After voting to deny the Crescent Parke rezoning application last week, Leesburg’s leaders should consider going back to the drawing board for a reexamination of the town’s development goals.
Crescent Parke may not have been the perfect development proposal and there may be valid reasons to reject it. However, the objections cited by the project’s critics revealed a wide gulf between community expectations and the vision established by town leaders in recent years.
In broad measure, the development plan seemed to comply with the town’s plan in terms of its density, the road network, and mix of uses. Put another way: In general, Crescent Parke is what the area will look like if developers follow the town’s current blueprint.
What was heard from critics were worries about clearing the forest beyond the boundaries of Olde Izzak Walton Park, opposition to traffic resulting from new road connections and concerns about new housing. That all happens if the adopted Crescent District Plan is implemented.
If the Crescent District Plan is not what the town’s governmental leaders or its residents want for the future, now is the time to recognize that and reverse course. Asking landowners and developers to invest in a vision that lacks community support only further erodes the town’s credibility with those with whom it must partner to build its future.