Leesburg Council Pans Proposed Village at Clear Springs Development

The Leesburg Town Council is less than enthusiastic about a rezoning application from developer Hobie Mitchel to build thousands of homes along Evergreen Mills Road south of town.

While Mitchel’s rezoning application will be before the Board of Supervisors for review, as it falls outside the town’s corporate limits, county staff sent a referral request to gauge Town Council feedback on the proposal. 

The council was briefed on the plan Monday night.

The Village at Clear Springs development is proposed for land between the Dulles Greenway and Evergreen Mills Road, south of Heritage High School and west of Leesburg Executive Airport. Mitchel is requesting a rezoning from AR-1, which allows for one residential unit per 20 acres, to allow for 1,238 residential units on 245 acres. Twenty-nine parcels have been assembled for the development plan, according to Leesburg Planning and Zoning Department Director Susan Berry-Hill.

The proposal calls for 203 single-family detached homes; 585 townhomes; and 450 multi-family units. Of the multi-family units, 162 are proposed to be age-restricted; 180 are eyed for the Affordable Dwelling Unit program; and 108 are market-rate stacked units, Berry-Hill said. Within the entire development, across all housing types, a total of 519 units will be age-restricted, and 196 ADUs. 

In additional to the residential units, the proposed development envisions a recreational area, in partnership with a tennis association, that includes tennis courts, and a tennis facility with offices, Berry-Hill said. Plans also take into account a church that exists on the property, though it was unclear if the specific location of the church would change within the application. 

Berry-Hill said the planning staff requested comments from several town departments on the application, as well as the Airport Commission, given its proximity to the airport. Commissioners were adamantly opposed to the development, citing a longstanding desire to keep residential development away from the airport because of the potential for noise complaints. The commission also pointed out in its comments that the airport’s Runway 17 has heavy use for departures—most of which would fly right over the proposed development. Building residences close to the airport could also compromise its FAA grants, the commission added. 

The development falls within the 1-mile buffer around the Leesburg airport’s Airport Impact Overlay District.

Councilman Neil Steinberg noted that during Saturday’s Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony at Freedom Park, noise from airplanes passing overhead often made it difficult to hear. 

“Noise complaints [from residents] will certainly come and they’re not going to the county; they’re going to come here,” he said. 

Mayor Kelly Burk recalled a previous controversy regarding the Crosstrail development application brought forward by the Peterson Companies. That application sought to build residential units on the west side of the airport, and many residents and elected officials spoke out against it. Burk also said many complaints could come from those in age-restricted units, who are more likely to be home during the day, not to mention the prevalence of people now working from home.  

Vice Mayor Marty Martinez, however, said he supported Mitchel’s proposal. He said Mitchel’s plan to widen Evergreen Mill Road to Shreve Mill Road would be a boon for the area, and also applauded the inclusion of affordable housing units. 

A council majority, however, indicated support for sending the county government a list of consolidated comments and a recommendation that supervisors deny the rezoning application. 

Councilwoman Kari Nacy was absent for Monday’s work session. 

4 thoughts on “Leesburg Council Pans Proposed Village at Clear Springs Development

  • 2021-09-14 at 9:21 pm

    Thankfully I don’t live in Leesburg, which seems hellbent on destroying any semblance of the nice town it used to be. This colossal mess with over 1200 homes will only add to the traffic and overcrowded schools. I don’t know who Marty Martinez is, but if he is “wowed” by Mitchel’s plan to widen Evergreen Mills is his level of knowing what is right fro Leesburg, is sad.

    Can you imagine where these kids are going to school? There are already a number of schools on Evergreen Mills now, how many more would be needed.

    Stop rewarding these jackal developers who only want to line their own pockets. They don’t care a wit about making Leesburg more attractive, just sucking up more vacant land. He is as guilty of overbuilding as is Carrington Homes who also just plop down McMansions anywhere they want, with no care about adding to traffic on overburdened roads not able to handle the traffic now. No care about the dwindling water supply under our land and showing no compassion for what is left of Loudoun. Send Mitchel packing now before he destroys Leesburg further. If he wants to despoil land, do it in Prince William or some place who doesn’t care about quality of life. Don’t let he do it again here.

    • 2021-09-15 at 11:00 am

      Just so you know… Marty Martinez is a (D) who serves as the #2 in Leesburg.

      The (D) party is run by developers, tech corps and radical leftists. There’s nothing there for a reasonable person.

  • 2021-09-16 at 8:51 am

    Wow, that is a lot of homes! Unsure who would want to live within the 1mile buffer zone of the busy commercial airport, talk about loud especially during the day for the WFH people. Anyway, hoping they will allow Greenway access ramps to take some of the traffic burden off of Evergreen Mills Road. We see how much traffic is generated at the nearby Evergreen Sportsplex. Lastly, I will miss my views of Sugarloaf Mountain as I drive to work in the morning.

  • 2021-09-16 at 12:18 pm

    I recall from the face-to-face working groups for the County’s Comprehensive Plan that people living in this area were at my table and said they wanted something like this to happen. Most people present opposed the idea, and I suppose most still will. The current residents stated that the traffic and danger of Evergreen Mills Road was so terrible, that it substantially negatively effected their quality of life and the bucolic character of the area had already been destroyed so, let them sell and make some money and re-develop the area. Seeing this article, I suppose the developers put them up to show up and advocate for the change, but they have a point (not saying I agree with it).

    This is one more scenario where, while I’d like it to stay as-is, the area will likely be re-developed in the future. The question is, which is the lesser of two evils: residential or data centers? The area just to the south of this location has already been put forward for more data centers. If you put houses in, you guarantee it won’t be a data center in the future. But houses bring all kinds of problems and tax increases. I’d say data centers are better, but we’ve seen the Board of Supervisors spend every dollar of the $400M we get annually in data centers and they haven’t returned a dime to the taxpayers in lower property taxes, so there has been no net positive from their presence.

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