County Board Antes Up $42K for Loudoun Mutual Rezoning

Loudoun County supervisors have unanimously voted to give the county’s oldest business $42,000 cash to stay put.

The Loudoun Mutual Insurance Company was founded on March 6, 1849, and today employs 50 people, according to a county report. However, the office in Waterford that the company built and has occupied since 1949 was left hamstrung when Loudoun County changed the property’s zoning in 1993. The county placed it in a residential district where offices are not allowed.

With that zoning change, the nearly 170-year-old company could not expand its building, and the company’s leaders became concerned that if something happened to the building, they would not be allowed to rebuild it there. The nonconforming zoning status has also created complications for the insurance company insuring its own building. For that reason, the oldest company in the county, and one bearing its very name, considered leaving Loudoun.

The $42,000 grant is intended to help the company cover the estimated $27,720 cost to get the land rezoned, plus any related impact studies that may be necessary.

Although the grant is expected to meet the Department of Economic Development’s guidelines for a three-year return on investment of tax revenues, the county appears to be making an exception to its usual guidelines for Loudoun Mutual. Under the county’s guidelines, the typical requirements for incentivizing a company expanding inside Loudoun are that it create a minimum of 25 new jobs, invest a minimum of $2.5 million, win a Virginia Jobs Investment Program grant and be in one of Loudoun’s targeted industries, which do not include insurance.

Supervisor Geary M. Higgins (R-Catoctin) first proposed developing an incentive package to keep Loudoun Mutual in Loudoun in September 2018. County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) said at a supervisors’ meeting on Feb. 5 that “it’s such an important business to have in Loudoun County.”

rgreene@loudounnow.com

4 thoughts on “County Board Antes Up $42K for Loudoun Mutual Rezoning

  • 2019-02-13 at 12:53 pm
    Permalink

    Govt. creates a problem and screws over a decent company. Then, company finds itself in a pickle (thanks to govt screw up). Govt. says, here’s some tax money to go through the expensive, burdensome, and likely unnecessary govt process to solve the problem govt. inflicted in the first place.

    Do I have this right? Wouldn’t it have been far easier to just spend 20 minutes to vote a zoning carve out for Loudoun Mutual?

    And we’re told there is “Zero Waste, Fraud, and Abuse in Loudoun Govt.”

  • 2019-02-13 at 5:22 pm
    Permalink

    Give me a break. Loudoun Mutual has many millions of dollars in assets. Higgins, R. Minchew, Dick Black, and the County Attorney have been bending the law for Loudoun Mutual for years. Here is a news flash: Loudoun Mutual has serious title issues to their property. There is no deed to the underlying property. Their own title report notes the serious title issues. Now, they want to expand a non-conforming building onto and into alley they do not hold title to. Geary Higgins, Black and Minchew tried to pass legislature so they could try to use the public purse to clear up Loudoun Mutual’s boundary and title issues. How nice for them, right? They passed a law that has no teeth. The county wants to pretend they can give Loudoun Mutual the underlying property or some right to the alleys they want to build upon. Too bad they can’t. The law says they need to use a survey and plan that do not exist. They point to a “map” that was never recorded and a mere working draft. There is even a case from 1875 that clearly states the survey and plan were never completed by the town. Yet, they want to point to the incomplete, draft document, as the survey and plan that was required, under the law, on multiple occasions, to be prepared, approved by the Waterford Town Council and recorded. Loudoun Mutual spent quite a bit of money trying to defend Higgins’ scheme. This is a way to try to pay Loudoun Mutual back for money they spent with the Minchew law firm (Higgins BFF) to take what they do not own and tried to defend unsuccessfully. It is yet another example of Higgins trying to circumvent the plain language of the law and to do his friend a favor. Really, it is quite disgusting. The swamp needs to be drained.

  • 2019-02-14 at 2:17 am
    Permalink

    Database info shows the property is already zoned Commercial/Indust. Any supposed “insurance” problem is likely related to title insurance and the fact they want to expand a nonconforming building into alleys that they do not own. Since their own title reports shows breaks and clouds, this sure would be a problem. For over 25 years, since the 1993 zoning amendment, where certain offices were absolutely permitted in “residential” neighborhoods, they have done nothing to cure the alleged “mistake” made by the county. How is it possible this BOS wants to give them $42,000 to “re-zone” the current commercial/indust classification when the insurance problem is likely related to title? The public purse is not for resolving a business’ title and boundary problems, when they have over $44 million dollars in assets, or at all. Seems like Higgins’ senatorial campaign and Minchew’s (their lawyer) campaign are in need of $.

Leave a Reply