27 Dec 130-Home Lovettsville Development Plans Fall Through
Lovettsville residents who spent part of 2019 worried
that a proposed development might crowd the town with hundreds of new residents
can breathe a sigh of relief, as those plans have fallen through.
According to a spokesperson for
Metropolitan Development Group, the
purchase contract for the Engle Tract has been terminated and the firm’s
application for a town plan amendment to change the land use designation of the
35-acre property to allow for mixed uses has been withdrawn. Metropolitan had previously proposed building 130 single-family homes, a 12,000-square-foot farmers market, 6,000
square feet of office space, a 6,000-square-foot restaurant and 5,000 square
feet of retail space on that property by 2025. Representatives from
Metropolitan have not said why the deal to purchase the property fell through.
Hansbrough, principal broker with the Landmark Group Commercial real estate company,
said that Landmark is remarketing the
Engle Tract and already has a few parties interested in a purchase.
To achieve its development plans in
town, Metropolitan in August requested that the Town Council consider amending
its comprehensive plan to prepare for the property to be designated for
mixed-use, rather than light industrial. Because Metropolitan is no longer
considered a contract purchaser, the firm lacks legal standing to proceed with
In May, Metropolitan held its first
community meeting to provide residents with information on the proposed
development, at which point a majority of attendees voiced concern and
opposition to the project.
Some town residents asked where the development’s new
children would attend school, seeing that Lovettsville Elementary is already at
capacity. Metropolitan had previously estimated that its development would have
brought in about 400 new town residents, given its proposed
2,400-2,700-square-foot home sizes.
Other residents asked if the
development would increase traffic to the point where the town would need to
install traffic lights. According to a July traffic impact study completed by
Wells + Associates, the proposed development might have generated more than 3,400
new daily vehicle trips.
Moreover, residents said they were worried that the development would grow Lovettsville more than they were comfortable with, with some referencing their opposition to commercialization such as Purcellville has seen in recent years.