Gale Savage, in her letter to your May 6 edition, “Shame on Middleburg council members,” mischaracterizes the decision by the Middleburg Town Council to reject an application for an amendment to the Middleburg Comprehensive Plan as the nixing of the placement of a senior housing complex in the town.

The applicant in this case wanted the town’s Planning Commission to recommend to the council that the Land Use section in its Comprehensive Plan be amended to add Independent Living as a Special Exception Use, with a minimum of 15 acres, in its Agricultural-Conservancy District (A-C District).

Such an amendment was proposed purely to allow such an exception to apply to one specific parcel, namely a 15.32-acre agricultural lot located at the eastern gateway to Middleburg, on Route 50/John Mosby Highway.

Following extensive interaction with the Planning Commission over the course of 13 months, and after multiple iterations of applications, the applicant was invited by the mayor to present and discuss his proposals to the Town Council which he did on Feb. 14. Subsequently, the Planning Commission held a well-attended Public Hearing on March 25, which more than 70 stakeholders attended, with 19 addressing the commission.

An overwhelming majority spoke compellingly in opposition, primarily citing the importance of retaining the land in question in agricultural conservancy use and was not against the general concept of independent living.

On April 25, the Town Council held a public hearing to encourage further public input, at which two further stakeholders spoke in opposition to the applicant's proposed amendment, following which a motion was passed to disapprove the proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment.

It should be stressed that Middleburg enthusiastically advocates senior living; we are proud to support Windy Hill, located on the western side of Middleburg, whose residents form an integral part of the town’s fabric. As I had mentioned during the Public Hearing, I did not and do not believe that the applicant’s proposal – the Comprehensive Plan amendment, not senior living – meets with the desires of the residents of Middleburg who want that part of town to remain in open space.

 

Peter Leonard-Morgan

Middleburg Town Councilman

(2) comments

Peter Leonard-Morgan

My response to Ms. Savage’s letter included a post script clarifying Ms. Savage’s reference to ‘Double barrelled Leonard-Morgan’ which is British English for the hyphenated surname/last name which I happened to have been born with.

Chris McHale

Sounds like the rare occasion of an elected official doing what his constituents actually wanted.

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