Council to Take Fresh Look at Leesburg’s Transportation Priorities

The Town of Leesburg is set to take a closer look at planning for transportation projects around town—and maybe a fresh look at the broader Town Plan, as well.

Last week, Renee LaFollette, director of the town’s Public Works and Capital Projects Department, introduced the idea of creating a 20-year transportation master plan. Such a project would involve a re-write of Chapter 9 of the Town Plan, which governs transportation, and would draw in input from the Planning Commission, Town Council, and an outside consultant. The cost of the project is estimated to be $125,000 for consulting fees. That money is proposed to come from fiscal year 2017 unassigned fund balance, although the council postponed a decision on what to do with that more than $1.4 million unassigned fund balance to a future meeting.

Some council members suggested that such a plan re-write include a look at multi-modal transportation throughout town, and possibly adding in or extending bike lanes.

The council also asked for input from the Planning Commission about whether other areas of the Town Plan should be evaluated. Last night, the commission noted several, including taking a new look at the town’s community design policies, examining the parameters for redevelopment opportunities downtown, the Walmart shopping center area and near Leesburg Executive Airport, as well as the Crescent District development policies. Also, three commission members last summer participated on a study panel that looked at changes to the Town Plan’s economic development chapter of the Town Plan. Staff members had suggestions for study areal, too. Among those, Planning Director Susan Berry Hill noted that the Town Plan was adopted before the Silver Line extension became a reality and the boost in regional transit service could have an impact on the town that wasn’t previously considered.

That feedback will be presented to the Town Council, which will decide how far to open the Town Plan for revisions.

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