Updated Thursday at 8:40 a.m.:
The Leesburg Town Council will hold a special meeting beginning at 6 p.m. on Thursday to reconsider the following motion related to the "East End Triangle":
MOTION 2012-027: I move to direct staff to alter Project D of the Phase I Downtown Improvements Projects, as approved by town council on September 14, 2010, in order to eliminate the concrete curbing extending from the triangle area along the Market Street frontage.
Originial Story: Improvements to the town's East End Triangle, also known as the gateway to Leesburg, are currently underway. Unfortunately, a concern regarding the project was raised during the Leesburg Town Council’s public hearing Tuesday night.
Jim Sisley, manager of the George C. Marshall International Center, said due to 6-inch tall curb returns that are being placed in the parking lot of Mom's Apple Pie, there is a concern regarding the negative impact that they will have on the flow of traffic at the local business.
The parking lot, which is on the east end, between the triangle itself and the retail building, is not compliant with the Design Construction Standard Manual (DCSM), he said, nor will it ever be.
It is already a very fluid and organic space, Sisley said, which has to be that way due to the difference in traffic volumes that are experienced at different times of the year.
The biggest concern is the Thanksgiving holiday that is just a week away.
“We are days away from the busiest day at Moms Apple Pie and I am very concerned about the state of the construction project,” he said.
“It seems to me that the curb returns offer nothing but restrictions,” Sisley added, to a business that the town would like to see move forward.
Fortunately, framing and curb pour are the only things that have been done to the legs so far, he said, prior to requesting that the curbs be removed until the beginning of the year. This would allow more time to study the potential impacts from the curbs.
Store owner Avis Renshaw said that it’s imperative for the way people shop at her business and that they are able to get in and get out very easily.
“I know parking is a big deal for every merchant in town and I’m really lucky to have the best parking,” Renshaw said, adding that customers like to pull up to the door, get there things and get out. “I want to accommodate that customer.”
Renshaw said she was also in favor of removing the curb returns in order to help with the flow of traffic.
“I wouldn’t park there,” Renshaw said. “It’s very difficult to get in and out of that parking lot and the curbs make it even more difficult.”
After a long discussion between the pros and cons of removing the curb returns, the majority of council members felt it would be best to have at least one of the curbs removed.
“A lot of times we see these plans on paper and they look really great,” said council member Kelly Burk. “When it ends up coming down to it, sometimes the things we think are great on paper don’t really work and we have to be flexible enough to realize that and make those changes.”
Council voted 4-2-1 to remove one of the legs, located on Market Street, while leaving the second one on Loudoun Street. Council members Kevin Wright and David Butler voted against the resolution while Katie Hammler abstained.
Following the vote, Butler suggested a new resolution that would allow both legs to be removed prior to re-visiting the issue at a later time. However, following more discussion, that resolution failed 4 to 3, despite interest from Butler, Hammler and Wright.