An initial concept plan from potential Leesburg Mobile Park purchaser Darius Saiedi shows the 7.2 acre property could become a townhouse development, if a pending sale goes through.
Saiedi held a pre-application meeting with town staff in late October, and the current sketch plan shows drawings for an 80-unit townhouse development with one- and two-car garages. He was initially expected to close on the sale of the land by the end of the year, but the study period has been rumored to have been extended to move closing into as late as February 2022. Saiedi has not returned multiple calls for comment on the sale. Town of Leesburg Public Information Officer Betsy Arnett said she understood that Saiedi had scheduled a phone call this week with representatives of mobile park residents, but that could not immediately be confirmed. During recent public meetings, mobile park residents have bemoaned the lack of communication from Saiedi on progress regarding the sale, or plans for potential future redevelopment.
The potential sale of the decades-old mobile home park went public in August, with letters sent to residents noting an $11 million offer had been made for the property. Since then, current mobile home park residents have become a constant and vocal presence at Leesburg Town Council meetings, pleading with their elected representatives to do something to allow residents to remain in their homes on the property. Among the rallying cries from the residents, many of whom have lived in the 75 units there for years, has been that there is no equal affordable option for them to relocate in Loudoun County or even in nearby jurisdictions.
Mobile park resident Erin Taylor has become something of a spokeswoman for the neighborhood, advocating on her and her neighbors’ behalf, translating for them during Town Council meetings, and laying out the top three desires of residents in a presentation to the council. Those are for the council to amend proposed language in the under-review Legacy Leesburg Town Plan update to create a text amendment that allows mobile homes as a permitted use; and to change maps in the Town Plan and Crescent District Master Plan to include Leesburg Mobile Park.
“There is no reason why a neighborhood that has existed peacefully and without issue since at least 1957 should be erased,” she said to the council during its Nov. 22 meeting. “Displacing 75 working-class and minority families in the name of gentrification would be a tragedy.”
Council members have long maintained that they cannot get in the way of a private sale, or risk legal consequences. Recently, with many both on and off the council dais remarking that a sale of the property seemed inevitable, developer David Gregory has provided a plan that would relocate the community to seven acres of property he owns off Dry Mill Road, part of the former Graydon Manor property. The council recently held a closed session briefing on that plan, and voted to send a letter to the Board of Supervisors with two requests, first that the county review Gregory’s proposal to determine its feasibility “and what steps each party needs to take to make this proposal a reality for the residents of Leesburg Mobile Home Park.” The land in question predominantly falls within Loudoun County, with only about one acre within town limits according to Arnett.
The letter also asked county supervisors, in conjunction with the Loudoun Housing Authority, to identify any land within its Joint Land Management Area that would work for a relocated manufactured home community.
“Without the full engagement of the County of Loudoun to pursue all options despite obvious challenges, there simply is no relocation solution available to 75 families that are residents of both the Town of Leesburg and the County of Loudoun. On behalf of the Leesburg Town Council, I urge the Board of Supervisors to become actively involved as a full partner in this critical matter, and to commit all available resources to working with Leesburg to fully explore all opportunities on behalf of these 75 families,” the letter, signed by Mayor Kelly Burk on behalf of the council, said in closing.