Leesburg Adopts New Gateway Overlay District

The Leesburg Town Council last week established new design standards for new development in corridors leading to the historic district. 

The new Gateway District rules replace those of the H-2 Historic Corridor Overlay District, which was created in the early 1990s. 

Five segments make up the new Gateway District: West Market Street, East Market Street, North King Street, South King Street, and Edwards Ferry Road. Edwards Ferry was not previously a part of the H-2 District. A total of 415 properties, many residential lots, that were included in the H-2 will not be a part of the new overlay district.

The goal is to promote designs compatible with Leesburg’s historic downtown. The new district does not change the underlying zoning of properties within the corridors or the allowed uses on those properties, but sets special standards for site, building, and streetscape designs. The Gateway District standards will apply to buildings, structures, and signs in commercial or apartment buildings. The standards will not apply to single-family attached or detached structures, duplexes, or areas proffered into the existing H-2 district or other proffered guidelines. Single-family homes and townhouses within a mixed-use development in the Gateway District would also be exempt from the standards. The 15 feet along the road of residential lots are included in its standards. 

According to town planners, the Gateway District is designed to provide clearer direction to users about the approval process and what is required, and is streamlined to provide more administrative review than was possible under the H-2 District. 

The next implementation steps will be the adoption of design guidelines and a new streetscape plan that will guide design elements within the public right-of-way. The Planning Commission is expected to take up those items this fall.

For more information, go to leesburgva.gov/gateway.

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