Following a closed session June 3, supervisors approved a resolution to initiate a zoning map amendment for the property that would permit industrial and office development, but prevent residential development. The property is located between the Dulles Greenway and Leesburg Executive Airport and is currently zoned AR-20, permitting low-density residential development. - Leesburg TodayThe process to implement this policy continued this week as the Planning Commission voted - unanimously - to forward the "upzoning" (i.e., zoning up to commercial instead of mixed-use) application to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation that it be approved.
There is still a long way to go before the issue of homes being built next to the Leesburg Executive Airport is fully resolved, but this is an important about-face in County policy that is a direct result of the election of people like Kelly Burk to the Board of Supervisors.
"We had no idea that the board was contemplating [this change]," he [Ed Gorski, PEC] said. "I think they should be applauded for taking the initiative to do that." - Leesburg TodayOf course, the land is still subject to a lawsuit and annexation by Leeburg. But both the Town and the County are now opposing houses on that land, so it seems likely that no new homes will be built there.
The remaining wild card is the lawsuit that the Peterson Companies is pursuing against the County's original zoning. If that lawsuit succeeds, we may be back to square one, regardless of the express wishes of the voters, the County and the Town of Leesburg.
The previous board of supervisors voted 8-1 to deny the proposal last July and Peterson Companies filed a lawsuit one month later, alleging that the previous board's 2003 vote to downzone the property to low-density residential uses was inconsistent with the long-established planning policies supporting commercial development in the area. The lawsuit seeks to have the court declare the Joint Land Management Area-20 zoning as unreasonable and illegal, and to declare that the uses proposed in the developer's rezoning application represented a reasonable use and development of the property. - Leesburg Today