Town Plan Public Input
5/22/2012 7:30 PM - 7:30 PM
TOWN OF LEESBURG
NOTICE OF PUBLIC INPUT AND PUBLIC HEARING
TO CONSIDER AMENDMENTS TO VARIOUS SECTIONS
OF THE LEESBURG TOWN PLAN
Pursuant to Sections 15.2-1427, 15.2-2204, 15.2-2205 and 15.2-2285 of the Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, the LEESBURG TOWN COUNCIL will hold a public input session on TUESDAY, MAY 22, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. and a public hearing on TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Council Chambers, 25 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia 20176 to consider a comprehensive update of the “Town Plan”, the comprehensive planning document for the Town of Leesburg, Virginia. This update is undertaken to assure compliance with Code of Virginia Section 15.2-2230 which requires that comprehensive plans be reviewed and updated on a regular basis.
The Town Plan serves as a general guide for decisions about future land development and facility development. It contains goals for long range development as well as objectives for implementing the goals. These goals and objectives are organized into nine different chapters, or “Elements”: Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation, Heritage Resources, Community Design, Land Use, Housing, Economic Development, Transportation, and Community Facilities and Services. The Town Plan also includes Policy Maps for the following: Green Infrastructure, Heritage Resources, Land Use, Airport Area Land Use, Roadway Network, Fixed Bus Routes, and Bicycle/Pedestrian Facilities.
The Planning Commission has certified an updated Town Plan to reflect current conditions and general changes in policy direction. Draft changes have been made to the text, policies and maps. An overview of the proposed changes is provided below. Town Council has scheduled this public hearing to seek public input on the proposed changes.
Natural Resources: This Element encourages the protection and restoration of natural open space systems including water resources and surrounding floodplains and wetlands, forest and vegetative resources, and wildlife habitat. Proposed policy changes to this Element pertain to the following topics: incentivizing protection of resources through Town ordinance and code revisions; implementation of the objectives in the Town’s Urban Forestry Management Plan; establishment of street standards that better accommodate street trees; use of natural approaches to manage stormwater and erosion control; participation in regional programs to improve air quality; protecting people and property from natural hazards such as flooding and unstable geological conditions associated with Karst landscapes; alignment of the Town’s floodplain ordinance with Federal Emergency Management Agency guidelines; and integration of the management of natural resources with construction of capital infrastructure projects.
Parks and Recreation: The goal in this Element is to promote a comprehensive, Town-wide park system that meets the needs of the community in a cost-effective and environmentally sound manner. The proposed policy changes to this Element pertain to the following topics: identification of funding sources for the purchase of land north of and adjacent to Ida Lee Park; implementation of applicable recommendations from the Southwest Trails Committee report; and striving to update the Parks Master Plan at least every five years.
Heritage Resources: The goal in this Element is to identify, protect and interpret heritage resources including buildings, districts, structures, and sites in recognition of their contribution to Leesburg’s character and identity. The proposed policy changes to this Element pertain to the following topics: removal of portions of the H-1 Old and Historic District and the H-2 Corridor District that overlap with the proposed Crescent District Form-based District; updating all design guidelines on a regular basis; design and installation of public infrastructure so that it has a positive impact on heritage resources; and future adoption of a comprehensive Preservation Plan to supplement policy guidance in the Town Plan.
Community Design: The goal of this Element is to encourage attractive and functional community design throughout town. The proposed changes to this Element pertain to the following topics: recognition that art is an important economic and aesthetic component of community design and the need to encourage private commercial development to incorporate art into projects if possible; and opportunities for the Town’s Public Art Commission to comment on capital projects regarding artistic design.
Land Use: This Element addresses Leesburg’s future development pattern. It promotes a mix of land uses and the location of land uses to allow for diversity in housing, employment, retail and service opportunities which are sufficient for present and future needs. There are general, town-wide policies in this Element as well as policies that are specific to four planning areas: Central, Northeast, Southeast and Southwest. Proposed updates to the general land use policies include: to encourage the provision of adequate community facilities for all new development; capitalization on existing and emerging business trends regionally and in the Route 7 corridor; to allow for future location of light industrial uses within the corporate limits and in the Urban Growth Area/Joint Land Management Area; anticipation that areas within the UGA/JLMA will ultimately be annexed, particularly those properties for which utilities are extended; and consideration of fiscal studies for land development applications which propose to convert land designated for non-residential use to institutional use.
Proposed policy changes to the Central Policy Area seek to better integrate historic and suburban development patterns and to encourage more mixed use; consider the appropriate location of some light industrial uses; promote the development of a neighborhood plan for the area northeast of the Crescent District; to allow for appropriate building height increases in the Old and Historic District given setback considerations; and to assure that sufficient parking is provided.
The proposed changes to the Northeast and Southeast Planning Areas promote the development of a neighborhood plan for the East Market Street corridor outside of the bypass; compliance of building heights and uses in the vicinity of the Leesburg Executive Airport with Federal Aviation Administration requirements; consistent future development with the Regional Office land use designation description that is in the Town Plan; expansion of light industrial and auto dealerships where appropriate outside the bypass where property is currently zoned for industrial use and when the design and buffering are consistent with guidelines; and consideration to allow certain parcels of land fronting on the east side of Sycolin Road between the Bypass and Battlefield Parkway to be developed as mixed use projects or for low density residential use.
