130-Home Lovettsville Development Plans Fall Through

Lovettsville residents who spent part of 2019 worried that a proposed development might crowd the town with hundreds of new residents can breathe a sigh of relief, as those plans have fallen through.

            According to a spokesperson for Metropolitan Development Group, the purchase contract for the Engle Tract has been terminated and the firm’s application for a town plan amendment to change the land use designation of the 35-acre property to allow for mixed uses has been withdrawn. Metropolitan had proposed building 130 single-family homes, a 12,000-square-foot farmers market, 6,000 square feet of office space, a 6,000-square-foot restaurant and 5,000 square feet of retail space on that property by 2025.

Metropolitan representatives said the deal fell through because the Engle Tract owners opted to re-market the property rather than extend the purchase contract. Jacque Hansbrough, principal broker with the Landmark Group Commercial real estate company, said that Landmark is busy completing that remarketing initiative and already has a few parties interested in a purchase.

To achieve its development plans in town, Metropolitan in August requested that the Town Council consider amending its comprehensive plan to prepare for the property to be designated for mixed-use, rather than light industrial. Because Metropolitan is no longer considered a contract purchaser, the firm lacks legal standing to proceed with that request.

In May, Metropolitan held its first community meeting to provide residents with information on the proposed development, at which point a majority of attendees voiced concern and opposition to the project.

Some town residents asked where the development’s new children would attend school, seeing that Lovettsville Elementary is already at capacity. Metropolitan had previously estimated that its development would have brought in about 400 new town residents, given its proposed 2,400-2,700-square-foot home sizes.

Other residents asked if the development would increase traffic to the point where the town would need to install traffic lights. According to a July traffic impact study completed by Wells + Associates, the proposed development might have generated more than 3,400 new daily vehicle trips.

Moreover, residents said they were worried that the development would grow Lovettsville more than they were comfortable with, with some referencing their opposition to commercialization such as Purcellville has seen in recent years.


This story was updated at 3:33 p.m. on Dec. 27.

Metropolitan Development Group had planned to build 130 single-family homes, a 12,000-square-foot farmers market, 6,000 square feet of office space, a 6,000-square-foot restaurant and 5,000 square feet of retail space on the 35-acre Engle Tract in Lovettsville.

2 thoughts on “130-Home Lovettsville Development Plans Fall Through

  • 2019-12-29 at 10:01 pm

    Am I reading this correctly? You mean a slimy developer doesn’t get his way by using smoke and mirrors to cover up another ticky tacky housing tract in Lovettsville? I thought Ryan had the corner on the “plasticville” building practices?

    From the start this had cheap and crammed written all over it. Had this gone to the county BOS, they would have rubber stamped it over and over as they love to add more houses to a county already overbuilt. To Hell with density, they bend over backwards to make another developer rich.

    Coming home today I drove up route 15 and passed by Van Metre’s mess they like to call Meadowbrook Farm and wondered who in their right mind would buy there? From the hill near Oatlands you start to see the “skyline” of these boring, cookie cutter houses take shape. I can’t even imagine how many hundreds of thousands this disaster must cost?

    Why do builders in Virginia build so cheaply and unimaginative? Go anywhere in the country, especially out West, and you see houses that enhance the town and the land they are built on. But in Va, you see boring designs, crammed into zero lot lines, just to make more money.

    Good riddance to this builder. Ply your wares elsewhere, but keep an eye on who is next in the chute to impress their view of Lovettsville on us without us having a say!

  • 2020-01-01 at 5:15 pm

    Agree ! New houses have no character, charm or appeal. Scar that will remain on the land !

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