The future is calling Middleburg, and now is the time for residents to seriously consider how they want to answer that call.

Affordable and entry-level housing is increasingly scarce in Town, which creates a problem for service personnel, teachers, and restaurant staff. This issue has been exacerbated by the recent housing crunch in our country, which has seen the cost of the average rental increase by 12.7 percent since 2019  in Loudoun County, according to a recent Washington Post report. This increase, coupled with the scarcity of housing options within town limits, burdens younger residents who work in and therefore want to live in or near Town.

On Tuesday, April 19, Mayor Trowbridge Littleton held a town council public information session to introduce and discuss proposals from two property owners interested in the annexation of their land or portions of their land into the Town through a process formally called a “Boundary Line Adjustment (BLA).” This meeting and several others to occur in the next few months are the efforts by the Council to present the details of these proposals to the community, get input and feedback from residents, and answer any questions.

The Mayor’s presentation is available as a PDF file. You can also download the full PowerPoint presentation to see the animation of maps/graphics (requires Microsoft PowerPoint).

https://www.middleburgva.gov/386/Proposed-AnnexationsBLAs

These two proposals are from two different entities, and both are asking for the Town’s boundaries to be extended. Between these two proposals, an additional 55 acres of property would be added to the Town with the idea that these acres would help increase the affordable housing options and the green space within town limits.

On the west side of Town, the Windy Hill Foundation, a nonprofit organization, seeks to turn the former Maggie Bryant estate into an affordable housing community.

On the east side, Homewood Farms wants to develop 22 acres of property on Foxcroft Road, east of Salamander and Wolver Hill, and develop a housing community with condominiums, townhomes, and small, cottage-style homes. Homewood Farms already owns 15 acres in Town, and this project would add 22 acres to their property holdings.

Middleburg Population Changes Presenting Challenges

These proposals could help address Middleburg’s current housing challenges, which have been brewing for decades. A look at the Town’s population fluctuations illustrates these concerns.

Mayor Littleton provided a look at some population statistics in his presentation. In 1970, the Town’s population was 833. Fifty-two years later, the Town is home to 870 people, having weathered decreases in 1990 (549 people) and 2010 (673). Middleburg’s population has not grown in the same way the rest of Loudoun County has, and the key reason for this is the lack of entry-level housing. While the average age of the population of Loudoun County is 36 years old, the average age of the residents of Middleburg is 50-52 years old.

While Middleburg has a reputation for being a deeply caring community, the fact remains that it does not provide the kind of housing options that would welcome a broader and younger swath of residents, and this hinders the Town’s growth and vitality.

As smaller and older homes are sold, they are torn down and replaced with larger estate-type houses. From 1973 to today, the ratio of square footage per person has changed from 550 square feet per person to 1100 square feet per person.

Middleburg’s average single-family home sells for $650,000, and townhomes for $690,000.

This kind of activity has thrown off the balance of the community and limited the housing choices for younger residents. Although the Salamander resort had initially planned to build housing for its workforce, they have not done so. Approved workforce/teacher housing as part of Salamander was approved in 2007: workforce/teacher housing. Teachers’ average salary is currently around $57,000 per year. It is estimated that there is a need for over 70 units just for teachers in the Middleburg area.

Windy Hill Foundation Proposal

This nonprofit foundation’s proposal includes using the 33 acres it seeks to develop to create 20 age-restricted units, similar to the Levis Hill community. It also includes 40 subsidized duplex/quadplex homes with the subsidies based on the Area Median Income calculations. These communities will consist of a variety of residential services, including paths, trails, pedestrian-safe connectivity, and access to community services.

The expense to the Town would involve no capital expenses, and revenues from this community are expected to offset future expenses such as additional sewer lines and other infrastructure costs.

Homewood Farms Proposal

Homewood Farms’ proposal involves 212 acres outside Town on Foxcroft Road, east of the Salamander Resort and Wolver Hill. It is the former Pettibone Property. This plan would set aside 190 acres as permanent open space conservation land. The remaining 22 acres would be annexed into the Town’s boundaries. They would include 66 housing units which would consist of 48 condominium units in a building no higher than two to three stories, eight townhomes, and ten cottage-style single-family homes.  There is also a renovated barn that would have a limited commercial use for events.

Access to these housing units would be obtained through Foxcroft Road. There would not be access off route 50. The community would use public sewer, and new lines would need to be installed.

Community Concerns and Next Steps
The reason to annex these properties to the Town is simply to maintain control and approval over the development of these properties. Without annexation, the Town would not be able to help shape the future of these properties.

Concerns over future traffic issues, sewer capacity, and noise will continue to be addressed in future town hall meetings. There is also an online form that residents can use to express their opinion of this proposal.

Continual input from the community is welcomed.
Online: middleburgva.gov/input
Email: townclerk@middleburgva.gov
Phone: 540-687-5152
There will be Town Council Meetings: on the 2nd & 4th Thursdays at 6 p.m.

A follow-up meeting will occur in the coming weeks, and there will be several Council meetings.  The community can also give its input on this form.

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