Crescent Parke Application Given New Life by Leesburg Council

The Leesburg Town Council voted tonight to rescind a controversial decision that failed to approve the Crescent Parke rezoning application.

By a 4-3 vote, the council approved a motion by Councilman Bruce Gemmill to rescind the July 26 decision. That night, a vote to approve the 53-acre mixed-use community failed on a 3-4 vote, with only council members Suzanne Fox and Katie Sheldon Hammler and Mayor David Butler in favor. On Tuesday night, Gemmill joined the three who had supported approval of the project in deciding to revisit the application.

During Monday night’s work session, when Gemmill publicly announced his desire to add a motion to rescind to Tuesday’s agenda, he cited positive, “significant” changes made by developer Hobie Mitchel of Lansdowne Development Group to the project. Gemmill said he believed it was part of his due diligence as a council member to bring the project back for another look.

The application sought approval for 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, 137,175 square feet of retail, an area for a future hotel, and a 2,000-square-foot community room. The land stretches from the terminus of Gateway Drive to Davis Drive along the edge of the Leesburg Bypass. The land assemblage also includes the Olde Izaak Walton Park, land currently leased by the town but which the developers offered to donate to the town.

Vice Mayor Kelly Burk, who along with council members Marty Martinez, Tom Dunn and Gemmill, had supported denial of the project in July, did not mince words in her displeasure for the evening’s action.

“When this council voted not to accept the application it sent a message to the development community that if you don’t bring us the best don’t bother because we’re not going to accept it,” she said.

Tuesday’s action instead sent the message to “bring what’s best for you the developer because we can always vote on it again and again and again,” Burk said.

In a separate motion, the council also directed the own staff to accepted the revised proffer and project changes from the developer, and to advertise for a new public hearing at the Town Council. That motion passed 4-2-1, with Burk and Martinez dissenting and Dunn abstaining. Burk and Martinez said they believed the application should first go back to the Planning Commission for review. Dunn said he is “all for public input,” but did not agree with some of the provisions in the resolution, including the suggestion that, in lieu of a hearing at the Planning Commission, commissioners could come speak at the council public hearing as petitioners.

3 thoughts on “Crescent Parke Application Given New Life by Leesburg Council

  • 2016-09-28 at 9:10 am

    Crescent Park is no different than say the much smaller new residential development Valley View Estates Project (across the street), which has a total of 21 total large single family and town home units, which seems to have had had no problems getting approved, ironically. Gwen Pangle, who is running for Town Council, and who also heads the Leesburg Economic Development Commission (appointed by Kelly Burk on the Town Council, her good friend, and running for Mayor) is the Owner of the firm as the listing agent for all units, ironically. There seems to be a common link as if you are you are a friend of Gwen or son in-law opening a bar/restaurant or are a friend of other liberals on the Town Council, things are easily approved. Others vying for Town Council, such as liberal Evan MacBeth, stated yesterday that that they wanted to make it easier to get development approved based on diversity proffers. Evan, Gwen is readily selling the properties even though none of the Valley View Estates offer any degree of diversity proffers and I am assured the neighbors aren’t too pleased with the new large homes that don’t meld with their existing community and encroach on their land/structures.

    • 2016-10-01 at 3:13 pm

      It was Council member Katie Hammler who appointed Gwen Pangle, not Kelly Burk.

  • 2016-09-29 at 1:33 pm

    Not sure how Gwen can even run for Council with all the conflict of interest issues she will have. She is selling Hobie Mitchel homes already in town. There is another commissioner selling for Hobie, his name is Jim Sisily or something like that. So join a town commission and make big commissions. Good work if you can find it.

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