Leesburg Council Asks Supervisors to Wait on Comp Plan Recommendation

The Leesburg Town Council is asking its county counterparts to consider the impacts of a vote planned for tonight that could open up some rural land to residential development.

Tuesday night, at their council’s bimonthly business meeting, council members voted to direct Mayor Kelly Burk to write a letter to the Board of Supervisors asking them to delay voting on a proposal to move land just outside the town’s southern limits from the Rural Policy Area to the Transition Policy Area as part of the county’s comprehensive plan review. The land is located west of the Dulles Greenway, east of Evergreen Mills Road and south of the town corporate limits.

Proponents of the change in land designation have noted that the land is already surrounded by residential development. The county staff is recommending allowing residential development areas—designated as zones P1 and P2—at three to five units per acre.

Several advocates of preserving rural land spoke during the council during the petitioner’s section last night, prompting the council to vote to suspend the rules and bring the motion up under new business.

Al Van Huyck, a former chairman of the county’s Planning Commission, said a vote to move that 1.3 square miles and 1,300 homes into the Transition Policy Area could be precedent-setting. It could in the future open up land on the west side of Evergreen Mills to Rt. 15 to further development, he said.

Mom’s Apple Pie owner Avis Renshaw, who also operates a farm with her family in Lucketts, said that further depletion of rural land, particularly farmland, is something the county and town need to take seriously. She noted that the farmland in Loudoun County is among the top rated farmland in the nation for its productivity, versatility and resilience.

“When we lose farmland we’re losing the best of the farmland in the nation,” she said.

Councilman Tom Dunn initially introduced a motion that would have directed Burk to write a letter asking the board to delay their planned Wednesday vote. However, he withdrew his motion after Councilman Neil Steinberg found support for his motion that the board not change the two land bays’ designations, allowing both the town and county more time to consider the ramifications of changing planning designations in those areas. Steinberg’s motion passed by a 5-2 vote, with Dunn and Councilman Josh Thiel opposed.

Tonight’s comprehensive plan work session begins at 6 p.m. in the boardroom of the Loudoun County Government Center.

krodriguez@loudounnow.com

8 thoughts on “Leesburg Council Asks Supervisors to Wait on Comp Plan Recommendation

  • 2019-05-29 at 3:19 pm
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    Sure. As soon as the Town Council decides to hold off on any of their land use decisions until they consult with the BOS. Only seems fair since the BOS is responsible for educating the kids and providing fire safety. The Town really needs to be a team player. They refuse to open Kinkaid Blvd to help the County but then beg the County to help with Econ Development help to replace the old WalMart. Either the Town can operate on its own or it can’t. Stop meddling in County business.

  • 2019-05-29 at 3:49 pm
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    My complements to Mayor Burk and the Town Council. The BOS Members need to spend more time listening to Mayors in Loudoun, Town councils in Loudoun and citizens of Loudoun and less time trying to give developers a return on their campaign investment dollars. We can change this to a much more attentive, citizens first focus if voters would show up on November 5th after having done some due diligence on qualifications instead of just following the sample ballot being haded to them which was paid for by developer donations.

    • 2019-05-30 at 12:42 pm
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      The Planning Commission specifically asked the Town of Leesburg to comment on the possible movement of P1 to the TPA for higher density residential. They chose not to take a position. Then, the day the BoS plans to vote, the Town Council asks them to hold off. Sound like the Town needs to get their act together.

  • 2019-05-29 at 4:53 pm
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    Sure. As soon as the Town Council decides to hold off on any of their land use decisions until they consult with the BOS. Only seems fair since the BOS is responsible for educating the kids and providing fire safety. The Town really needs to be a team player. They refuse to open Kinkaid Blvd to help the County but then beg the County to help with Econ Development help to replace the old WalMart. Either the Town can operate on its own or it can’t. Stop meddling in County business.

  • 2019-05-29 at 8:38 pm
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    The difficulty with this one, is that what the council is advocating makes sense, but it is coming from a group that has in the past several years passed, time and again, rezonings allowing more and more houses in Leesburg. I have to wonder if the council’s action is just one of convenience. When the Town of Leesburg’s most recent newsletter highlights six new projects, and four of them involve new housing components, it seems clear to me, that in fact this town council is not slow growth, but in fact is for out of control growth. Maybe in next year’s election for town council and mayor, we might see a team that will stand for no more new housing.

  • 2019-05-30 at 7:52 am
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    Loudoun fan . I have to reinforce that your view is quite critical for all citizens of Loudoun to understand. “The business of running Loudoun by the BOS” is the issue. Not recognizing that organizations that serve citizens directly such as non-profit charities and towns SHOULD BE HELD IN THE HIGHEST REGARD BY THE BOS. Basic business understanding would tell you that the BOS is not currently able to handle all the transactions of the county and needs organizations closer to the community to help not to just rollover and obey the developer sponsored ruling class. My example is Kristen Umstaddt. As the former Mayor of Leesburg she has a huge degree of experiential competence compared to the figurehead playacting at the role of chair of the BOS. Adding a thousand acres of Leesburg district land to the transition area to placate developer reach for cash is another example of what should NOT BE DONE. We need our elected representatives to focus on all aspects of the county as problems that need to be resolved and then openly and competently move toward resolution. It is unfortunate when the town has a better grasp on what is right for the county than the county leaders. This needs to get fixed. ALL registered voters need to get out of the house on November 5th to fix this.

  • 2019-05-31 at 10:43 am
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    Umstattd (you spelled it wrong) may have experience, but has no leadership ability whatsoever, or else she would have been communicating with the town council to get them to weigh in on this plan. But instead, the only reason this letter is going out now is because Kelly Burk and Marty Martinez’s Democrat friends, Renshaw and Van Huyck, showed up at the microphone asking for it. It seems that is the only way Burk et. al. do anything these days — if activists want it. But Umstattd has no opponent in the election this fall and can pretty much be as lazy as she wants to me and will likely not get the votes on this board to stop some 2600 homes from being planned south of Leesburg Airport.

  • 2019-06-02 at 5:25 pm
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    Mayor and Council members should be involved with land use issues. Proclamations from every splinter group that come before the board is not. Mayor Burk has cheapened the stature of the city by appeasing groups who do not get the unanimous vote of the board. No more appeasement and then no more Burk!

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