A deal is in the works to build a fire-rescue station at the Sycolin Creek Elementary School property off Evergreen Mills Road south of Leesburg.
The Board of Supervisors’ finance committee has recommended allowing Loudoun County Fire and Rescue and the Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure enter negotiations with the school system to find the right spot on the 181-acre parcel for the planned Leesburg South Fire and Rescue Station.
The county has had trouble finding a spot for the fire station. The first site, on a 19-acre parcel next to the Public Safety Firing Range at the intersection of Shreve Mill Road and the Dulles Greenway, proved unsuitable.
Instead, the county will now try to find a spot on the same parcel as Sycolin Creek Elementary School. That parcel, too, has its hurdles—it is covered by rural village zoning, which requires most of the property to be preserved as open space. It also falls in a zoning sub-district, “Village Conservancy,” which does not permit fire stations. To use the site, county staff member will have to make two zoning applications: one a rezoning to take the land out of the conservancy sub-district, and one a special exception to the new zoning.
Because the rural village zoning allows fire-rescue stations by special exception, the county would also have to approve that second application. Both applications will require public hearings at the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors.
The School Board has approved in concept allowing the county to use a five-acre portion of their property. School Board member Eric DeKenipp (Catoctin) had been adamant the School Board should lease the land to the county, but the lease is expected to be “nominal,” in the range of only a few dollars. The school division does not collect rent on any of the other land it leases to the county government, according to Assistant Superintendent of Financial Services E. Leigh Burden.
The schools and the county have a similar agreement at Rolling Ridge Elementary School in Sterling, where the Sheriff’s Office’s East Loudoun Substation is located. The Leesburg South Fire-Rescue station would be on Evergreen Mills Road between Sycolin Creek Elementary School and Leesburg Christian School.
The county has set aside $17.6 million in its capital budget for the project. Construction funding is set aside in fiscal year 2022.