The Leesburg Town Council has endorsed a zoning change that could pave the way for more rooftops at the Village at Leesburg development, in lieu of more office space.
The change was proposed by land use attorney Michael Banzhaf, who reached out to town staff on the matter early last year. One of Banzhaf’s clients, the Village at Leesburg development, is interested in pursuing such a change with the goal of building multifamily units on land planned for 55,400 square feet of additional office development. PRC zoning currently allows for a ratio of 2.5 to 1.0 commercial to office square footage, meaning that the remaining complex to be built on the Village property, Building X, would need to be entirely office space to fulfill the requirement. The developer has pointed to market conditions and the difficult climate for office development as reasons to change the requirement.
Planning Commissioners initially endorsed the change in the fall, but Banzhaf reached out to the town staff again because he realized that the change did not take into account that the Village property is divided between two zoning districts—PRC and B4 (Business). The new proposal would allow the town to consider the use mix in the entire project regardless of zoning district boundaries. In addition to the Village, Leegate and Oaklawn are two notable developments with PRC zoning that could request a change to allow more residential development. However, such a change could only be completed if a certain amount of nonresidential development has already been constructed. In Leegate’s case, 530,000 square feet of nonresidential uses would have to be constructed to even request such a change, according to the ratios adopted by the council.
The council unanimously agreed to the changes at its Feb. 28 meeting.