Leesburg Council Wants Flexibility to Study City Status

The Leesburg Town Council has put pen to paper to let the Commission on Local Government know its position on the longstanding statewide moratorium on city status.

Town Attorney Barbara Notar brought the matter up to council’s attention. The General Assembly, in 2016, voted to extend the moratoria on annexations by cities against counties, including towns seeking city status, to at least 2024. In the bill amending the statute, legislators also included an annexation study with recommendations due back to the General Assembly by the end of this year. The draft report, Notar wrote to staff, recommends that the moratoria become permanent.

While the Town Council has never taken a firm position on whether it wants to seek city status for Leesburg, council members have often lobbied their legislators to end the moratoria, to allow the town to study the costs and benefits of such as change. For example, residents of the City of Leesburg would no longer pay Loudoun County taxes, but the City Council would be required to provide schools, courts and other services now handled by the county government.

At its recent meeting, the council voted to send a letter to the state commission expressing its viewpoint. The commission is accepting written comments on the draft report until early September.

Councilman Ron Campbell was the lone council member to vote against sending the letter.

Notar said this week the final draft of the letter is still being worked on.



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