Public Hearing Set for St. Louis, Aldie Tavern Land Swap

The promised public hearing is set for Jan. 13 on a bid to preserve both land in the village of St. Louis and the Aldie Tavern by giving a developer the tavern and $1.5 million in exchange for land near St. Louis.

County supervisors previously voted to buy land near St. Louis from developer Mojax LLC for $1.5 million, averting controversial plans to build a 30-home by-right subdivision. The project was controversial not only for its potential impact on the historic village and its water supply, but for the developer’s impact on wetlands. But the purchase fell through, and now supervisors have a new deal that they hope will also restore the run-down Aldie Tavern.

Supervisors, after midnight at their Dec. 1 meeting, held a surprise vote to buy the St. Louis land for the same $1.5 million, but also to give the developer the land around the Aldie Tavern and set aside another $600,000 to help fund the restoration of the tavern and install an entrance road on the property. That will connect the road to land behind the tavern that is already under conservation easement.

And supervisors will hold a public hearing on that plan, which also has its detractors, on Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. 

The Aldie Tavern, known by the county as the Aldie Assemblage, is the second of three plots the county bought for a new Aldie firehouse. Both the tavern site and a previous proposed fire house location were stopped by opposition from neighbors; now plans are to build the station at the corner of Rt. 15 and Rt. 50 at Gilbert’s Corner.

People living in and around Aldie opposed the county’s plans to building the new fire house inside the village and instead pressed the county to restore and preserve the building. Supervisors for a time seemed set to build on that site despite those objections. However, when the county’s Historic District Review Committeedenied the application to build the firehouse there as well as an appeal, supervisors moved to work around that obstacle by removing the property from the Aldie Historic District. Ultimately, however, after buying the new site at Gilbert’s Corner, supervisors stopped that work and voted instead to add more land to the historic district.

County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) has said if the deal goes through, she would like to use the land near St. Louis—where the developer had already drilled productive wells—to address longstanding water concerns in the village.

Meanwhile at Aldie Tavern, the developer has presented a concept plan for “Aldie Park,” with a restored tavern, shops in the two other buildings on the property, a brewery, and a bed-and-breakfast. It would also serve as the entrance and park office for the private parkland behind the property.

In all, the county has spent close to $3 million trying to find land for the new Aldie firehouse; the county spent $1.3 million on land east of town before a lawsuit from neighbors stopped plans there, $1.6 million for the Aldie Tavern property, and $875,000 for the Gilbert’s Corner land.

Watch Board of Supervisors meetings or learn how to sign up to participate at Loudoun.gov/meetings.

This article was updated Jan. 5 at 4:16 p.m. to correct the date of the public hearing.

5 thoughts on “Public Hearing Set for St. Louis, Aldie Tavern Land Swap

  • 2021-01-05 at 3:27 pm
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    The LoCo way: Harrison Street cuts fat checks, (after all, it ain’t their money…) Devleopers get paid. They go to the bar for drinks. Taxpayers stuck outside holding the bill.

    So much for all that “historic preservation” talk we were assured was so important.

  • 2021-01-05 at 3:51 pm
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    This really would be a neat development. Small shops for artists to sell their wares. Access to trails.
    Guest rooms in a B&B. Maybe a full service restaurant in the Aldie Tavern like the Red Foxx Inn or Hunters Head Tavern. It would be a welcome gateway to Western Loudoun from Rt. 50.

  • 2021-01-05 at 4:59 pm
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    This deal stinks.

    That impact will this have on Little River which is directly adjacent to this project?
    How about the impact of public sewer and the water table? These are serious concerns.

    Known to the supervisors is the developer and his checkered past that is well documented. Loudoun has issued numerous stop work orders and fines due to illegal work on properties nearby this proposed project. The developer is currently involved in a legal dispute with the Land Trust of Va. Again, well documented in public records.

    Where is the assessment for the St Louis land that paid the developer 1.5 million compliments of our BOS? Phyliss and her gaggle are excited about the water wells. Taxpayers are more interested in the money and how this deal was struck.

    Ultimately, this is a terrible proposal for the Village due to its size and scope.

    • 2021-01-05 at 5:39 pm
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      Where is all this money coming from! We seem to bleed money these days when businesses are failing, schools need help and taxes are exorbitant! I’m all for preservation but there are plenty of people in that area that have big bucks that could use a tax break or donate it like Kuhn. The developers always seem to come out smelling like roses and counting their money!
      This is ludicrous, we should have a say in all these acquisitions … if Loudoun has this much money I’d like a piece of it…buy my condo! Lower my taxes! $2100 for a 1100 sq ft condo…and that’s just Loudoun, not counting Leesburg double dipping!

  • 2021-01-06 at 7:15 am
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    So when the BOS literally uses tax dollars to buy land claiming it is for a firehouse and then decides to use it to improve a tavern plus give value to a developer voters still don’t get why they should show up to vote in local elections! What percent will property taxes have to go above the state average for voters in Loudoun to wake up? 🙂

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