With Tuesday night’s vote by the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors to pursue a purchase of the former Westpark Golf Club property, the county government is picking up a deal the Leesburg Town Council elected not to pursue. Under the deal, the county would acquire the property from Chuck Kuhn, who holds a contract to purchase the land before year’s end.
The CEO of JK Moving Services and local land conservationist confirmed to Loudoun Now that he is still under contract to purchase the property, and plans to settle on the sale Dec. 28. Kuhn is set to purchase the entire 142.3-acre parcel from Dittmar Company, which owned the golf club property, but said he is still reviewing future plans and uses for the site.
“We have spoken with Mayor Kelly Burk and Mr. Tim Hemstreet with the County of Loudoun. Both groups are working hard to help protect the open space,” Kuhn said.
The board’s vote Tuesday to forward a letter of interest to Clubhouse Drive LLC, owned by Kuhn, only cited an interest in acquiring 134.25 acres of the former golf club land, potentially excluding the eight acres of land zoned for commercial use. Leesburg Town Councilman Ron Campbell confirmed as much in a Facebook post Thursday morning on his Ron Campbell Leesburg Town Council page.
The more than 50-year-old golf club property in southwest Leesburg first went up for sale in August 2017, and initially was under contract to CalAtlantic Homes, later acquired by Lennar, and envisioned as a townhome development. That application was opposed by neighbors and ultimately a rezoning application for the project was denied by the Town Council. That proposal included a gift of 129 acres, mostly floodplain, to the town to maintain as a passive park, if desired. Those on the council who supported a purchase of the property have long expressed support for maintaining the land as open space or a town park.
After the rezoning was denied, the homebuilder backed out of the purchase of the property and, earlier this year, Kuhn put in an offer to purchase the land. He offered to sell the Town of Leesburg 134 acres for $3.4 million but, after months of debate, a majority could not be found to support that offer. Those who did not support moving forward with a purchase cited tight government revenues in the times of COVID-19 and potentially high capital and maintenance costs. But in its annual capital funding request, the Town Council did ask Loudoun County to contribute $6 million toward the purchase of the property.
In her motion, Umstattd said the town had approached the county government with a request for county assistance on the purchase. Supervisor Mike Turner (D-Ashburn) credited Burk with making the first phone call.