land was maximized when it was running cattle or growing crops. Now it is a perpetual burden providing schools and utilities, Law enforcement and fire protection. The developer has taken his money, dropped a few baubles in an elected officials pocket, and run off.

    We need business and industrial growth to offset the tax base. But when a developer gets a ‘mixed use’ project approved they always come back crying that the business portion isn’t leasing fast enough and want it converted to more residential.

    The time to stand up to the developers was 40 years ago. The County set the pace by caving to DeLuca when he threatened to sue over the zoning of what is now Countryside. That capitulation opened the floodgates and the path he cut is now an 8-lane highway.

    I bought the old Chevy. I knew it was a Chevy when I wrote the check. I have no right to demand someone else pay for the upgrade to what I feel entitled to.

  • 2016-08-26 at 10:44 pm

    Developer Hobie Mitchell, please leave our town alone. Your cheap and poorly built communities are the reason why people are fed-up with you. Poor planning to boot. Get over it, you lost.

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