The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors directed staff recently to establish a preservation plan for the Village of St. Louis — one of the first villages in Virginia established by African Americans — following months of debate over a controversial proposed housing project for the area.
The plan is expected to be completed in 2024.
As part of the unanimous vote on consent, the board agreed on Jan. 18 to an initiative which includes potential land use zoning changes and $10,000 to cover the project’s meetings and public outreach. The Department of Planning and Zoning is expected to assume the fiscal impacts.
The board’s plan comes as the Kuhn Family, which has recently purchased numerous county properties for preservation, put a contract on 42-acres in St. Louis, in order to place the area in conservation and prevent the construction of a housing project proposed by developer Mojax LLC.
As part of the buying process the Kuhns conducted a property study of the site, which was owned by Mojax. The previous housing project would have been located north of Snake Hill Road and a quarter mile east of the St. Louis Road intersection.
The 42-acres are located northwest of Middleburg and were slated to be developed into 45 homes.
A spokesperson representing the family said with 42-acres going into conservation it will be used as an open space.
Last April, the board voted to end a proposed deal that included the transfer of Aldie Assemblage — a cluster of historic properties — to Mojax LLC in exchange for the Middleburg Preserve II property, which the board was seeking to place in conservation.
Mojax LLC’s Middleburg Preserve Residential Development Project in St. Louis proposed building 30 single-family detached homes, a roadway and tree conservation areas, according to an executive summary from development representatives.
Mojax and the board exchanged offers to end a controversial housing project proposed for the MP-II property in St. Louis, but the parties could not come to an agreement.
Mojax argued there was risk involved in obtaining sufficient financial benefit from the property with an easement in place, saying it could not recover its acquisition and development costs from the by-right development of MP-II.