The need for a change in Leesburg’s zoning ordinance has stalled plans for the CartWheels transportation service in downtown Leesburg.
Asa Rusk was set to launch his CartWheels business in August. The company wants to offer road-ready golf cart transportation service throughout the downtown, giving visitors to the booming restaurant and brewery scene a safe way to travel the bustling streets.
But that has come to a halt for now. While Rusk declined comment for the article, the CartWheels Facebook page notes that a meeting with the town staff just prior to the business’ launch found that the town’s current zoning rules prohibit road-ready golf carts on town streets.
“That’s not to say we did not do our due diligence; we did,” the post reads. “But being such a new business model, a model working in cities and town across the country, the Town needs time to study, write some new codes and explore the concept in more depth. They were adamant in their support. After all, alternative transportation and the increased use of Pennington [parking lot] and other underused parking lots off the Historic footprint are high priorities according to studies and rhetoric from the Council.”
Mayor Kelly Burk attempted to initiate the process to amend the ordinance at the council’s Aug. 14 meeting, but did not receive unanimous support to suspend the rules to do so. It is expected to be discussed at the council’s next meeting Sept. 11. The matter will then need to go before the Planning Commission before coming back to the council for final action.
The CartWheels’ Facebook page now estimates that service on the streets will not be available until at least October, although it will be allowed to be used during special events.
“Your enthusiasm for CartWheels, from its service to its advertising model, was tremendous and appreciated. We ask for your patience. Also a nice email or call to the Town Council in support could make a difference and expedite the process. Again, the representatives we have met with from many departments of the Town believe in the concept they just need to fine tune it,” the post reads.
For more information on CartWheels, go to cartwheelsva.net.