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Land Development Process

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The commercial land development process in the Town of Leesburg has three stages:

Land Use (Zoning) Applications

If the desired use is not allowed under the property's current zoning, a property owner may request a change to the property's allowed land uses through a Rezoning and/or Special Exception application. Initially reviewed by staff with a recommendation to the Planning Commission, these applications are ultimately approved or denied by the Town Council.

  • Rezonings  

    The  rezoning application requests a change to the property’s zoning, the designated use district, as shown on the Town’s Zoning Map, and can also be a revision to an approved rezoning to change conditions of approval, to change proffers offered by the applicant or a previous owner, or to revise the layout of the proposed development.

  • Special Exceptions

    These applications request to permit certain uses not allowed "by right", having been identified, due to the nature, design, or location as having the potential for adverse impact upon adjacent properties, as well as the health, safety, and welfare of the community.

Land use applications are handled by the Planning & Zoning Department.

Site Plans and Subdivision Plats

Once the desired use is allowed on the property, the next step in the land development process is to submit a Land Development Application, along with detailed engineering drawings, plats, traffic studies and other supporting documentation required. 

All commercial projects require a Site Plan, but the Town of Leesburg offers Mini and Minor Site Plan processes for smaller projects. Plan Review staff can assist in determining which application is appropriate. Before an application is accepted, it must meet the Town’s Minimum Submission Checklist requirements for a Site Plan Application package. For first time submissions in Leesburg, we recommend scheduling a pre-application meeting with Plan Review staff.

Commercial projects that involve subdividing property into multiple parcels require a Subdivision Plat application. The Town's Subdivision and Land Development Regulations (SLDR) provide for several alternatives which may be used to subdivide property. We recommend that applicants meet with Plan Review staff to discuss potential options prior to the preparation of any subdivision plat or related construction plans.

Land development applications are handled by the Department of Plan Review.


Zoning, Building & Occupancy Permits

All building permits for projects in the Town of Leesburg are issued by the Loudoun County Department of Building and Development. Before Loudoun County will issue a building permit, you will need a Zoning Permit from the Town, verifying that the project meets the minimum requirements of the Town's Zoning Ordinance.

Loudoun County also issues occupancy permits for new and renovated structures. The Leesburg Department of Public Works inspects site construction (paving, curbs, entrances, lighting, storm drainage, etc.) to ensure compliance with the Town's Design and Construction Standards, prior to the issuance of an occupancy permit by Loudoun County.