Council Looks to Accessory Dwellings for Affordable Housing in Leesburg

Leesburg’s new Town Plan lays out policies to promote greater housing choice and the Town Council has been discussing ways to promote affordable housing. That led last week to a vote to draft Zoning Ordinance amendments that would open the path to build more accessory dwellings in town. 

While moving ahead with the more permissive regulations, several council members are worried they could be creating more neighborhood problems. 

Accessory dwellings are independent residences located on the same lot as the principal house. Currently, they are not permitted in all neighborhoods and require special exception review by the Planning Commission and Town Council.

Zoning Administrator Michael Watkins updated the council on the project May 24. He said the staff will review whether to allow larger accessory dwellings, whether to allow them in more zoning districts, whether some should be permitted by-right and what the parking requirements should be. That’s likely to result in a lot of options for the council and commissioner to consider.

Mayor Kelly Burk said allowing more housing options seemed like a good idea in theory, but worried about the impact on neighbors. She, along with other council members, worried about allowing larger sizes.

Councilwoman Kari Nacy recommended the requirement for special exception review also be retained. 

The council voted unanimously to allow the staff to draft recommendations for review in the months ahead. 

2 thoughts on “Council Looks to Accessory Dwellings for Affordable Housing in Leesburg

  • 2022-06-03 at 8:40 pm
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    Leesburg is a great, welcoming community. I appreciate that Town Council is trying to welcome more lower-income residents. I’m not saying ADUs are the answer. Perhaps more senior villages, handicapable villages & lower-income apartments would do the trick. But I hope everyone agrees we all should have a fighting chance to live in Leesburg. (I like to think the Lee Family also agrees!) Happy Pride Month Loudoun!

  • 2022-06-07 at 10:29 am
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    I’m anticipating folks cleaning out backyard storage shed so the can rent them out.

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