Arguably among the most impactful of changes made by Leesburg Town Council members recently to their rules of order is a time limit assigned to when developers can make changes to rezoning applications.
The rule change mandates a deadline of 14 days prior to the date of the advertised public hearing for final, signed proffers to be submitted to the town staff. According to the new rules, “This policy is not intended to prevent changes made to the proffers at the public hearing which result from comments received from the public or from council members at the public hearing.” The change makes good on a goal voiced by Mayor Kelly Burk to make the rezoning review process more transparent to the public, as several applications toward the end of 2016—Crescent Parke and Leegate of note—had signed changes submitted shortly before a meeting.
Among the other changes endorsed by the council is a clarification that if a motion to approve a rezoning or special exception application fails, it would be deemed denied even without a formal affirmative vote to do so. On other voting matters, new rule changes mandate that a motion to rescind a decision may not be put forward in a land use decision involving special exceptions, rezonings, or ordinances. A motion to reconsider can be made in such cases, but must be made no later than the next succeeding regular meeting of the council and can only be made by a council member who voted on the prevailing side. Such a motion cannot be made in the same meeting when the land use decision was made.