Another Purcellville Annexation Request Awaits Action

Although the Purcellville Town Council has rejected the Purcellville Crossroads annexation request, another large property north of town is still under consideration for development.

The Warner Brook application that calls for a 131-acre mixed residential, recreational, commercial and light industrial property was submitted in October 2015, but has stalled. Warner Brook is east of the Mayfair subdivision that is under construction.

Realtor Jim Herbert, who is representing the Warner family, said the town’s work to update its comprehensive plan has required a significant amount of the planning staff’s time.

“We basically had to wait,” Herbert said this week, adding there was no one in the planning department available to conduct the government’s fiscal impact analysis on essential services, such as police, roads and utilities.

“Normally, the town council is given a recommendation from the town staff that prepares and assesses the fiscal impacts from a project,” Herbert said.

Community Development Director Patrick Sullivan said that both the town and the applicant probably would have benefited with a bit more information provided, but agreed with the Warner family’s decision to hire RCLCO Real Estate Advisors of Reston to conduct the fiscal impact study. The company has frequently acted in that capacity for both Loudoun County and Fairfax County governments, he said.

The study should be complete by year’s end, according to Herbert, who hopes to get the project back on track.

The current proposal envisions 65 acres for residential development; a 22-acre indoor/outdoor sports complex to provide facilities for practices and tournaments; a 22-acre light industrial area; and about 12 acres designated for mixed commercial, including a town center in the southwest corner of the property. The remaining 9 acres contain a stone farmhouse and a large dairy barn, both of which could serve as a visitor or community center, Herbert said.

During a public workshop held by the family, strong support emerged for a residential component of the project. Residents of neighboring Wright’s Farm did not want recreational fields backing up against their homes, according to Herbert, so the family agreed to a compromise that would provide a residential buffer. The family also has been in discussions regarding plans for the indoor and outdoor sports elements to develop enough detail for the town to consider the application.

Another consideration facing town leaders as they debate the merits of annex requests is the impact the development would have on the utility system. The Town Council has held two recent information gathering sessions with its utility rate setting and its financial consultants—Municipal & Financial Services Group and Davenport & Co. LLC, respectively—with the intent to discover a variety of revenue options to avoid annual utility rate hikes that the consultants said will be needed if no further connections are envisioned through growth.

More In the Pipeline

Interest in annexation is not limited to property owners north of Purcellville, but also to the south and the east.

Golden Eagle Development of Herndon owns 67 acres on A Street next to Valley Springs, and is reportedly considering an application to bring that land into the town boundaries.

Harmony Meadows LLC, the owner of a 16-acre property east of town opposite the Catoctin Corner shopping center, recently asked the town to consider a boundary line adjustment for that land. The property was approved for five residential lots in 2007, but the owners are interested in assessing the Town Council’s interest in a different development scheme. The council suggested the developer present more specific plans and gather public feedback.

The O’Toole property, at the southeast quadrant of the Main Street/W.T. Druhan Jr. Boulevard intersection, was annexed into town in 2009. The owner has submitted an application for a comprehensive plan amendment and a rezoning to allow mixed-use commercial development on the land.

Golden Eagle Development also has acquired the 67-acre Roncaglione property north of the Rt. 7 Bypass. That land had previously been proposed for annexation, but there is no active application for development of the tract.

mmorton@loudounnow.com

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