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Loudoun supervisors to hear Catesby Farm events facility application Tuesday

Aerial view of the Catesby Farm property. Courtesy Photo
The Loudoun Board of Supervisors is set to decide Tuesday on a controversial land use proposal in Middleburg -- Catesby Farm’s request to establish a banquet and events facility on their 240-acre property.

If the special exception is approved, Catesby Farm would be able to hold 20 events per year with less than 200 attendees per event.

The application has been met with ardent opposition from nearby residents and preservation groups who fear the venue would change the character of rural Loudoun.

At a public hearing in October, supervisors voted to send the application to a future business meeting for further review after at least 35 people came out to speak about the proposal -- a majority of them opposed to the request.

Michelle LaRose, who inherited the farm from her father, told the Times-Mirror ahead of the Dec. 5 Board of Supervisors meeting that she and her family had no plans to add any additional structures if the events facility is approved.

“When people say events center … to me it makes it sound like we’re building and making space to have event,s and it just conjures up the idea that it’s going to be this massive building and it’s just not,” LaRose said. “We’re not adding any structures whatsoever in pursuit of the special exception.”

If their application is denied, the LaRoses will apply to build a bed and breakfast inn -- a by-right use. A B&B would allow them to host more events and on a larger scale than the events facility will permit them.

“We just don’t want to deal with a day-to-day operation of bed and breakfast. Tat’s not our goal. It’s not our intent,” LaRose said. “We really just want the 20 events. So when they say do a by-right use, we will if we don’t prevail with this application, but that’s not our first choice.”

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