Leesburg Council Initiates Zoning Changes for Boundary Expansion

Changes could be coming to zoning rules for the Compass Creek development, the current object of the Leesburg Town Council’s expansion plans.

Following a closed session briefing Tuesday night, council members unanimously approved two resolutions. One would initiate changes to its Zoning Ordinance changing setback, lot width and height requirements in the B-3 District; and the other would establish new planned development districts in the Compass Creek area that would be similar to current county zoning rules in the area along with necessary updates to the town’s Zoning Ordinance and Design and Construction Standards Manual.

It’s all part of an effort to find buy-in from Compass Creek property owners as the Town Council endeavors to bring that land into town corporate limits.

Last year, the Town Council took steps to begin the process of a boundary line adjustment between Leesburg and Loudoun County for land that includes the Compass Creek development outside the town’s southern corporate limits. The land is located in the Joint Land Management Area, where town and county leaders historically have tried to cooperate on planning issues. Lately, though, that cooperation has been tested since the Board of Supervisors adopted a new county comprehensive plan that excludes the extension of the town’s water and sewer utility service into the JLMA. The council recently filed suit against the county challenging those changes.

Town Attorney Barbara Notar emphasized this week that Tuesday’s ordinance initiations are a completely separate matter from the litigation.

“The county [government] has stated they will consent to the BLA so long as we can get property owners’ consent,” she said.

Notar said that Walmart and Peterson Companies, two of the larger landowners in the Compass Creek development, have both indicated they would consent to the BLA “so long as their zoning entitlements are preserved.”

Both matters will go before both the Planning Commission and Town Council for review and final approval. It may be more of an expedited process than usual, as the resolution initiating changes says the matter may be held in a joint public hearing between the commission and council.

The Town Council and Board of Supervisors both need to hold public hearings and vote to approve a BLA before the matter goes to the Circuit Court to be certified. One-third of property owners within the area would need to object to the BLA for the court to hold up the matter.

There is not yet a trial date set for the litigation regarding the town’s challenge over the county’s comprehensive plan changes in the JLMA. The town has not yet formally served the lawsuit in hopes that talks between the two jurisdictions can address the concerns without having to go to court.


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