The Southwest Planning Area changes includes a land use designation for Community Commercial use on either the northeast or southeast quadrant of Evergreen Mill Road as opposed to just the southeast quadrant.
Other changes proposed to the Land Use Element include revisions to provide more flexibility with respect to light industrial and technology uses in the Regional Office designation and to allow for mixed use in the Optional Uses and Design section of Regional Office. An expanded description of Light Industrial use is proposed in the text.
Economic Development: The goal in this Element is to strive for a diversified economy that builds upon the strengths of the Town and region with opportunities for entrepreneurship and well-paying jobs resulting in a fiscally strong community. The proposed changes to this Element pertain to the following topics: building upon the role of the Downtown as an activity center; encouraging redevelopment and infill development; facilitating implementation of the Economic Development Commission’s strategic plan; working cooperatively with local business organizations; leveraging emerging opportunities to promote a diversified economic base; target opportunities in government contracting, research and development, higher education and life sciences; promote entrepreneurial resources, infrastructure and institutions such as business incubators for business growth; cooperate with other governmental and organizational entities to promote economic development; encourage arts-related businesses; promote an efficient land development review process and refine regulatory practices to support business while also fostering the character of the Town; promote improved data and transportation programs; and provide expanded natural, historic and arts amenities to attract and retain business.
Housing: The goal in this Element is to encourage a high-quality housing stock that accommodates future populations and is diverse in terms of building types and affordability. The proposed changes to this Element pertain to the following topics: encouraging better housing design that will increase accessibility for special needs populations and increase energy efficiency; encouraging provision of housing types that meet the current demographic trends and consumer demand for smaller dwellings; and conversion of planned or zoned non-residential land to residential use is not encouraged unless the proposal includes mixed uses.
Transportation: The goal of this Element is to promote safe, convenient and efficient transportation systems for long and short term transportation needs while maintaining the character of the Town. The proposed changes to this Element pertain to the following topics: consistency of neighborhood traffic calming and safety measures with the Residential Traffic Management Plan; monitoring of parking supply and demand on a regular basis and studies conducted as needed to assure that current and future parking demands are met; multi-modal transportation systems should be safe and accessible to housing, worksites, schools and community services; connections should be established to commuter park and ride facilities near Leesburg; and provision of transit services that will adapt to changes in land use in Town including redevelopment activity and new development patterns.
Community Facilities and Services: The goal of this Element is for the Town to be served with community facilities and services in a cost-effective, equitable, and environmentally sensitive manner. Proposed Town Plan text revisions include guidance for the undergrounding of utility lines and provision of street trees; seeking stakeholder input for developing the Town’s stormwater management program requirements; gradually increasing the Town’s recycling rate to a goal of 50%; and development of technology and communications strategic plan.
Maps: There are proposed changes to the Green Infrastructure Map that more clearly identify the stream corridors considered in establishing a green infrastructure in Leesburg. Several stream segments in developed portions of Town have been removed from the map due to the urbanized and altered state of their stream corridors. Proposed Heritage Resources Map revisions include showing existing H-1 and H-2 districts; removing non-documented heritage resources from the map; and eliminating reference to Heritage Resources outside of the Town boundary. The Land Use map is proposed to be revised to show a Community Commercial center on either side of Evergreen Mill Road at South King Street (instead of indicating that the center had to be on the north side of Evergreen Mill Road); reclassification of land use to Major Institutional Use for Loudoun County Schools that were not previously identified as such; and designation of properties identified as Loudoun County Parcel Identification Numbers: 232283893, 232389290, 232289934, 232201814, 232377166 for Down Town Land Use consistent with adjacent properties to the north and east. This proposed Down Town Land Use classification on these properties is also depicted on the Airport Area Land Use Map. Proposed revisions to the Roadway Network Policy Map include depictions of changes to the map approved in previous Town Plan Amendments since 2005; and updates to road networks in Loudoun County based on changes to their Countywide Transportation Plan. The Fixed Bus Routes Policy Map is being revised to show the current location of the Park and Ride facility on Sycolin Road and current local and commuter bus routes. Proposed changes to the Bicycle/Pedestrian Facilities Policy Map include removal a planned multi-use path between Chancellor Drive and the W&OD Trail and designation for future sidewalks along Evergreen Mills Road, Hope Parkway, Miller Drive, Kincaid Boulevard, Lawson Road, and Russell Branch Parkway.
Additional information about these proposed Town Plan amendments and copies are available at the Department of Planning and Zoning located on the 2nd floor of the Leesburg Town Hall, 25 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia 20176 during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.), or by visiting the Town website: http://www.leesburgva.gov/index.aspx?page=1212, or by calling Irish Grandfield, Senior Planner, at 703-771-2775 or by emailing email@example.com. This Town Plan Amendment is identified as case number TLTA-2011-0003, “Town Plan 5-Year Update”.
At this hearing, all persons desiring to express their views concerning this matter will be heard. Persons requiring special accommodations at the Town Council meeting should contact the Clerk of Council at (703) 771-2733 three days in advance of the meeting. For TTY/TDD service, use the Virginia Relay Center by dialing 711.