Leesburg Town Council is continuing to move toward annexation of the joint land management area after two closed sessions Tuesday night.
The two closed sessions were to discuss upcoming litigation with Traditional Home LLC, the developer of Meadowbrook, and Loudoun County.
In its Comprehensive Plan discussions earlier this year, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors unexpectedly changed the default utility service for the JLMA from Leesburg facilities to Loudoun Water. Leesburg has the option to annex the JLMA and considers it—and any potential utility funds—a vital part of future growth and town revenue.
Out of the JLMA closed session Tuesday night came two unanimously approved motions that will make it easier for the Compass Creek development, including the new ION International Training Center and Walmart, to be annexed into the town.
The first would establish new zoning districts for planned commercial and industrial uses, similar to the Loudoun County zoning district that Compass Creek currently operates under.
The second motion would amend allowed setback, lot width and building height in Leesburg’s B-3 district. The motion designated 10 JLMA parcels, including Compass Creek developments, and said that, if annexed or brought in by boundary line adjustment, the parcels will either be part of a new zoning district or the amended B-3.
Both motions will be going to the Planning Commission for review and a public hearing.
Traditional Home LLC filed a lawsuit with Leesburg last July after council denied its application to build drive-thru restaurants, a 24-hour gas station and other retail uses next to the Meadowbrook neighborhood along the southern approach to Leesburg on Route 15. It claims council did not follow due process when denying the application and that its reasons for denial—including citizen opposition and an overabundance of commercial uses in the town—were not sufficient.
“As what’s stated in the information in our packet, the applicant has decided to move forward with litigation because they’ve already talked to one person that has apparently driven them to litigation,” Councilman Ron Campbell said Tuesday.
A developer is allowed to bring a new proposal one year after council votes against it.
Council seemed divided on the closed session, with some thinking discussions would include a new Meadowbrook proposal for preliminary approval.
Town Attorney Barbara Notar assured council the meeting would only be about the litigation. The vote to go into closed session passed 6-1, with Councilman Tom Dunn against and staying out of the meeting. No motions came out of the Meadowbrook closed session.
Governing bodies in Virginia are allowed to discuss pending or in-progress litigation in closed executive sessions.