Revised Crescent Parke Application Presented

A familiar topic was discussed during Monday night’s Leesburg Town Council meeting, but this Crescent Parke development application has a new look.

The 53-acre Crescent Parke mixed use project was given new life by the Leesburg Town Council in late September, when a council majority voted to rescind July 26 that failed to approve the rezoning application. The town planning staff was asked to accept developer Hobie Mitchel’s revised development plan and proffers, which they did Oct. 3.

Fast forward to Monday night, when the council used its bimonthly work session to discuss the revised project. Chief among Mitchel’s proposed changes is the deletion of 32 dwelling units on a 2.3-acre portion of Olde Izaak Walton Park; a revised building configuration for some proposed commercial buildings that would eliminate integrated parking under the buildings and instead add additional surface parking; and the addition of some age-restricted housing.

The revised application now calls for a total of 344 housing units, including 70 age-restricted multifamily units, and the rest a mix of townhouses and two-over-two units on the property on Gateway Drive to Davis Drive, along the Leesburg Bypass. This is a decrease of 36 units from when the Planning Commission first held a public hearing on the rezoning in March. While the initially-proposed 161,725 square feet of commercial development is unchanged, the phasing is. The newest submission calls for 20,000 square feet of commercial space to be in place by the issuance of the 173rd residential occupancy permit, or 50 percent buildout. There was no phasing of commercial proposed during the March Planning Commission public hearing.

Mitchel lays out two options for the council to consider as it relates to Olde Izaak Walton Park. The original proposal envisioned the developer buying the parkland—property the town currently leases—and donating it to the town. After hearing concerns about the park from some council members Mitchel offered an option for the town to take additional $1 million for off-site transportation improvements. According to a staff report, the proffer was changed to clarify that if the council chooses not to accept the park dedication, lease payments and taxes would be reimbursed to the town by the developer and an additional $1,000 per dwelling unit recreation contribution would be given to the town. The revised application also offers money to for dre dredging and other improvements to the pond at Olde Izaak Walton Park. Concerns about the cost of maintaining the pond and the community building at the park had worried some council members  who opposed having the town take ownership of the land.

Town Manager Kaj Dentler said the council has an option to have another work session on the Crescent Parke project the night prior to a scheduled Nov. 29 public hearing. Whether the council will vote on the development at its Nov. 29 meeting remains to be seen, as some council members have stated that the proposed changes to the application should warrant a return trip to the Planning Commission for its review and feedback.

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