The Leesburg Town Council has given its approval for the town’s Walmart Supercenter to have its own gas station and convenience store.
By unanimous consent Tuesday night, the council approved a Zoning Ordinance text amendment to permit gas pumps with convenience stores as a by-right use in the zoning district that includes the Compass Creek development.
The move is part of ongoing negotiations between the town and Loudoun County regarding a boundary line adjustment that would bring Compass Creek into town limits. One stipulation the county has placed on negotiations is the need to obtain consent from all property owners to be annexed, and many desire to retain development rights and approvals obtained from Loudoun County, according to a staff report. This zoning change aims to placate Walmart.
The zoning change is limited to the Compass Creek development and, though Walmart will be permitted to erect gas pumps and an accompanying convenience store, a car wash will not be allowed on site.
The lone sticking point for the council in its debate this week was what maximum height should be allowed for the gas station canopy, with Councilman Neil Steinberg initially recommending a maximum height of a little over 17 feet. Walmart had requested a 22-foot canopy, the staff said. A vote on the canopy height was taken separately, with council members recommending that Walmart only be permitted a maximum height that mirrored that allowed under county regulations, although it wasn’t clear what that limit would be. Councilman Zach Cummings dissented on that vote, objecting to the “11th hour” change after staff had been working directly with the applicant.