Almost two years after Supervisor Tony R. Buffington (R-Blue Ridge) first suggested a program that would let people live in, maintain, and preserve county-owned historic properties, the Loudoun supervisors have voted to start the resident curator program.
Buffington first pitched the idea to the previous Board of Supervisors in July 2019. Then, too, supervisors were facing public outcry over their plans for properties like the Aldie Tavern, where at the time they were planning a new fire station, plans that have since been dropped. Then-supervisor Ralph Buona said at the time it would give people concerned about the fate of publicly owned historic properties the chance to step up and do something about it with their own money. Buffington carried the program forward to the current board as county staff members researched the idea and crafted an ordinance that would fit in Loudoun
In Loudoun’s programs, people or organizations may lease a property from the county with requirements to rehabilitate and maintain it, providing periodic public access as well. A third-party appraisal will determine a fair-market rent, and the estimated costs of managing and maintaining the property will then be deducted. If those costs exceed rent cost, then the lessee will pay no rent.
There also is a review process before a lease both of the applicant’s criminal background and credit, as well as a review of the plan for the property.
Supervisors voted 7-0-2 on June 1 to approve those guidelines for the program; now the county staff work to stand up the program.
Buffington thanked his colleagues on the board for their support over the past two years.
The county government owns a number of historic structures, including as the E.E. Lake General Store in Bluemont and the Carver School in Purcellville, which have both been renovated, along with others that need work, such as the Old Arcola School.