With the ink on Loudoun County’s newly adopted general plan just dry, the Town of Leesburg is embarking on its own comprehensive plan re-write.
Leesburg’s public input process on revisions to its Town Plan kicked off in earnest Wednesday, with the debut of its Legacy Leesburg initiative that encouraged residents and business owners to roll up their sleeves and engage in some interactive exercises to share their opinions of how the future of Virginia’s largest town should look.
As town leaders look to update the plan, the county seat stands at almost full build out, with a soaring population, resurgent downtown area, and growing commercial base. The Town Plan addresses community development policies not only for the area within the town limits, but also the Joint Land Management Area and policy planning areas within the county. It’s an aspirational document, town staff underscores, with long-range goals designed to guide Leesburg in realizing its vision for the future.
The two public input sessions Wednesday, which in total brought together more than 100 community members, included exercises where attendees could voice their opinions on the preferred “looks” of future developments; what types of park, recreation or amenity spaces the town should have; and their top wishes for the town. Among the recurring themes were the need to preserve green space; slow down or stop growth; and offer more affordable housing options.
Acknowledging that not everyone will attend a public input session, town staff members and the consultants hired to help guide the plan re-write process also debuted On the Table, a process that will engage stakeholder opinion by the public’s terms. With On the Table, residents are encouraged to gather five to 10 friends or colleagues together, either at someone’s home or even a restaurant or bar, and share their visions for Leesburg’s future in a roundtable discussion. That feedback is then shared back with town staff and consultants. On the Table sessions should occur within the month of October.
The public is also invited to share opinions on thelegacy.leesburgva.govwebsite, which has been created for residents to follow the Town Plan update process.
In terms of next steps, the public will also be invited to drop in on an intensive five-day planning workshop, where consultants and town staff will work from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 7-12 at Ida Lee Park Recreation Center. That will also include meetings before both the Planning Commission and Town Council, project manager Rich Klusek said.
For more information on the Town Plan process, go tolegacy.leesburgva.gov.