Letter: Susan Hays, Leesburg

Editor: When I moved to this area I fell in love with Leesburg, it’s historic homes and quaint little shops and restaurants. The town has kept much of its history, beauty and walkability.

I am disheartened to read that the Planning Commission approved the Church and Market Street project for the following reasons:

  1. The artist’s rendition of Church and Market project shows four, six story buildings. The height of these buildings will dwarf the buildings surrounding them and block out sunlight. And, if there isn’t a generous setback from the road these buildings will seem oppressive. At six stories they will not fit in with the historic atmosphere of the town.
  2. The first article you published on May 30 stated that there will be 116 multi-family units and 15,000 square feet of office and retail space but the project only proposed to have “up to” 216-space structures parking. Your most recent article indicates the developer wants to cut the amount of parking back to 178 in option A or 208 spaces in option B. A minimum of 116 spaces will be taken up by residents if they are only allowed 1 spot each (which is ridiculous) they alone will take up 236 spots if they are allowed 2 spots each. Then, add to that office workers and retail workers and visitors and there will not be enough parking. The result may be that potential retail and office tenants will not want to lease space if their employees, clients and customers will not find adequate parking on site and will have the inconvenience of having to try to find parking in the already overcrowded existing parking in town.
  3. Increased Traffic. The existing streets surrounding this project Church, Loudoun, and those in the center of town are extremely narrow and often congested. The congestion on these roads will increase and be a detriment to existing business and tourism.

I am afraid that unless the Planning Commission stops the current trend of allowing old existing buildings to be torn down and replaced with multi-family units crammed into tiny plots of land and does not restrict development in the center of town to four stories or less Leesburg will end up looking like any other over congested town we see east of here.

It is too bad that the Planning Commission already approved this project. In future, I would like to see the commission focus on preserving the historic atmosphere and visual appeal of the heart of Leesburg.

Susan Hays, Leesburg


One thought on “Letter: Susan Hays, Leesburg

  • 2019-06-11 at 10:00 am

    Generally speaking, I like the development/redevelopment in and around Leesburg. But adding this many cars in the most difficult place in Leesburg to drive should give Leesburg planners and council pause. This sounds like a traffic nightmare waiting to spring on a location for which there are no real traffic solutions even possible due to downtown’s geography.

    And six stories is a bit much. 3, yes. 4, OK. 5+ does not fit the surroundings. It will be interesting to see how politicians vote on this considering the owner buys ink by the barrel.

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