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.

6 thoughts on “Leesburg Council Weighs Courthouse Parking Alternative

  • 2016-04-27 at 7:33 am

    It would cost more but put the 4th floor underground. Plan for the future, add a few more underground too. The longer you wait, the more expensive it will be when you really have to do it.

  • 2016-04-27 at 12:51 pm

    Why is a developer in a closed session with the Council? Let’s hope they are not negotiating to let the County acquire the Courthouse Square property for government use and lose millions of dollars in tax revenue that the Courthouse Square will benefit for the citizens of Leesburg. Closed sessions are not for the benefit of developers, but to protect the town from financial problems — totally inappropriate to have the developer and County Administrator there.

  • 2016-04-29 at 12:36 pm

    Always interesting to see reactions about closed meetings. The first thing to note, is that Tom Dunn participated. Why is it, when he is running for re-election as council member, he has no problems attending closed door meetings? I guess most of the time, Tom Dunn has no problem with back room (and smoky as well) deals. But, also name me a past member of the Leesburg Town Council (hint – the initials are Kevin Wright) who had no problems attending closed door meetings. And finally, and the ultimate question, what is the need for a closed door meeting at all? Eventually, the council will need to vote out in the open on what ever this is about – so why not start now with the public seeing what it is all about?

  • 2016-05-02 at 5:10 pm

    Good call out Lawgh. Burk calling for transparent government. She attended the closed session. Let’s see how it all turns out.

  • 2016-05-05 at 5:24 pm

    How about just moving the courts out by the airport, plenty of room, more secure location with transport etc. from ADC, then take the historic courthouse and turn it into the Leesburg museum, turn the rest of the “new addition” of the courthouse into the parking garage that the town needs. Then maybe we can get even more businesses and vitality in the historic area, instead of lawyer’s offices…
    Preserve what’s left of historic Leesburg, not add more to the “Gotham City” look that is far from blending in….

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