County planners are seeking input from the Town of Leesburg on a rezoning application likely to make waves—a developer is hoping to rezone 250 acres just southeast of town as part of a plan to build 797 residential units between the Luck Stone quarry and the Village at Leesburg.
The land is in the Leesburg Joint Land Management Area and could potentially be annexed by the town. However, council and staff have no decision-making authority the property's zoning and can only make a recommendation to the county.
The land is zoned for planned development general industrial use and both town and county plans envision business-related uses to be developed there. County plans permit some residential uses in support of commercial development. The application is requesting a change to planned development housing. The applicant, Hunter Lee Center, has expressed willingness to construct an important link of Crosstrail Boulevard—which would run through the property—including the crossing over Tuscarora Creek.
The town’s referral comments are due to the county Oct. 16, and the council plans to discuss its application at its Oct. 9 council meeting. During Monday night's work session, some council members, though not staunchly opposed, said they preferred to keep the current zoning intact.
“I would be interested to see what offsite improvements they are going to make, but basically I would stand by our Town Plan,” Councilman Dave Butler said.
Mayor Kristen Umstattd said she agreed with Butler. Vice Mayor Kevin Wright said he doesn’t favor adding more out-of-town users to the town’s water and sewer service area.
“They’re testing the waters,” Wright said. “I don’t have a lot of excitement for getting new, additional out-of-town users.”