Loudoun supervisors on Wednesday will formally hear from the public on what once was proposed as “the largest gas station in Loudoun County.”
The original proposal from Leesburg North Landing, filed in September 2016, requested a zoning change request and special exception to allow for a 5,600-square-foot convenience store along with 12 gas pumps and 24 refueling stations. The application was later revised to just 20 fueling stations to be built on 4.4 acres on Route 15, just south of the Point of Rocks bridge and across from Cigarette Outlet.
Residents so far have been outspoken on both sides of the issue, with some citing environmental and safety concerns and others saying it could allow Loudoun to collect taxes from Marylanders who commute on Route 15 each day.
“Please [do] not approve this application. This project would benefit Maryland commuters, not Virginia residents. It will do nothing to help the excessive traffic on Route 15 and is likely to attract even more traffic. Virginia residents in the area have zero need of this project,” resident Norrie Fowler wrote on the land use application.
In April, Loudoun County planners recommended approval by the Board of Supervisors after the applicant scaled down the size of the plans. On a Facebook page dedicated to the proposed station, to be called the Route 15 Fuel and Market, a post says the business would offer locally-grown produce as well as a dog walking trail and pollinator garden.
“Our goal is to be a destination that proudly shines a light on all that Loudoun County has to offer, while we serve the almost 20,000 vehicles a day that travel on Route 15 North,” the post reads.
Visit Loudoun has partnered with the project's owners to promote the county’s businesses and products at the station. In addition, the owners made an agreement with Visit Loudoun to donate $25,000 for the creation of an app that would map out rural businesses in the western portion of the county.
Those opposed to the proposal say it would only add more congestion to an already clogged Route 15. They also fear its proximity to the Potomac River will have adverse effects on the environment.
“One more gas station will introduce one more eyesore to this scenic route …” resident Efrain Berrios wrote on the land use application. “One more gas station will provide no benefit to the community.”
The public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. June 13 in the board room of the Loudoun County Government Center at 1 Harrison St. SE in Leesburg.