Middleburg Mayor Pushes Expansion, 126 New Homes

Middleburg Mayor Bridge Littleton on Tuesday unveiled proposals to expand the town’s boundaries and build 126 new homes, billing it as protecting the town against uncontrolled development outside its borders, as well as creating attainable housing.

That would be one of the biggest expansions in the history of the town that as of the 2020 Census included only 407 homes. The plans were presented during a community meeting held at the Hill School.

Touting rural-area projects such as Vanish Brewery and the 38-home Banbury Cross’s cluster subdivision as cautionary tales, Littleton pitched separate proposals from the Windy Hill Foundation and the owners of the Homewood property to build small, densely packed homes while leaving the majority of their properties undeveloped.

The Windy Hill proposal, on land south of town near Virginia Lane, would bring about 33 acres into town. On the east side of that property, near the current town boundary, Windy Hill would build 20 age-restricted apartments similar to the existing Levis Hill House in town, plus another 40 subsidized, price-controlled units in either duplexes or quadruplexes. The rest of the property would be protected from development with open space easements.

North of town, east of Foxcroft Road and the Salamander Resort property, the owners of the 212-acre Homewood property, 15 acres of which are already in town, propose to bring another 22 acres into town and place the remaining 190 acres in conservation easement. In town, they would build 48 condos in buildings up to three stories high, eight townhouses, and 10 single-family “cottage-style” homes. Those, Littleton said, would be small enough to keep their prices down. The existing renovated barn on the property would continue to be used for commercial uses.

In both cases, Littleton said, the developers would pay to install infrastructure such as new water and sewer connections, and the town’s public works system has plenty of capacity to serve them.

Middleburg Mayor Bridge Littleton on April 19 unveils a proposal to grow the town’s borders and build 126 new homes.

He likened it to the last big expansion in town—the decision to bring the Salamander Resort property into the corporate limits.

“It was not an option of nothing or the resort. It was an option of 250 homes or the resort, one being in partnership with the town,” Littleton said. “The other one, you know, by-right development in that land in Loudoun County. So that’s the kind of dynamic we’re looking at.”

The new annexation proposals would also put many more units on the land than would be allowed by-right, but Littleton said it would protect more land and help the town establish the long-promised “greenbelt” preventing development around the town’s borders.

“That was in the county comprehensive plan 20 years ago, and it never really happened. So I think a lot of it is, if you want something done, you’ve got to do it yourself,” he said.

He pointed to land surrounding the town that is already or will soon be under a conservation easement. And he said if that land is brought into town, “that’s it. There is no more land to ever annex into town again. We’re done. It’s in conservation easement or it’s developed.”

The town will now gather input from the public on those proposals. Offer feedback online at middleburgva.gov/input, by emailing townclerk@middleburgva.gov, or by calling 540-687-5152. The next several Middleburg Town Council meetings will also have time set aside for comments from the public.

The Homewood property has been on the national stage for unrelated reasons—it is also the site of Blackwater Ranch and owned by Erik Prince, who co-founded the Blackwater private security firm. The company gained notoriety after its employees killed 17 civilians in Baghdad. The company’s successor also paid tens of millions in settlements for arms trafficking violations during Prince’s tenure, and the United Nations has said he violated a UN arms embargo by aiding a Libyan warlord attempting to overthrow a US- and UN-backed government. In 2021 as people fled the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan Prince was again in headlines after he announced he was offering seats on a chartered flight out of the country for $6,500 each.

When a meeting attendee raised the landowner’s history, Littleton said that is “utterly irrelevant, and it’s an offensive question.”

7 thoughts on “Middleburg Mayor Pushes Expansion, 126 New Homes

  • 2022-04-20 at 11:22 am
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    I hate to say it, because I love Middleburg. But it can’t remain as Petticoat Junction. Many people want to live in Middleburg. They have a right to, within reason. Middleburg shouldn’t become overdeveloped. But this plan seems reasonable. Good luck to everyone who want to move into Middleburg! And Happy Passover Loudoun!

    • 2022-05-01 at 12:27 pm
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      You don’t live near Middleburg, so you have no skin in the game. This comment looks suspiciously self-serving, posted by a lawyer for developer interests.

  • 2022-04-20 at 1:56 pm
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    Towns add homes which generate students which the rest of the County pays for. Why aren’t we part of the decision since we have to pay for it over infinity? 🙂

    • 2022-04-21 at 6:44 pm
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      Because the development community lobbied Richmond long ago to establish by-right development. There should be no by-right development for counties with populations as large as Loudoun’s.

      This really is a problem for our State Delegates and Senators to solve, and I’d be willing to bet they will all run like crazy instead of standing up to the developer lobby.

  • 2022-04-20 at 5:29 pm
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    Sounds like a plan to create yet another ugly Purcellville-South. What is wrong with you people. You are destroying the essence of Loudoun to make a few greedy developers richer. Look at the mess Carrington Homes is creating all over Loudoun. Read their self serving “mission statement” which says, “oh, we are preserving Loudoun’s history and rural culture” really, by desecrating more land and putting them down in places that are not served by decent roads? I was on Lovettsville Road last week and see another Carrington Homes sign on that road, looks like another big development on an unpaved road. How can this be safe? I feel sorry for the residents nearby when the traffic from yet another plasticville pops up in the country. Disgusting how these companies make believe they are saving the rural nature of the county with their behemoth out of place houses.

  • 2022-04-21 at 11:36 am
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    This is a bad idea. How does building more homes than authorized under current zoning law preserve land? And at what cost to current residents? And low income housing? How will they contribute to infrastructure maintenance and upgrade expense?

    The current residents will be paying increased expenses to pay for road improvements, utility maintenance and other infrastructure to support the new houses.

    Even worse, current residents will have to watch as the character and charm of middleburg continues to erode. Salamander build out has been, and will be, too much burden on the town. We shouldn’t be encouraging more.

    No matter what the representations are, this expansion would not stop here. It would continue with surrounding development.

    The mayor’s energy should instead be directed at deflection and reducing residential and other development, and preserving the town and rural surrounding areas.

  • 2022-05-01 at 12:37 pm
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    Exactly. Salamander pulled the same bait-and-switch for the Harriman estate. First, it was to be @ 20 rooms for lodging, full stop. Then as construction commenced, that more than doubled. Now we have sprawl and specter of a large home subdivision on the site, which was certainly in mind from the outset. All for the promise of building an improved wastewater system. This is yet another Trojan Horse, despite the Mayor’s dissembling.

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